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Amidst the dirge songs on dismal bank performances, the record of Karur Vysya Bank provides great relief.

Participating in the centenary celebrations of KVB, President Pranab Mukherjee said that the Indian banking system and the Indian economy are doing reasonably well compared to their western counterparts. President Mukherjee, who held the portfolio of revenue and banking in 1975, pointed to the spectacular growth of banking over the last four decades: the number of branches has increased from 6800 to 117,000.


Original identity still preserved...


KVB was promoted by enterprising leaders of Vysya community in Karur to mobilise the savings of society and meeting its credit needs. Managing Director K Venkataraman (KV) described its evolution: starting with one office in 1916, KVB opened its first branch in 1927, 100th in 1977 and 200th in 1997. In line with the rapid growth of the economy in the first decade of the new millennium, KVB has been registering spectacular expansion post-2007. Today, it has a pan-India branch network of 683, 1691 ATMs and 386 cash deposit machines.  KV pointed to the impressive CAGR of 19 per cent recorded over the last five years, in a period when the sector has been struggling with a slowdown, stressed assets, increasing provisions…

For the year ended 31 March 2016, KVB had a total business of Rs. 89,555 crore. The resources were prudently employed with a credit deposit ratio of 78.83 per cent. The operations have been profitable; net profit for the last year was Rs. 567.63 crore, owned funds were at a handsome Rs.4572.95 crore related to a paid up equity of just Rs.121.86 crore. The capital adequacy ratio was a comfortable 12.17 per cent and net NPA 0.55 per cent.

With the evolution of Karur as a vibrant textile centre and a builder of sophisticated bus bodies over commercial vehicles and housing, this century-old bank has catalysed a couple of large industries: Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd that pioneered newsprint-based on bagasse and a cement plant of the Chettinad Cement Corporation are located in Karur.


Differentiated banking  and digital excellence


The spectacular record was built on technology, systems, and modern management practices. Venkataraman pointed to the two-pronged strategy of differentiated banking and going digital. The bank has positioned itself as a niche bank for small and medium enterprises with customised packages of products to cater to the particular needs of different trade and industry segments. KV pointed to the domain knowledge accumulated by its managers that have been used to keep track of the health of various sectors, assessing specific requirements and developing special product packages.  

It should not, therefore, be surprising that KVB should have reached the 100-year milestone on its original identity with the professional progeny of the original founders still in control of the centenarian.

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