From humble beginnings, bank celebrates growth

FROM humble beginnings to its present status as India’s international bank, the Bank of Baroda’s (BoB) has seen a modest growth in its operations in Fiji.

Since their expansion to Fiji in 1961 with the opening of its first Branch at Marks St in Suva, the bank has also consolidated a strong customer base of more than 95,727 customers nationwide.

Now with eight branches at major centres in Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Nausori, Labasa, Sigatoka and Rakiraki, BoB has further plans for expansion and is exploring the feasibility of opening more branches in Fiji.

A testament to this is the bank’s total business pegging $988.20 million with a gross profit of $11m as of March 31, 2017.

This was highlighted by the bank’s chief executive officer (Fiji Operations) Govindsing Babusing Rajput, 110th Foundation Day celebrations in Suva on Thursday night.

The event commemorates the bank’s 110th year of its operations internationally since their establishment in the princely state of Baroda, in Western India on July 20, 1908.

“Bank of Baroda’s journey has been a saga of vision, enterprise, financial prudence and corporate governance,” Mr Rajput said.

“It is a story of ordinary bankers and their extraordinary contribution to make the bank what it is today.”

Mr Rajput paid tribute to Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad III, a great visionary who supported the idea of setting up the commercial bank in India.

“He strongly believed that a bank of this nature would prove to be a beneficial agency for lending, transmission and deposit of money and a powerful factor in the development of the art, industries and commerce of the State and adjoining territories,” he said.

“This dream grew over the decades as a large international bank with over 5436 branches in India with 10520 ATMs supported by self-service channels.

“The bank is the second largest public sector bank in India having 52,420 employee and more than 71 million customer base.”

Mr Rajput said its Fiji operation is manned by 148 dedicated and committed staff members, which includes nine Indian expats.

And in a bid to increase its innovation, the bank has developed a sound IT platform to serve its customers and their requirements better with the evolving digital times.

“All eight branches are on core banking platforms with on-site ATMs.

“To add to these eight on-site ATMs, there are nine more off-site ATMs & EFTPOS facility in technical collaboration with Bank of South Pacific (BSP),” Mr Rajput said.

The bank also conducted a soft launch to its three new digital products, which will see a more convenient and smooth service meeting the financial needs of its customers and stakeholders

“Now the bank is going to implement mobile-banking services, remittance to India through its ATMs and internet banking for easy, instant and hassle free remittance, MPass Book Mobile App to generate account statement in Fiji,” Mr Rajput said.

The event was officiated by Indian High Commissioner to Fiji Vishvas Sapkal.

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