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BANKING

Asia: State Bank of India sets global strategy

Bedding down a six-sided merger domestically; international activity to be 20% of total book in three years.

State-Bank-of-India-Mumbai-600
State Bank of India serves 500 million Indians and manages 194 offices overseas

State Bank of India is its country in microcosm. Every challenge and diversity of India – its impoverished millions, its tech-savvy educated middle class, its hundreds of recognized languages – is reflected and served by an institution whose mandate requires their inclusion. It is a banker to 500 million people in India.

What is less well known is that it also maintains 194 overseas offices in 36 different countries. And, even as it digests a merger with five state bank subsidiaries and a bank directed at women, Bharatiya Mahila Bank, it is prioritizing further global expansion.

“We are the largest bank in India and most, if not all, of the corporate groups bank with us,” says B Sriram, managing director of the corporate banking group at SBI. “We have followed the Indian trade as it diversifies into the global economy. 

“The other part is that we are, as the slogan goes, ‘a banker to every Indian’. And a large number of them are in the Indian diaspora settled across the globe.”