ICICI wants others to follow 'digital village' model: Chanda Kochhar

Mumbai: Expecting her 'ICICI digital village' project to become a role model, the private sector bank's chief Chanda Kochhar says she wants other entities to come forward and launch similar projects.Other entities can come up
icici wants others to follow digital village...
PTI January 06, 2015 10:42 IST

Mumbai: Expecting her 'ICICI digital village' project to become a role model, the private sector bank's chief Chanda Kochhar says she wants other entities to come forward and launch similar projects.

Other entities can come up with more such projects either alone or in groups, Kochhar said.

Joining Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Digital India ' programme, ICICI Bank has developed Akodara in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat into a 'Digital Village'.

This 'digital village' was dedicated to the nation by Modi on Friday at a function here at the bank's headquarters to mark 60-year celebrations of the group since the erstwhile ICICI Ltd was set up in 1955.

The group completed its 60 years on Monday. When asked whether the bank would expand this project to more villages, Kochhar told that the group first wants to make it a role model for everyone.

"As of now, we do not have any number in mind (for more such projects), but we want to make it a role model. We have already ensured that every adult in this village, not just households, have a banking account and they do not need to wait for the cash to do any financial transaction.

"From here on, we would want that other entities can also come forward and join this initiative, either alone or in partnerships, to take this project to other villages," said Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank.

Kochhar said the bank's activities in this digital village is not limited to providing cashless banking through digital platforms, but was focussed on use of technology in all aspects of every resident there.

"On banking we have digitised all our offerings – from opening an account to sale of goods to purchase of products, including milk from the vendor or kirana stores.

"At the same time, we have digitised the school records, the Gujarat syllabus and even teaching methods and tools," she said.

On role of technology in financial inclusion, she said technology has indeed been a key factor in taking banking to villages and other areas of the country and would play an even greater role going forward.

"In the last four years, we have given a lot of focus to financial inclusion and have opened two crore basic accounts, while all of them have one or other digital base," she added.

ICICI Bank is India's largest private sector bank with total assets of Rs 5,94,642 crore (USD 99 billion) as on March 31, 2014 and profit after tax of Rs 9,810 crore (USD 1.6 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2014. It has a network of 3,845 branches and 12,012 ATM's across India.

 
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