India's best bank for SMEs 2023: HDFC Bank
Being India’s biggest private bank tends to attract attention in the best of times – and even more so when the economy and markets are stumbling badly.
CEO Sashidhar Jagdishan took the reins of HDFC in March 2020, just before Covid-19 really hit. The bank subsequently helped to stabilize the corporate sector and India's sprawling network of small and medium-sized enterprises that employ most of the workforce.
The challenges have continued as inflation surges, monetary tightening has been the most aggressive in decades and supply chains have broken down against a backdrop of geopolitical upheaval. Safeguarding the SME sector has become the Reserve Bank of India’s most urgent concern.
SMEs, after all, contribute more than 45% of India’s industrial output and roughly 45% of total exports, according to HDFC. Ultimately, the sector generates 30% of gross domestic product. HDFC is on the SME frontlines like few, if any, of its traditional banking peers.
In recent years, HDFC has been keenly focused on the speed of delivery to customers confronting headwinds from all directions. The bank’s digital initiative is steadily changing the nature of transactions and access to products and services. The bank has proved it can provide rapid funding and payment moratoriums, but also can be a disruptor in the digital delivery of services.