A Plunge Into The Field Of Bank Operations – Pradhyumna Bhat’s Summer Internship Journey At IDFC Bank – IMT Ghaziabad

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern in a start up with a market cap of more than INR 19000 Crore.

IDFC Bank began its operations in October 2015 with a goal to Bank the Unbanked. The bank plans to leverage technology and provide a complete banking experience. Now, this may sound clichéd and uninteresting, but when you take into consideration that most of the accounts opened by the bank are done so in 5 minutes (via Aadhar based account opening), one begins to see how the Bank would need to structure itself to make full use of its USP. Every function of the working of the bank will effect and this creates a need to innovate every aspect of the bank functions. IDFC Bank has to be nimble in its approach thus giving a certain start-up vibe to even the most mundane of projects.

It was such a situation that I found myself in at the beginning of my internship. There were 5 of us interns from a batch of 44 who were posted at the Operations Centre of IDFC Bank at Airoli (Navi Mumbai). My project dealt the document storage and retrieval for the Liabilities function of the bank. What this meant is that I had to find out a way to make the movement of all account documents from Bank Branch to storage as efficient as possible without any loss of control over the process.

Now, you may think why would this even be considered important? All account documents in most banks are anyways scanned so as to create a digital database. The answer lies in regulatory issues where all account related documents must be stored in a physical form for up to 7 years. What this means is that Banks will end up spends tens of crores of Rupees every year to pay rent to store these documents. In fact, this would be one of the highest sources of expense for retail banks.

 This was the crux of the problem given to yours truly. To optimise the flow of these sheets of paper so that the risk involved in carrying these legally important documents would be transferred to a storage space supplier as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible. The spanner in the works was that any solution provided would be rejected if it meant even the slightest addition to the existing process.

Being a fresher from an engineering background, this was a little confusing at first. But my mentor at IDFC Bank gave me the best piece of advice possible. He asked me to always take the time to understand the problem at hand and talk to anyone even remotely involved in the process to be changed. So that is what I did. I spent a little over four weeks of the eight I had just talked to bank employees. From the employee handling the inwards flow of documents to the Bank manager of the Vashi Branch of IDFC Bank to the Associate Directors of the various Operations departments, I listened to scores of ideas and experiences that helped me not only arrive at a solution that was approved by my mentor but also helped in documenting why certain other solutions would not be viable along with the cost-benefit analysis. The final part of my project was creating a PPT that actually went through at least 8 complete makeovers before it as deemed perfect (drastically improving my otherwise mediocre presentation skills)

I would, of course, be doing a great disservice to my fellow interns, Guneet, Supriya and Rahul (The COO of our group) from IMT and Aditi from NMIMS, all of whom I constantly bugged to vet my ideas.

In the end, I realise that the solution to any business problem all comes down to taking your time in understanding every single aspect of the issue and talking to people who will be directly affected by your actions and that in the world of Banking, God is in the details.

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About the Author:

Pradhyumna Bhat is a PGDM Finance (2016-18) candidate at IMT Ghaziabad. He can speak/understand 6 languages, sarcasm can be 7th. He is an avid twiterrati and senior member of IMT Admissions Committee. You can provide him feedback at “bhat.pradhyumna@gmail.com”

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