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State Bank of India: communicating to the masses and turning to tech

Arundhati Bhattacharya is an SBI veteran: she joined in 1977.

Arundhati Bhattacharya-600


Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman of State Bank of India

“The institution was very large even then, but I don’t think we reckoned it would be like it is today,” she says.

Everything was 100% manual then; right up through the 1990s, one could walk into a branch of the bank and be confronted by phalanxes of staff several deep behind the windows, one to take the order, one to carry a piece of paper to someone else at the back, another to generate an extra bit of paper, a fourth to bring cash back to the front again. 

But it has always, she says, had a sophisticated training system. “It’s been a great journey, mainly because this is one bank that makes sure you cover three or four areas of banking,” she says. “As a result, you get taken out from one vertical of banking and put into the next one. The challenges are great, because you have to learn on the job, but it is something that gives you a better perception of the bank in its entirety.

“And it never allows you to get bored.

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