Adapting to industry needs

Hardayal Prasad, MD & CEO, SBI Card, talks of his evolution as a leader.

Hardayal says: ‘Every phase of my career has brought a unique shade of experience for me – be it my training as a Probationary Officer with SBI, my first overseas assignment, or my current profile as CEO of SBI Card. But I would say, some of the most important learning experiences of my life came while I was entrusted with the task of leading a branch of SBI as a Branch Manager. It taught ownership, accountability, understanding of excellence and professionalism. My leadership journey began during this period. It enabled me to understand competition, customer sentiment, managing people, difficult situations and delivering work on time.’

BFSI ecosystem more deeply digital than ever

We asked him to tell us about how the brand is helping customers enjoy a friction-less experience across multiple digital touch points, here’s what he had to say:

At SBI Card, we are focused on investing in our digital and mobile capabilities, bringing to market new features, channels and experiences for our cardholders and enhancing our existing digital design and user experience. Our approach continues to be cardholder-centric that drives us to reach our cardholders in unique ways at home, in store, online or wherever they prefer.

We offer our cardholders a comprehensive, omni-channel customer service experience. Our customer service platform is integrated with a range of digital solutions and offers a range of interaction points, including customer service via telephone in nine different languages, text messaging, chat and 24/7 customer service online through AskILA (our virtual assistant chatbot), as well as proactive notifications via email, text messaging and in-app messaging for monitoring transaction activity and account security. We are also enhancing our customer service capabilities by leveraging our artificial intelligence-enabled knowledge management tools that assist our customer service representatives in providing faster information and more accurate resolution in real time to our customers.

India is witnessing a spirited battle in the BFSI space among myriad competitors.

We also asked him ‘How the brand differentiated itself from the milieu?’ He says:

According to the report dated November 21, 2019, prepared by CRISIL Research (CRISIL report), we are the largest pure-play credit card issuer in India with deep expertise in India’s credit card market as a result of our more than 20 years’ operating history. Over these years, we have built a comprehensive and diverse portfolio of credit card products that we continuously adapt to the evolving needs of our cardholders and changing industry dynamics. Our credit cards portfolio is tailored to meet the particular needs of our cardholders across the entire spectrum of our cardholders’ income profiles and lifestyles, from the “premium” cardholder category to the “affluent”, “mass affluent”, “mass” and “new to credit” categories.

We are focused on continuing to invest in our digital and mobile capabilities to enhance our cardholder experience. We constantly seek to provide additional payment capabilities and other functionalities to promote greater ease and convenience for our cardholders, a recent example being our virtual assistant chatbot, AskILA. We are the largest co-brand credit card issuer in India according to the CRISIL Report and have fully operational co-brand credit card programs in place with 18 co-brand partners, including partnerships with online hotel booking platforms, airlines, railway operators and department stores, among others.

Most importantly, we have also successfully leveraged SBI’s reputation as a trusted brand through our partnerships and initiatives with SBI and today, our brand is associated with a good business reputation and market position.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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