Saturday, 19 June 2010

Swagat at HDFC Bank.. Welcoming the new blood into business..

Swagat is the induction program conducted by HDFC Bank for its new joinees. The objective of this program is to introduce the bank, its business, its products, its objectives, its core values, etc to the people who come on board for the first time. In most cases, the employees are asked to attend this program within the completion of the 1st month of joining. However, the same would depend on availability factors

I was pretty lucky to get this opportunity to attend it at such an early point of time. I was super excited when I got to know that I shall be going for the same from 14 Jun to 19 Jun 2010. My friends who are in HDFC Bank told me that they had to wait for 3-4 months for their Swagat scheduling to happen due to various factors like non availability of enough seats or very less number of recruitments happening and other factors. However, I was lucky enough to get it so soon. I joined on 8th and the Swagat was scheduled for me on 14th

On 14th morning of the month of June 2010, I reached the venue, namely Hotel Confident Propus (near Langford Gardens). I reached on time and saw that a good number of people had come. The trainer assigned to us was Ms Harsha Sahni. The first day was a general induction program where the concentration was purely on the bank, its history, its people, its objectives, its values, its cultures, etc. A large number of people attended this program. It was told later that half the people will not be coming from tomorrow as they shall be attending some other training at a later point of time. I was in the other half who were scheduled to be trained this week only

The next 5 days were spent in learning about the bank's products, services, processes, laws, rules, etc. Of course, there was a lot of fun with a lot of competitions being conducted by making different teams. I made the best out of it by having a lot of fun. After all, this was the time to do it. I was quite happy on the final day when the test was conducted and I scored the highest marks in it (which was least expected from me as I was the youngest and the most mischievous amongst all). Though I had the maximum fun, I never compromised even for a moment on learning. Banking is my passion & this kept my drive to learn on the highest gear

It was a great time spent in this week. I got to know a lot of people at work. We had some good fun in the class and enjoyed the time. It was a time quite well spent. There were even people coming from outstation (Mysore, Hospet, Belgaum, etc). The food served too was fantastic. Its now time to put this learning into practice & start working towards the goals. The performance expected from the employees is of quite a high standard at HDFC Bank. So, there automatically arises a need to rise up to these expectations

The Swagat has come to an end. The SuSwagat awaits to happen on Monday. Good luck to me and to everyone. Welcome to HDFC Bank- We Understand Your World

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Assistant Manager (Retail) at HDFC Bank Ltd, Hunsamaranahalli, Bengaluru..

After all the circus that happened over the past 5 months, I have finally switched on to something constant. The huge fluctuations in the past few months was quite dramatic and made life, if not miserable, difficult. Everything went haywire and I kept swapping from one option to another option. I was back to my genes of uncertainty. Uncertainty is one big issue that I confront in my life. Of course, nothing is certain in life. However, in my case, this uncertainty is raised to the power of infinity. I have tried many a times to block this uncertainty by locking myself into something certain like doing a job. Honestly, I still consider my job as a way to beat my fickle mindedness. I do not yet take it as an option for career growth or earning money. My fickle mindedness and the countless options this mind gives me almost makes me go mad and so, I decided to put an end to this. As soon as I gave the last exam of CA PE-II, I quickly started to search a job. And in a week, I found out all the places that had openings and gave interviews wherever needed. There were numerous offerings that I received in BPOs, call centers & analyst profiles. The packages too were quite good. But, it was on my mind that I shall do a banking job only. I always wanted to be a banker. Thats perhaps the reason why I had a change from science to commerce after class 12th and then, after my graduation, I even did a PGD in Banking Operations. I have always been having this core passion of being a banker and a lot of effort has been made my me in this direction, though in vain till now, since a long time

I could attend only 2 interviews for banking jobs. I did not get to know if recruitments were happening in other banks. One was at Standard Chartered Bank & the other was at HDFC Bank. I was selected at both the places. However, I chose to go with HDFC Bank as I was offered a larger scale of operation and work (though a lesser salary)

