» Business » 'India's growth may go on for 25 years'

'India's growth may go on for 25 years'

August 08, 2006 13:17 IST
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Kundapur Vaman Kamath, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ICICI Bank Limited, has been primarily responsible for the bank's phenomenal growth through the introduction of new systems, strategies, services and leadership into the organisation. He has leveraged technology to turn ICICI into India's second-largest bank.

K V Kamath spent an hour on the Rediff Chat on Tuesday, August 8, responding to readers' queries on banking, management, entrepreneurship and leadership...

The enlightening chat transcript:

MR K V KAMATH answers, Hi thank you all for joining in. I am delighted to be here.

Manasa asked, what do u think is the USP ICICI
MR K V KAMATH answers, Our people. The spirit of entrepreneurship that they bring to their job, the execution capability that they have
Milind asked, Waiting for you to visit IIITB's new campus next time you are in Bangalore
MR K V KAMATH answers, Indeed i look forward to visting iitb. I think it has scaled up nicely.
Surajit asked, Can you please elaborate the future of a Financial Engineering guy with Masters/PhD in that area in India?
MR K V KAMATH answers, Great future. This is one of the fastest growing sides of the business. All banks in structured finance or with treasury aspirations would find this qualification invaluable
Venkatesh asked, Sir, in the present Indian context can you think of introducing a savings account for the common man with in-built Insurance coverage, so that his family needs are covered? The premium shall be small enough per month so as to enble the person to treat it as a worth-saving for the family?
MR K V KAMATH answers, Great product idea. We have similar products for other lines, could think of it for savings too
rajjev asked, 8 to 8 is a very good phenomenon. can u also make it on sunday
MR K V KAMATH answers, (Laughs). Well we do need to take a break! Seriously, the thought has crossed our mind
Milind asked, Why don't the banks have a universal ATM usage policy where the ATMs can be shared. as the number of transactions from Individual ATMs are not huge to justify installation of multiple brand ATMs at a single location (within 1 Km of one another).
MR K V KAMATH answers, will happen soon!
chindada.madhu asked, Sir Do you have any proposal to increase the minimum balance in savings account , so as to retain only quality customers ?
MR K V KAMATH answers, not at this point.
arya1999 asked, Sir, what is the most important quality which one requires in times of crisis both at personal and professional levels
MR K V KAMATH answers, Focus focus and focus! focus on the challenge, do not panic, think and respond
abhijitsarkar asked, Sir, if you had ONLY ONE WARNING to young/starting entrepreneurs of today, what would that be?
MR K V KAMATH answers, Do not get carried away with the thought that there are short cuts. There are no short cuts!
Manasa asked, Sir I want to become an entrepreneur. so what do u think is the main ingredient to become successful entrepreneur?
MR K V KAMATH answers, The ability to think on several aspects simultaneously, the ability to take decision, if necessary from the gut, the ability to execute, the ability to make teams work.
sai asked, Sir, hasn't ICICI compromised on profitability in order to gain market share. And how long is this market share sustainable? In the view that a small percentage hike causes customers to leave and every bank competing for the same customer base.
MR K V KAMATH answers, There is no growth without profitability. That is our motto!
Jacob asked, Dear Sir, ICICI is still concentrating only in urban and semi urban areas. What is your plans of tapping the rural market? Don't you think that rural people have matured enough to accept the pvt banks?
MR K V KAMATH answers, Rural India is our next horizon of growth. Using tech and partnerships our aim is to reach out to mass India, the 600,000 villages
kp asked, Dear Sir, The cut throat competition amongst the banks is causing finacial weaknesses to all the banks individually. Your bank is instrumental in trigger. Do you think in long term it will have fatal impacts on the industry as a whole?
MR K V KAMATH answers, Competition is what gets the customer the best deal. This is the universal truth. We compete, we succeed
Manasa asked, What made u 2 decide to accompany with ICICI
MR K V KAMATH answers, I joined ICICI in 1971, so its a long term commtment!
kumar asked, Hi, I have one suggestion as well as requirement.please allow the customers to pay their EMI(personal loan) through their credit card.
MR K V KAMATH answers, Great idea!
alphamurho asked, How difficult is it to move into banking field after doing an EnC BTech ? In other words, does the knowledge we accumulate during our engineering make any difference to a career in banking?
