Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cross-selling,wherz it headed?

As calendar year 2012 is paving its way for newer dateline, brokerages and analysts are busy coming up with their top 3 recommendation of the year. ofcourse, noone really cares after six months what happend to those calls except for the analyst whose prediction might have earned some money to his clients, most of them are overlooked in the heap of stock calls.

But as I was checking out the entire list, I came across the fact that a few brokerages have a buy on those same banks. Now I wont take the names of those specific banks, because that means i have to approach them, send questions and i don't think they have the time to respond to personal blog queries…anyway, So getting to the banking part, these are private banks which are invariably the banking behemoth of the three or top five....with decent loan growth and an increasing non performing asset (NPA) blot on their books.

This certain bank, has been making waves with regards to its aggressive approach and branching out into various other things than its core banking operations.
Then there is another one, which undertook heavy downsizing during mid 2012 and had a fancy name to the entire process.. similar to the name of an animated movie where fish is trying to find his son....

These banks are now heavily dependent on the concept of "cross-selling".. cross selling is basically the front line person in the bank trying to convince you to buy various products like insurance/term plans/ they rarely try to sell mutual funds as it is not really a favored topic for banks/ new savings accounts/personal loans/car loans/deposits et al. Basically the person's job when hired was to look after only the counter or do something else which has now become an ancillary job.
According to banks cross-selling is all about reducing its expense per customer on cost of operations..basically why pay your employee for just serving the savings account of X…add loans/credit card/insurance/ every other product for consumption and help grow business.

But the problem that I see when I visit my bank is that the pressure of cross selling has hit the ceiling, I see most of my banking friends trying to stick some or other products to each of us.

Infact, the pressure is so high on these various levels of managers to meet their targets that I see them buying their own insurance or term plans because they have to meet targets. Now selling insurance or various other plans to some new customer is fine, but my concern is when these people are buying these products themselves or making their friends and family buy them. ofcourse the bank has no problem with it because they are more interested in how many policies were sold and how much margin they made on it, the problem begins when the person is unable to meet his earlier targets...ofcourse the person cannot sell the same thing every year to same people, customers are wary of buying any new product which they do not understand and how it works and there is not much you can do while doing your existing main work. Also the lure of capital markets for retail investors have gone up in last few years and larger chunk of insurance business stil lies with LIC. Even though some insurers tried giving out free pressure cooker or some other offering for buying their policies, people are still trying to stick with the old gun. And the old gun is busy spending the vault’s cash on government’s disinvestment program.
As the pressure mounts on either some fizzle out of action or your chances of promotion looks bleak…

Ofcourse it is not just one bank's story every other bank is upto the same gory story. But my concern is till when can this system sustain itself?
Of course India is a huge country and there is an untapped potential etc etc, but from where I see it the cracks are already there and it won’t take much time for it to rumble into ashes. Lets not forget 2008’s story so soon with the advent of credit card defaults everyone stopped giving out credit cards and personal loans. One hilarious example being banks don’t give credit cards to journalist..and I don’t know any journalist who does not have one credit card…

Home loans are not going up, car sales are down which easily indicates drop in car loans, personal loans are something i have no idea about but I am sure even they are in how are these banks which have lined up aggressive growth plans looking to grow? Has someone ever asked them what their new portfolio sales look like?if yes what are they? I don’t know how the future of people doing the cross selling looks like, but I really feel bad for them….

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mind it rascala!

I haven’t blogged in a very long time, nothing tempted me to sit and write on something but this thing just had to be typed down. Why now? maybe this incident is just the trigger. Ofcourse I am talking about the gang rape, eve teasing, manhandling and every other form where a woman is touched without her permission.

Last week while crossing the road, I saw a school girl being manhandled, by the time I screamed at that person, South Bombay being SoBo, cars started moving and I couldn’t do anything about it. I wondered why that kid didn’t stand up for herself, my blood boiled that she didn’t say a word and ran towards her school gate. I kept thinking why… and took me back to the worst memory of my school days.

It’s a taboo to come out openly and say yes, I was a victim, whereas the fact is every god darn women in this country has been one at some day. If you think I am wrong just go and ask your girl friend, ask your best friend, you will be startled to hear those stories. When I was a victim of eve teasing in school, I prayed every day that there will be a divine intervention and it will stop and I was not the only one there were more like me,and then ofcourse you fight back.... now eve teasing is a word which is commonly used in our Asia Pacific region –mostly in India and its neighbouring countries. I always thought why, I guess may be because we don’t have the guts to call a spade a spade. Let’s get it right – Its sexual harassment. Period. When a bunch of guys would touch you and you can’t do anything, they leave you with nothing but emotional scars. They leave you with memories which haunt you every time you walk alone and you see men staring at you.

They leave you with the fact that, hell you have to fend for yourself.

It happens to girls when they are in school, it happens as we walk on the street, in the general compartment of train, while crossing past the crowd, from anywhere to everywhere. There is some or other guy waiting to touch a woman. I don’t understand what pleasure can one derive from this behaviour, I don’t understand why cant you touch your own woman? Why come after strangers?? and the worst is when guys react after a woman screams back at them at public places.

What gives the right to a guy to touch any woman? It’s a punishable offence just that I rarely see anyone being punished from stories that I have heard from friends. Infact once a guy took the address from the police station and landed up at the girl’s house the next day when she was alone and asked her to pay off for the fine which he paid at the police station when she had lodged an FIR against him. Don’t believe that? Trust me, there are worse than this.

Why is it so okay for men to think they can touch woman and get away freely with that? More often than not I have seen woman either ignore or not react to what was just done to them. And when one goes silent, in most cases everyone prefers to shut their soul and walk ahead, my question is why?? if it hits your self-respect so badly, if it gets tears in your eyes, it boils your blood, and then why not stand up for yourself? What ails?

So when the pare-medic student was gangraped for giving it back to the men in the bus and no one has been caught yet, what point are we driving home? That we can’t hit back at men for our safety?
That the male ego just wouldn’t have it? Where are we headed? And to hell with the statement that Mumbai is safer. The mirage about Mumbai’ safety standards can be clearly stated with this year’s NCRB report. In a report released in June this year, Delhi registered 568 cases of rape, compared to 218 in Mumbai in 2011 according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) records. In the 2007-2011 period, Delhi topped the chart, followed by Mumbai, Bhopal, Pune and Jaipur.

But will something change?apart from the fact that crime rates are incessantly going up? I guess nothing will, the only thing that can change is how we react to the situation. So if you are reading this and you have wasted time to read this crap, then next time when someone purposely brushes off against you in that Dadar flyover or touches you in that busy train-stand up for yourself, don’t give in…. *Data note from ToI article via firstpost.