Bilateral trade benefits the two countries involved in more ways than one. Other than boosting up the economy, it increases scope for education, opens up new avenues and facilitates exchange programmes. All these are true for India and Mauritius, the world’s two emerging economies tied by trade relations, which are working on expansion plans in banking and financial sectors.
In an exclusive interview with the Entrepreneur India on the sidelines of its ‘Money Tech Congress 2017’, Siby Sebastian, chief executive officer of the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) Group talked about how the banking system is transitioning to the digital world in India and SBM’s plans amid this changing scenario here.
State Bank of Mauritius is one of the three foreign banks that have articulated their interests in launching a subsidiary unit in India as a wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS). The SBM Group operates four branches in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ramachandrapuram in Andhra Pradesh.
Sebastian has over 20 years of experience in banking services and joined the group in November last year. Previously, he used to work with the ICICI Bank.
“We regard India as a growth engine. SBM has been operating in India for the past 22 years,” he added.
It functioned as a corporate bank for a long time. Earlier, it’s services were restricted by regulatory procedures. But, now the company has been granted a host of subsidiary licenses.
“Recently, we paid for the final license for one such unit in India, which will become operational in 92 days,” Sebastian told the Entrepreneur India.
“The company has readied its growth plans for five years that includes forming a network with 50 brands,” he added.
More and more people will come under its banking services with the launch of digitization by the end of this year, he said and added that the company would integrate varied technologies to come up with a foolproof banking platform and help customers transfer or deposit money at ease.
“Currently, we are working on the core system regulations. The process will start on May 2 or May 4,” he said.
Asked about the group’s expansion plans in India, Sebastian said, “We aim to hire more people in the country to offer services 24*7 without compromising with our standards. In India, banks fail to build a proper connection with clients and SBM’s main focus is on improved customer experience.”
India is one of the main trade partners of Mauritius and the company’s inroads into banking services will definitely help the people here.
On what took the bank so long to seriously take up expansion in India, Sebastian said, “We are not late. We started working the day we realized the need for it. SBDM existed as wholesale banks and we were pretty good at that. Now, we are focusing on other growth areas.”