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HDFC plans to expand its rural reach

HDFC Bank, a private lender, plans to double its presence to two lakh villages in the next 18-24 months, covering a third of India’s villages. Currently, the bank serves a total of 1 lakh villages. The bank intends to expand its branch network and business correspondents, facilitators, and digital outreach platforms.

“India’s rural and semi-urban markets are under-served in credit extension,” said Rahul Shukla, Group Head – Commercial and Rural Banking, HDFC Bank. “They present sustainable long-term growth opportunities for the Indian banking system. Going forward, we dream of making ourselves accessible in every pin code.” 

HDFC Bank intends to hire 2,500 workers over the next six months as part of this business plan. The private lender now has over 550 districts where its products and services are available to micro and medium businesses. Its rural banking services are currently available in 1 lakh Indian villages, with plans to expand to 2 lakh by the end of the year.

“Our digital initiatives will play a big role in deepening our penetration in the remotest corners of India and help us extend credit to those who have remained financially excluded despite the progress of our nation,” Shukla added. 

In unbanked and under-banked areas, the bank already offers personalized loan products such as pre-and post-harvest crop loans, two-wheeler and vehicle loans, gold jewellery loans, and other customized loan products. It added that it will now tailor its services to the rapidly changing rural ecosystem.

“The Government of India through a variety of schemes is transforming rural economics. We believe in following the direction, as a responsible leader in the banking and financial services space, by making best-in-class banking products and services accessible to all sections of the society,” Shukla added. 

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