What is your view on the state of the Indian economy and HDFC Bank in particular?
India has a great future based as we are one of the fastest growing economies in the world. We have got a stable exchange rate. We have got good fiscal policies and now the oil price also seems to be favouring us. Most importantly, we are going to be one of the leaders in technology. We will leapfrog over the rest. Technology will allow us to serve semi-urban and rural India where 60% of the population lives and bring traditional banking to them.
We also want to use technology to be able to go to a much wider market place and introduce more and more products that are relevant. We want to participate in project finance. When we look at it and the developments of the financial, debt, currency and the derivatives markets, we feel that with a dedicated work force, clearly defined systems, the use of technology can become a euphemism or it can be something that is relevant.
We have used it to either reduce our cost and/or give much better service to the customers. For instance, today we consider ourselves to be a financial experience rather than just a bank. With technology, we can give you a loan in 10 seconds whether it is a personal loan or car loan or two- wheeler loan, loan against shares or mutual funds. We can also give you far greater shopping experience.
You want the cheapest mobile, if you come through us, we will shop and compare, take you to the cheapest place and then give you 10x reward points. You want consumer durable loan without interest, you come to us. These are all things for an aspirational India. We believe it is a fantastic opportunity.
The key RBI board meet would discuss various issues. One would be the relaxation of PCA norms. Is this really needed to boost credit in the system given the liquidity crisis?
I believe that the discussion should be behind closed doors by people who are competent to do that and a constructive decision is always welcome.
On the liquidity crisis, the situation seems to have improved. Are we out of the woods?
We are almost out of the woods. I would not consider it as a crisis at this point in time. The Indian banking and economic system is safe, secure and sound.