MR K V KAMATH answers, I am an engineer! So were two earlier CEOs of ICICI! So, not difficult at all! Give it a try
mouli asked, Dear Sir, With the present growth in the banking sector, do we really equipped ourself for the demand?? And what are your banks' priorities and what are the steps you are taking in terms of business goals, customer care and image???
MR K V KAMATH answers, Given the country's growth, the banking sector has to grow dramatically! It's happening, but the pace needs to increase
arya1999 asked, Good morning Mr. Kamath, I have done my masters in Management, but from mumbai university, currently I m pursuing my CFA , kindly let me know what are my prospects at ICICI
MR K V KAMATH answers, Indeed there are! U should contact our HR people
Rasheed asked, Good morning sir, i am an ex- employee of Icici bank, i would like to know, how you feel about over all banking sector now
MR K V KAMATH answers, The banking sector is doing great! And I wish you well in your career after ICICI
ashwin asked, Good Morning Sir, this is Ashwin from aamchi Mumbai. First let me congratulate you, for making ICICI Bank a global brand today. My questions are: how will the bank be able to cope with so much data and expansion, will it lead to delay in handling your systems. 2) this is something out of the box. . . whenever I go to my Branch I always find new faces, how much is the attrition rate, considering after Indian Railyways, ICICI Bank is a 2nd major recruiter.- Thnks
MR K V KAMATH answers, Great questions! As long as Moore's law is alive and kicking (and it is !) technology will not let us down! New faces: as we grew rapidly, we had to add new people. But that should notbe a problem going forward, you will see more people staying in the same branch. Attrition is a state of mind. One has to anticipate it and plan for it in the base case. We do!
Naresh asked, Another person Rebecca has also made comments about Bank's HR policy. What is the banking doing to keep its employees motivated.
MR K V KAMATH answers, Ultimately, challenge and growth are what keeps people motivated. If we have achieved anything so far, it is due to our team, our people! There would have been no success without motivating people to perform
Rajiv asked, On the corporate side, while some companies may be flush with funds raised through equity issues in the recent past, many may see their working capital costs rising in a quarter or two. Further, the rise in commodity prices is likely to put pressure on margins. Your comment on these specific issues
MR K V KAMATH answers, Corporate India is a fighting fit machine! It has reinvented itself, so much so that post deleveraging, they now have very low interest costs. So the rate increase should not be a problem.
chindada.madhu asked, Hello Sir this is Madhu Chindada from Kurnool Branch
MR K V KAMATH answers, Hi Madhu, why are u not working!
althaff asked, Dear Mr Kamath, will u personally look into some of the serious complaints and share ur e-mail id with all of us for a healthy communications, thanq
MR K V KAMATH answers, Indeed my id is
Bikram asked, Good morning, Mr Kamath, I am a management graduate, but not from an IIM or a top institute. Is there a chance for a person like me to be employed at an organisation like ICICI Bank? What do I need to do to clear your requirements to get a job at ICICI?
MR K V KAMATH answers, Indeed we recruit from a wide range of institutions! Please do write to our HR
Wilfred asked, Respected Sir, I feel that in the Banking Sector, India still borrows more innovations from overseas on banking security rather showing our strength and making other countries adopt our ideas. Still Cr./Dr. Card or online transactions are not having 100% security. I worked with Mr.SK, Sridhar & Santhanam as his Exe.Asst till Mid-2004. Infact, two years before I sent a Suggestion to Ms.Kochar, which was rejected stating that it is not possible to implement. Still I feel, my suggestion can be implemented. I can send copy of my suggestions, if you have time and interest to have a look at it.......Wilfred
MR K V KAMATH answers, Send me the suggestion!
umeshgurtoo asked, Good Morning, First of all I would like to inform you that I am one of the great fans of you, the way u have raised ICICI bank is just a story now. Sir, I just wanted to know if u are applying Six Sigma approach in your company for better quality systems if yes, can i visit ur Six Sigma team to know more abt it, if NO can you pls make it possible to implement the same. Best regards Umesh Gurto
MR K V KAMATH answers, We are, along with Five S and other tools!
althaff asked, Dear Mr Kamath, in this present electronic era any delay whatsoever is not at all acceptable either from ur side or from customer side. Many customers have expressed their dissatisfaction in the effective services. How one can reach u cofidentially to express their views against some of ur exeucties.
MR K V KAMATH answers, Write to us.
