Bathinda: ICICI Bank organised a conclave for MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) in Bathinda to discuss the role of digital banking to make business more convenient to the segment. The conclave is part of the Bank’s initiative across the country to reach out to MSME companies. The conclave saw a participation of promoters and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of over 150 companies from various industries based in the city.
Mr. Vishal Batra, Retail Business Head – North Zone, ICICI Bank said, “ICICI Bank continues to be a catalyst in accelerating the growth of MSMEs and believe technology will play an important role in developing this sector. The MSME sector is the backbone of our economy and plays a crucial role in providing large-scale employment and industrialization of rural and backward areas. The biggest challenges faced by MSMEs include financing, reconciliation and the need for guidance at every stage of their life cycle. Keeping this in mind, we have strategically designed digital banking products offering innovative solutions in order to help MSMEs do business with ease and scale up operations. The MSME Conclave at Bathinda showcases our digital banking products that cater to the varied business needs of MSME customers.”
The conclave witnessed an engaging panel discussion with experts from industry associations, leading industrialists of the city along with senior officials of ICICI Bank. The topics covered in the panel discussion included emerging opportunities and challenges faced by MSMEs, outlook on international market & its impact on India, future course of forex market and the need for digital banking platforms for the MSME segment.
Panelists comprised of representatives from renowned industries in the city, including Mr. Ghosh Kumar, President, Bathinda Distributors Association; Mr. S. Manohar Singh, Vice President, New Wholesale Cloth Merchants Association; Mr. Raman Watts, President, Bathinda Chamber of Commerce & Industry and CA Mr. Puneet Oberoi, along with ICICI Bank officials namely, Mr. Gaurav Arora, Zonal Head (ETRG) – North and Mr. Bhupesh Aggarwal, Zonal Head (Retail).
ICICI Bank is the first in the country to have introduced a multitude of digital innovations for MSMEs, which provides them with a state-of-the-art digital facility right from the stage of initiation till maturity.
These key tailor-made products and services for MSME businesses include:
· Digital opening of current account in a few hours: This is India’s first digital application form that enables customers to open current account in a few hours using tablets and smartphones. The facility enhances convenience as it captures information about the customer and the business digitally, and verifies KYC documents in real-time, at the premise of the customer.
· Fully digital platform for export import transactions: The Bank has introduced ‘Trade Online’, a compelling digital banking platform that enables large, medium and small sized corporates as well as MSMEs to undertake almost all of their export-import transactions online, eliminating physical documentation. It brings in significant convenience to customers as they are no longer required to visit a bank branch to initiate a trade transaction. They can now do so from anywhere, anytime in a secure manner.
· Mobile app for collecting payments from customers: The Bank introduced ‘Eazypay’, the country’s first mobile app for merchants, professionals and traders that enables them to accept payments through multiple digital modes.
· Connected Banking: ICICI Bank has partnered with several ERP service providers with a view to bring in the concept of ‘Connected Banking’ for MSMEs. These partnerships resonate the Bank’s efforts at co-creating solutions that amalgamate services like banking, accounting and reconciliation on a single platform.
· Quick working capital facilities: The Bank has recently introduced a slew of innovative services such as instant overdraft facility of up to Rs. 15 lakhs as well as business loans based on GST returns for its MSME customers. These propositions have been specifically designed to enable MSMEs fulfill their working capital requirements.
The Bank has a gamut of digital banking services like 24X7 available cash acceptance machines and cash management solutions that were discussed in detail at the event. ICICI Bank has 264 branches and 427 ATMs in Punjab. It has 6 branches and 12 ATMs in Bathinda which creates largest branch network of among private sector banks in the city.