RBL Bank is financial services company of the year: VCCircle Awards

RBL Bank Ltd has witnessed a complete transformation over the past seven years since the new management took over the operations of the erstwhile Ratnakar Bank Ltd in 2009-10. From a small regional bank based out of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, its network of 201 branches is now spread across 16 states and union territories.

The bank has seen its deposits soar 15 times from Rs 1,585 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 24,350 crore in 2015-16. Net profit surged from Rs 19 crore to Rs 297 crore during the period. 

It was, therefore, of no surprise that the bank was selected for the VCCircle Financial Services Company of the Year award by an eminent jury panel chaired by Arun Duggal, the chairman of ICRA, an Indian subsidiary of ratings agency Moody’s.

The private sector bank’s success story not only saw marquee investors putting in almost Rs 1,500 crore in four rounds since 2010, its initial public offer was also subscribed 70 times, pointing to rising investor interest in the institution.

Its investors include CDC Group, International Finance Corporation, Norwest Venture Partners, Samara Capital, HDFC Bank, Faering Capital, Beacon India Private Equity Fund, Gaja Capital, Aditya Birla PE and IDFC Alternatives, among others.

Along the way, the new management led by former Bank of America executive Vishwavir Ahuja, has revamped its operations, brand image and technology infrastructure to cater to the evolving banking sector in the country. In the process, its clientele, too, has undergone massive transformation – from servicing just local traders until six years ago, it has now expanded its base to cater to the needs of both the poorest farmers in the hinterland and the biggest companies in Mumbai.

RBL has also worked on its internal processes through the introduction of risk management and corporate governance practices, and has given stock options to its staff to keep them motivated. The strategy has paid off and goes a long way to help the bank take on its private sector peers in a competitive market.

The bank had acquired certain Indian businesses of the Royal Bank of Scotland, including RBS’s business banking, credit card and mortgage portfolio businesses, in 2013-14. It also acquired a significant stakes in Swadhaar FinServe Pvt Ltd and Utkarsh Micro Finance Pvt Ltd, which has applied for a small finance bank license.

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