There was a test to attest the intelligence of the persons who came over for the interviews. It was more like the competitive examinations testing on English, Maths, Logical thinking, Aptitude, etc. I guess, I did well in it. I was asked to wait for the interview. This was something that I liked because the hassle of coming again for the interview or following up could be avoided. The interview was taken by the Circle Head and I was selected. I was told that I shall be called later for further formalities

Things happened quite quickly. The interview was given by me on May 22nd & the offer was made by HDFC Bank to me on 01 June. I was offered the job role of an Assistant Manager (Retail). I was asked for the acceptance so that they could assign a branch location for me. I agreed. And on 08 June 2010, I was asked to join the Hunsamaranahalli branch of the bank with immediate effect. I had to rush to collect the joining kit from the HO in Bangalore. And then, there was a problem. I did not have any formals to wear. It was very awkward. I did not carry any formal wear from Hubli as I was having no plans to do a job. I wore a black shirt, a jeans pant & sports shoes to their office and the HR was astounded. I was asked to change and then go to the branch. I went to the nearest retail outlet and shopped for a shirt & shoes. Later, I went home, wore a formal pant & a tie, took all the necessary items and started my journey

Hunsamaranahalli is about 20-25 kilometers from Bangalore. It is a semi urban branch and is a part of the HDFC Bank's initiative to have a branch every 3 kms. It is a relatively new branch. I was heavily confused on the way to take to to reach this place. I had got the contact number of the branch manager. I called him and asked him the route. I got to know that it is located almost near Devanahalli International Airport. The bank believed that there is enormous business opportunity coming up on the airport road and its better to be there before others recognize it. However, my view of this place was quite different. I sincerely believe that no miracle can make this place business worthy at least in the next 3-5 years. Yet, I recognized it as an opportunity as we could make hay even before the sun starts shining. Thats the mantra for today's business as the world has switched on to such a fast track. Call JustDial and ask them something and before even you disconnect the call, you would calls waiting from the sellers & service providers. I'm afraid, a day will come when you call someone for some information and before even you get the information, you would be surrounded by all the vendors snatching you and tearing you apart. Thats the information era

With this switch from the dreams of 'entrepreneurship' to the regular role of 'Jahanpanaah tussi great ho, tofu kubool karo', I intend to mainly put some more discipline & decisiveness in to my life. I keep thinking and doing so many things that I end up completing nothing. That is one of the biggest complaint everyone has against me. I am a great starter but once the things are set, I get to start something else. With the job, I shall at least be stuck to this one thing which I have to continue and complete each day. The branch manager was quite impressed to see my marks and experience and also happy to note that I was decisive that I wanted to be a banker. Thank God, marks cards and certificates do not speak off line stories. The BM is from Tumkur and was quite happy to see a kannada speaking person join the team. This, being a new branch, had only 4 employees- the BM, the teller (cashier), the authorizer & the welcome desk. With my entry, the welcome desk officer was moved to another nearby branch (Sadahalli). So, we are now only 4 persons in the branch.There are other off roll employees who primarily take care of sales of CASA products, loans, insurance, demat, etc. Now, my task is to involve myself in all the branch operations. Be it offering services, assisting customers, boosting performance, increasing sales, achieving all the targets set for the branch, doing whatever necessary to increase profitability & productivity, etc

I got introduced to everyone at work. Though there was no royal welcome or something, the smiles that I was seeing on the faces of everyone was more than sufficient. The seat that I was taking over was vacant for more than 2 months. Whoever was offered this place denied to work for the simple reason that the place was out of Bangalore and the business possibility would be zero which will be a direct hit on the performance and growth prospects. Now, its time to see how I will tackle this challenge. I know, the world is watching

From 'Vishwas Hai to Sabkuch Hai' to 'We Understand Your World', the transformation of business values, ethics, culture, thoughts, etc has to happen. I definitely do not deny there is a huge difference in the DNAs of these two organizations. Its time to put some in my blood and start the race