Akash asked, I am working with your HOme Loan Dev. Can I know, why the salary of lower level staff is very low in comparision to HDFC, HSBC etc.
MR K V KAMATH answers, Salaries are always benchmarked. It is an open market place. We cannot succeed if we do not pay a competitive package
Milind asked, Would Technology enabled Banking with self service model make customer loyalty difficult to achieve as One view ( for both customers and CSAs) not allow slippages in customer service. Also in this era of Service Industry are we losing the focus of "Service" as defined by Gandhiji
MR K V KAMATH answers, Service has a flip side! It is cost. So for a vast country like India, with low deposit and lending balances, if we have to scale up and serve the mass, only technology will work
kishor asked, What would be scenario in Indian banking industry five years down the line.
MR K V KAMATH answers, We will have banks which global banks will admire and look up to. It has already started to happen
Dilip asked, Sir, what are ICICI's future plans? Will it look at overseas markets or India's rural markets for growth?
MR K V KAMATH answers, yes to both, in full scale
MR K V KAMATH answers, Leveraging one self is a personal decision. It is not forced on one. Self discipline is the key. So far by and large we are not seeing an overleveraged customer. If we do see one, we will not lend
Maninder asked, Mr Kamath, how long do you think will the Indian economy keep growing the way it is? Do you see a bump ahead? What steps could be taken to keep the country on a high growth path?
MR K V KAMATH answers, When growth is ignited, as it has been in India it continues for a long time, as long as 20 to 25 years! The last case was China, and before that Japan. I do hope this happens with us
arnab asked, Good Morning, sir. Is it that ICICI prefers organic growth to M&A, as we have not seen ICICI being involved in big tickets M&As.? Also can hardcore software professionals like me be part of this coveted organisation. Any employement opportunity that your bank generates for sftwre pros.
MR K V KAMATH answers, Organic growth enables u to take the footsteps that you want, where you want.
vasanth asked, there has been a hike in Repo rate by RBI. how do think this will affect ICICI bank?
MR K V KAMATH answers, We reprice based on market movements. We do not generally take market risks.
alphanumeric asked, Please see that i want a product like one time fee for unlimited trading & no other charges in , can you please introduce this for the benefit of the day traders. As well as we love the scheme when you give give promotional brokerage rate of Rs 5 flat per trade . it would be better if u continue to give that in F& o segment everymonth. Please do something for the sake of daytrader. I need this scheme badly from . Please do something .. your kind help in this regard
will be highly appreciated. thank you
MR K V KAMATH answers, we will note this
Customer asked, Sir, all banks are using all sorts of tricks to get more and more credit card holders. Then when some of them default, banks threaten them with harm and insult. Why don't banks check well before issuing cards? What steps, in any case, are taken before issuing cards?
MR K V KAMATH answers, The decision to spend or not is with the customer. It is he who has to exercise this
Bloke asked, Dear Mr Kamath, ICICI perhaps is the only organisation where so many women hold top management positions. Do you think corporate India needs to give more space to women to break through the glass ceiling? If so, how?
MR K V KAMATH answers, Meritocracy: that is the one word I have to see this happen. If merit was adhered to the gender mix will no longer be an issue
ibankcustomer asked, Rural thrust by your bank is much desired since long time. But will it result in increase in NPA levels ?
MR K V KAMATH answers, No
Milind asked, Milind from iiitb here. Waiting for your visit to our new campus. Q1) Would Personal Credit rating data be available to indivudal after RTI act. Can It be shared to that individual so that he can improve his rating on a ongoing basis. Q2)Can customer Loyalty be measured and monetized by the customer like credit rating.
MR K V KAMATH answers, In the US your rating history is available to you and anyone who pays for it! Will happen here i guess. Loyalty is a key attribute and work is going on how to build this into the base case as it were
kaza asked, why has your bank services become so hopeless recently ? Hv u grown beyond ur control ?
MR K V KAMATH answers, No we have not grown beyond what we can manage, and we try to improve all the time. It is a continuous process
RajeshP asked, Sir, there was a time when IDBI was considered bigger than ICICI. Today, ICICI is way ahead. I don't mean to compare the two, but what strategies did you employ to make ICICI the banking giant that it is today?
MR K V KAMATH answers, this goes back to the mid nineties, when we saw the risk in being a single product company. no one believed there was a need to derisk. we did. that worked and that is the difference
ibankcustomer asked, Is the Indian economy getting oveheated ?
