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HDFC Bank plans hiring 500 executives to expand MSME vertical

Out of these 500 recruits, half will be for the small and medium sub-vertical, which already has a headcount of 975

HDFC Bank will hire 500 relationship managers to expand the coverage of its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) vertical to 575 districts or more by the end of this fiscal. Out of these 500 recruits, half will be for the small and medium sub-vertical, which already has a headcount of 975. This hiring will take the private bank’s MSME vertical headcount to 2,500. India’s largest private sector lender has an employee strength of around 1.23 lakh as of June end.

"As we are expanding our MSME footprint to 575 districts from 545 now, we are hiring over 500 more to the 2,000-strong headcount at the MSME vertical this fiscal year. This should take the overall headcount at the vertical to a little over 2,500," senior executive vice-president for business banking and healthcare finance Sumant Rampal told news agency PTI.

HDFC Bank’s MSME portfolio focuses on sectors like auto components, agri-processing, chemicals, consumer goods, fabrication, hotels and restaurants, pharma and paper industry and textiles and also comprises entire selling chain including wholesalers, retailers, distributors, stockists and supermarkets.

Rampal mentioned that the bank has already identified districts for expansion. He further noted that the bank has regular branches in these districts, MSME lending needs special focus based on their needs. Out of the 5,500 branches, more than 1,800 branches have over 25 per cent of their loans coming in from MSME accounts and 4,800 of them service customers of this segment.

He added the bank has increased its focus on the sector especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when government rolled out the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) which helped HDFC disburse 30 per cent more loans by December 2020. After reclassification of loans under the MSME vertical, the bank closed the MSME book at Rs 2,01,833 crore in March 2021 quarter which was a minor increase from Rs 2,01,758 crore in December 2020 quarter.

The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises had recently asked MSMEs to reclassify/declassify themselves on the basis of turnover and get an Udyam registration certificate.