Bank of India

This blog is dedicated to the hospitality shown by the Bank Of India.

As I have started my new venture with two friends of mine, we thought of going to banks and enquiring about the process and details for opening a Current Account.We went to IDBI, ICICI and till then the representatives of these banks answered most of our queries and cleared our doubts ( as there is lot of paperwork involved in opening an account ) . Plus , as usual, these banks were quiet eager to take a new customer.

Then we went to Bank Of India. Before I write down today's experience , let me mention about my past experiences with this Bank : I had a Savings A/c with this bank. Twice I went to them for a DD and both times I had to wait for 2 hrs to get it done. And the previous time I had visited the bank to remove money, ( I was still in college ) they started asking me questions as though I looked like a conman to them. Well, I dont blame them,with so much fraud happening , and people being prejudiced, they had their reasons.

Anyways, today I went there hoping things have changed. I went inside, asked a person about where to enquire for opening a Current A/c. She directed me to a lady sitting in a corner. My friend and I went to that lady, and this is what happened :

Me : Hello,Me and my friends have just started a firm. We want to open a Current A/c.

( Lady looks at us with a suspicious glare, and tells us to wait. Not to mention, she didnt offer us to sit. After 5 minutes... )

Lady : What proof do you have to open a Current A/c. ( Again, with a very cross look , as if examining us or interrogating us in a court trial . I think she believed we were strolling outside, and came inside this bank just to pass away our time )

Me : The Agreement made between us friends, for the firm.

Lady : And address proof ? ( No, we dont have that as we are running our business from M G Road footpath !!!! )

Me : That will be procured.

Lady ( Not looking satisfied ) : Where is your office ?

Me : Vishrantwadi. ( Its a remote area , kind of a suburb )

Lady : So why dont you go to so many banks in Yerwada ? ( Yerwada houses lot of banks, mostly Co-op Banks. Its a very shady kind of place where it is quite risky to open a Current A/c )

Lady : Plus, the minimum balance in this bank is very high.

Me : How much ?

Lady : It is Rs. 25,000 .

( She was waiting for a look of depression or shock on our face at these words )

Me : Thats ok.

Lady : But how will you operate from Vishrantwadi? You will have to come here everyday.

Me ( ignoring her ) : And what about Outstation cheques/At Par cheque facility ?

Lady : That is available, but no OD ( over draft) will be given initially.

Me : For how long ? For how many months ?

Lady : Atleast 6 months, or longer than that.

Me ( wanting to close the discussion ) : Ok, but the minimum balance is 25K ?

Lady ( sternly ) : Yeah .

( I soon realized it is useless getting more details from her , and we walked out from there )

I had many terrible experiences before - with SBI, BoI , but that was all because of huge queue, inability of staff to handle operations, inefficient working of the Bank's infrastructure. But this experience was the worst. Its because the Bank ( represented by the Lady ) was not keen to get a new customer. We were not keen to open an account in BoI. We went there for details. If the details would have suited us, we would have gone ahead with opening the a/c. But they actually wanted to avoid us opening a account in their bank.Nothing can be worse than this. I have never seen a vendor/establishment/institution trying to push away probable customers.

Maybe it was the Lady's prejudice that led us to this experience. But that is not how businesses are run. Maybe if we had interacted with some other employee, the experience would have been different. But that doesnt matter.In a corporation/institution, each and every employee - right from the receptionist to the Manager - represent their organization and the values that the organization stands for. People associate the organization with the employees they interact with. Each and every employee should be trained and should act accordingly.

We went to HDFC after that, where the lady at the help desk was very friendly. She first asked us what is our Business into, and what type of transactions are we looking for. She then explained all the details that were required. I am actually considering going for HDFC , even though they are not providing many Outstation Cheque facilities which are being provided by other banks for the same Minimum Average Quaterly Balance.

Organizations need to build a relationship with their customers. There needs to be a sense of trust between the vendor and customer. It is very important , atleast in this fast-pace world to offer more than just services. Providing services alone is not enough.

Comments

Seriously Funny said…
Your last para seems like the advertisement for ICICI Bank... :)
Nice post BTW... A very commonly encountered scenario.
Anonymous said…
Rishi,

Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship. After multiple false starts on my efforts to document the travails of starting an IT company we finally ran short of time and chose instead to start another company.
Regarding your specific question on choosing a bank, we went thru that exercise as well and considered HSBC and CitiBank as well as viable other options. I like the HSBC Service but they have high minimum balance requirements.

I like HDFC's branch in Kalyani Nagar since they offer personalized service (being smallish) so that would be my recommendation.

But if all your employees have ICICI bank accounts you might want to use the ICICI bank service which has all the perks and has an overdraft facility after a year. The big plus is the instant transfer facility from current to the savings accounts, online reporting and transactions, billPay and a Debit Card facility.

PS. I say with certainty that i am not an ICICI employee or (satisfied) customer.
Rishi Agarwal said…
Hi anonymous,

thanx a lot for the info. Will seriously consider the Kalyani Nagar Branch of HDFC as we operate in that area only.

The main problem with ICICI is that - I have very less trust on them. Till now , not a single person has told me that he/she is satisfied with this bank's service ( even after providing a range of internet and telephone banking ).

I am looking for Bank of Baroda too. If there are any suggestions on this bank, please comment
Anonymous said…
Did not hear good things about bank of baroda, especially in pune.

But of late they have taken major initiatives to become customer friendly (like the corporate center on S B Road)

I like the plethora of services provided by ICICI bank and we (continue) to bank with them since they have a branch in London (where our new HQ is) as well.

HDFC bank (Kalyani Nagar) is still your best bet if you decide to move away from ICICI bank.

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