Rana Kapoor: The banker who believed in Inclusive and Social Banking

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Yes Bank has always walked on the path of responsible and dutiful banking, as carved out by its Founder and former MD & CEO, Rana Kapoor

Even as it cemented its position as a major private banking player, Yes Bank kept sight of the trajectory laid down by its Founder, Rana Kapoor. Working diligently in pursuit of “Responsible Banking” ethos, he prioritized sustainable initiatives which were supported by the framework to “Promote, Invest, Engage, Collaborate and Monitor”. He defined Responsible Banking as, “In today’s increasingly interconnected societies and economies, the solution to our shared challenges and ambitions requires a collective, ‘glocal’ approach that is driven through ‘Alliances, Relationships and Technology”.

The central tenet behind Yes Bank’s Inclusive & Social Banking was the belief that not only would this contribute to inclusive growth, but it would also improve social justice for Indians who were yet to be formally inducted into the banking sphere. In this regard, it launched various schemes to offer solutions and services to ‘emerging India’, with special focus on rural and semi-urban areas.

Envisaged by Rana Kapoor, the Frugal Innovations for Financial Inclusion (FI4FI), the Bank’s specialist Business Unit for Inclusive and Social Banking (ISB), operated to utilize ICT and frugal business models to deliver targeted financial solutions. By leveraging the Bank’s vast branch network, technical edge, and relationships in Public, Private, and Social Sectors, ISB aimed to reach out to those who are financially marginalized in society.

With the Livelihood Enhancement Action Program, ‘YES LEAP’, the bank empowered over 230,000 Self Help Groups across 260 districts through its lending and financing schemes. It formed partnerships with NGOs, private institutions, SHGs and expanded its reach to almost 20 lakh homes, especially in rural areas. The digital recording of payments, receipts, and SHG meetings enhanced the effect and delivery of YES LEAP.

Another committed initiative by the bank under his leadership was the YES Joint Liability Group (JLG). It formed a network of NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Institutions) and MFIs (Microfinance Institutions Group) across the nation to connect the financially distraught groups with direct credit and financing. Between March 2015 to March 2017, YES JLG reached 153,717 members and incorporated 16 Business Correspondents to focus on term loans and income generation.

Rana Kapoor understood the inadequacies of conventional banking in truly reaching the millions of people living in the remote and distant locations across India. To resolve this limitation, he launched YES SAHAJ in 2011 as a means to deliver banking with last-mile connectivity. It offered real-time monitoring of repayment collections and saving amounts as well as it acted as a platform for remittance operations for YES LEAP and YES MONEY. Its innovative approach was supported by technological application mobile penetration as a cost-effective micro-ATM service.

With a special attention to the huge dairy sector, ISB conceptualized a dedicated package of solutions through the YES Kisan Dairy Plus. It connected the small milk producers and the big buyers on the same banking platform, which enabled the producers to collect their receivables immediately. Thus, time difference between the procurement and the sale of milk and dairy products no longer led to small milk farmers waiting on delayed payments.

As a result of the bank’s Livelihoods and Water Security programme launched under the leadership of Rana Kapoor, approximately 3.66 crore people in Maharashtra, Delhi, and Goa now have access to clean drinking water. Further, with its environmental sustainability initiatives in the MSME sector, it impacted 2,229 MSME units and over 10,425 people in 11 states.

The immense success and vision of these initiatives under Rana Kapoor was acclaimed and recognized for their intensive efforts toward Inclusive and Social Banking. The bank was accorded the AAA rating for Environment, Social and Governance Excellence by MSCI ESG in 2016. At the 2016 Euromoney Excellence Awards, it was also deemed Asia’s Best Bank for CSR, showcasing its commitment towards social and responsible banking.

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