MR K V KAMATH answers, no i dont think so.
Rohit asked, Good Morning Sir, Its great to see ICICI going ahead in India what are your plan for International market and having a status of International bank.
MR K V KAMATH answers, thanks!
shashist asked, What are your plan for rular India or ICICI is only for metropolitan citizen.
MR K V KAMATH answers, i already answered this.
shashist asked, hello sir first of all i congratulate you for being a ceo of such a bank where professionalism is of high standard . I am an NRI and would like to know your tips for small investors. Do you have any plan to open a branch of ur bank in UAE.
MR K V KAMATH answers, in due course maybe. a small investor should not speculate, should go for value picks after sound analysis
rajjev asked, who is owner or have properitery interest in icici bank
MR K V KAMATH answers, we are listed and have a diverse shareholding structure
skumar asked, Congrats Mr. Kamath. ICICI Bank has changed the way we bank. 8 am to 8 pm is a revolutionary move. So convenient for me doing it after office hours. Hope you will provide many more features to delight the customer.
MR K V KAMATH answers, thanks.
aayushmann asked, what do think about the current tax situation in the country, when the taxes are exceptionally high and govt. does not gaurentee enough health facilities to the masses even the tax payers have to go for private health care, do you think govt. has to explain why the tax collected is not brought to proper use and explain the proper utilization to the masses what ways other than stringent and harsh laws do you think than can be brought to control corrupotion for the economic prosperity for the masses and growth
MR K V KAMATH answers, i am afraid that this is something which i cannot address
sivakumarkrishnamoorthy asked, I am sivakumar krishnamoorthy from IBM INDIA LTD AS AS System Engineer
MR K V KAMATH answers, hi
avs10478 asked, Good Morning Sir, Where u see ICICI after 5yrs down the line will be opening departmental store ... intension to ask is whether ICICI is on way of going to consumer markets Ankur Shah
MR K V KAMATH answers, i have already answered this but here goes: we would grow on the corporate, retail, international and rural areas, pushing all businesses
Rebecca asked, The HR policy in ICICIBANK is very bad. what do you say on this.
MR K V KAMATH answers, i do not agree at all.
JPDUBEY asked, What are your plans for rural India? farmers and others? Been associated for 26 years with rural banking in a nationalised bank after campus selection from IIMA in 1971. It will be interesting to hearhow you are going to revolutionise it.
MR K V KAMATH answers, i think i already answered this in response to an earlier question
alphamurho asked, Sir I am from NITK Surathkal. I am interested in a career involving decision making and wide angled fields. By this I mean that I am ready to learn and adjust to any field, provided I am allowed to make decisions based on inputs. What would be an ideal career path for me?
MR K V KAMATH answers, as i said, an engineer has a lot of options, including in banking!
prasad asked, hello sir. i am a student of NITK, surathkal. the students here are very proud that you are an alumni of this college. could share with us your experience in the college with us?
MR K V KAMATH answers, i am proud to be an alumni too! my most exciting time was as President of the Students' Union!
JPDUBEY asked, What are your plans for rural India? farmers and others? Been associated for 26 years with rural banking in a nationalised bank after campus selection from IIMA in 1971. It will be interesting to hearhow you are going to revolutionise it.
MR K V KAMATH answers, Incidentally I also had an offer from a nationalised bank in 1971 after iima !
Jairam asked, Good Morning Vaman Mam, This is Jairam Shenoy here. Hearty congratulations for all your achievements in the banking industry. Kindly convey my regards to Ajay Any major plans for south kanara region?
MR K V KAMATH answers, Hi Jairam, wish you all the best! How are dad and mom
soni asked, First of all i wish to congratulate u on the success of ICICI
MR K V KAMATH answers, thanks!
alphamurho asked, Sir how much does a engineering / strong mathematics background make a difference in later managewment work?
MR K V KAMATH answers, a lot of difference. along with other skills ofcourse. i believe that you need to build skills in subjects that you have not studied in college to succeed. like liberal arts if you are and engineer. i always make it a point to cross skill myself. i believe i have still not learnt enough and have to retrain myself every year!
prasad asked, being an engineer, how did your engineering years help you during the later years with icici
MR K V KAMATH answers, enormously!
