It was in the 4th week of January 2009 that President and Secretary of Megela Gaon Panchayat of the area approached the branch with a request to open around 450 Savings Bank Accounts for Job Card holders before 15th of March 2009 so that they could withdraw money for their work done under National Rural Employment Generation Act (NREGA) Scheme.
Dangari branch was incurring loss over the years and had registered a loss of Rs.1.69 lacs during the previous financial year 2008. Deposits of the branch were going down and advance although increasing, quality advances were on the decrease. There was a need to increase the business considerably, thereby increasing profit for the branch. The branch is situated in a rural area. Scope for miscellaneous business, use of alternative channels etc., were limited. Presently the branch was opening only 4 or 5 Savings bank accounts per month although the branch could cover a large area for deposit mobilization.
The branch consisted of only three people, Branch Manager and 2 (two) staff members with skill gap. The project for opening of large number of Savings bank account was discussed with the 2 staff members. It was explained to them that although seemingly the task is a huge one but we must think positively to help the poor villagers and the branch and the staff members will get recognition, appreciation and publicity in the area which may lead them to enhancement of business and increase in profitability. Despite the constraints the staff members eagerly accepted the challenge and were even willing to work on Sundays or holidays.
One Sunday was chosen to open accounts in the Megela Gaon Panchayat Office itself which is about 4 kms away from the branch. The matter was well informed beforehand to the representatives of the Panchayat who in turn informed all the Village Headmen to be present on the occasion with the required documents. On the appointed day, more than 200 villagers had gathered. The task of filling up the forms was taken up with the help of 6 (six) qualified persons of the village and after requirement of KYC norms/how to fill up the forms explained to them. With the help from Panchayat functionaries it took only 3 ½ hours to complete the job and the total number of duly filled in Account Opening forms received were 208 (Two hundred eight). Thereafter, all the accounts were opened at the branch on the same day and Account Numbers, Names and addresses of the depositors were displayed in the Notice Board. People were very happy. It is important to note that three other PSU Banks in the area had refused to open villagers’ account.
The event was covered in two local dailies. Unit people were very happy as they could implement the project with the existing strength of 2 (two) staff only. They were appreciated and recognized for their innovative work. Customers were fully satisfied and felt that SBI is their own Bank.
After the project was implemented, customers of the area were more confident and friendly with the bank. Some of the affluent customers started withdrawing money from other banks in the vicinity and began to deposit with SBI Dangari branch. Retired persons of Government Departments and nearby Tea gardens and teachers started banking with the branch.
This resulted in people in the area getting awareness and confidence in the bank. Business in deposits started to grow continuously. Controllers appreciated the staff of the branch for the job well done. The image of the bank improved in the area. The Branch was able to book profit of Rs.4.60 lacs as on march ending 2009.
- Shri Mohan Chandra Borah of SBI Dangari branch at SBLC Jorhat (N.E. Circle).