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Saturday, March 19, 2005

SBI plans to deploy 5000 employees in marketing push (Business Standard)

SBI plans to deploy 5000 employees in marketing push
(Business Standard)
Poornima Mohandas / Mumbai March 19, 2005


State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to deploy about 5,000 employees as marketing personnel
and relationship managers across the top 50 cities in the country by 2008.

By the same time the bank also aims to change the role of its branches and network all the 14,
000 branches of the SBI group.

The stress on sales and marketing functions has come as an outcome of the overhaul that the
country’s largest bank is going through. The business reengineering exercise, titled ‘Operation
Vijay’, is expected to yield results by 2008.

The concept of marketing is a big cultural change for a public sector bank where the staff was
used to working in the comfort of a bank branch.

“But now the attitude will slowly have to change. We need employees out on the street to sell and
cross-sell all our loan products,” said bank officials.

As of now SBI has just about 150 people engaged in marketing. About half of them are
relationship managers for corporate, mid-corporate and high net worth clients.

“As people get trained in these functions, they will be asked to train more staff,” said bank
officials.

SBI, with a staff force of 2 lakh, says it will not need to recruit fresh people for these relatively new
functionalities.

The bank also plans to change the look and feel of its branches by 2008. Only the front staff will
be in the branches soon. The staff beyond the counters, who look after records, will all be part of
different processing centres. This is similar to the model adopted in most the private banks in the
country.

By 2008, the bank also aims to put all the 14,000 branches of the SBI group (9,000 of SBI and the
remaining that of the seven associate banks) on the centralised banking system which will
interconnect them. At present, all the 14,000 branches have been computerised on a standalone
basis.

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