MR K V KAMATH answers, I have already answered this.
sam asked, How do u place ICICI the way nationalise banks doing automation
MR K V KAMATH answers, We compare ourselves globally and we believe we are well benchmarked. Who ever wants to use technology, today has to benchmark globally
pm asked, It is such an honour to post a question to you.ICICI is Synonym to Bank...and I think ICICICI has revolutionised the Banking sector in India. I have had the honour with banking with ICICI since beegining (just a small saving a small NRE ac). However, in last 5+ years I have seen the bank and specially the brach where I bank (Udaipur, Rajasthan) growing leaps and bounces. However, probably the personaly touch and customer first has not been able to grow at that pace. I know it should not be directed to you, but being the head of such a gr8 family (ICICI) it shoudl be in your notice as well. How would you like to respond to such comments
MR K V KAMATH answers, Thanks for the good words! we have to continuously strive to achieve service quality levels which our customers expect. Use of technology is something unavoidable today, so the personal interface is probably less than what it would have been
paNKJ asked, HI THERE
MR K V KAMATH answers, Hi!!
Raj asked, Hello Sir, this is Raj here. Would like to ask you if there's a leadership framework which ICICI works on, given the stupendous growth it had in the last few years
MR K V KAMATH answers, Indeed we have! if not we would not be where we are! It lays emphasis on youth, entreprenurial ability, learning to live with diversity and so on.
jhimni asked, Will the financial system collapse if ICICI crumbles? What are you doing to ensure it doesn't?
MR K V KAMATH answers, we have a strong financial system and we are strong!
rahul123 asked, How do you see home loan rate in next 3 to 4 years, will they go up or come down?
MR K V KAMATH answers, will depend on monetary policy
insider asked, What kind of consolidation u foresee in banking industy in india ? dont u think india has too many banks doing same thing ?
MR K V KAMATH answers, will happen
biswajit asked, sir,since 1991 economic reform,have the ICICIchanged their structure,org,credit dorected?
MR K V KAMATH answers, indeed we have changed the structure continuously in the last ten years. We have to, to be able to respond to the changing business that we do
pn asked, Kamathmam, Good morning, DO you think some of the requirements like Basel and Sarbanes Oxley are relevant and could be made mandatory in indian fin industry
MR K V KAMATH answers, they are being made mandatory. basel for all banks. sarbanes for us listed companies
surendra asked, since repo and rev.repo are for short term funds, why do bank change PLR?
MR K V KAMATH answers, your overall cost is made up of all the borrowing you have. and also see the change inthe ten year bond. it has gone up one percent in three months.
kamathvk asked, Dear Mr.Kamath,I believe ICICI is expanding in terms of employee size to offer wider range of services and support to their esteemed customers like me..Would like to know,what is the approx. employee strength of your Bank and what are your plans in terms of hiring in the coming years..How do you plan to acheive them ?? Do reply pls (I am a kamath too from Managalore..Reachable at !!)
MR K V KAMATH answers, hi, we employ over 25000 people and are recruiting about 6000 a year
satya asked, mr you think dat there are too many loopholes in the indian banking sector
MR K V KAMATH answers, no
MR K V KAMATH answers, technology
Karthick asked, In cities services are good. in rural u have to improve service quality
MR K V KAMATH answers, will do
Verghese asked, Sir, I must say that you are way ahead of all other Indian private banks in terms of online banking activities. Keep up the good work and God bless you.
MR K V KAMATH answers, thanks
PrasadMadhira asked, I am a Private Banking & Priority circle member of your Insurance arm. I find the service levels for priority customers are very poor at Branch levels, though the bank technically offers the best features compared to other networked banks. same with the Insurance the service levels & moral standards at Unit manager & advisor levels are very poor ; In response to my pending complaints for more than six months action is not forthcoming in case of my Insurance policies
MR K V KAMATH answers, we will address this
Ravindra asked, U r really a great banker..All the best for you. BTw, ICICI Bank chargens are comparatively higher than other banks.. any plans to reduce the chanrges ?
MR K V KAMATH answers, thanks
Ravindra asked, U r really a great banker..All the best for you. BTw, ICICI Bank chargens are comparatively higher than other banks.. any plans to reduce the chanrges ?
MR K V KAMATH answers, thanks
MR K V KAMATH says, Hi thank you all for being here. i know that several of you believe i did not answer customer issues. please mail me directly at and i will see that these are addressed.

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