by Yogesh Gupta

IT-led Sustainable Banking at YES BANK

Nov 30, 20143 mins
BudgetingBusinessCollaboration Software

Namita Vikas, Senior President and Country Head-Responsible Banking & Chief Sustainability Officer, YES BANK, talks technology.u2002

Namita Vikas, Senior President and Country Head-Responsible Banking & Chief Sustainability Officer, YES BANK, talks technology. How did the role of a chief sustainability officer come about at YES BANK? YES BANK institutionalized Responsible Banking, infused expertise, and developed innovative products and services that create stakeholder value. The objective is to link sustainability and inclusivity to create a CSR and sustainable development benchmark for YES BANK in India.  That’s how the role of a Chief Sustainability Officer came into existence. We help the industry figure out how sustainable development can be integrated with the business. The triple bottom line: Ethos of people, planet, and prosperity are important. We have a structured framework around environment and social risk analysis to create positive impact towards our portfolio assets.  My role is well integrated with tremendous support from Rana Kapoor, the MD and CEO, and the board of YES Bank. What is responsible banking? Responsible banking is about ensuring long-term business success by contributing towards economic, social, and environmental parameters. One example is YES Money, a domestic remittance model YES Bank innovated three years ago with the help of IT Innovation, and Inclusive and Social Banking teams. The whole challenge of migrant labor standing in long bank queues was solved by leveraging handheld devices through business correspondent network or Kirana stores. Today, technology facilitates remittance within 15 seconds. Site Environment Management Systems at our unmanned offsite ATMs  resulted in a massive reduction in electricity costs. Being an ISO 14001:2004 certified bank we have a 5 percent intensity reduction target (intensity targets specify greenhouse gas emissions reduction). As an entrepreneur-spirited bank, we have been early users of technology. We leverage technology to stay cost conscious, agile and environment friendly. In collaboration with the IT team, we enforced double-sided printing, and ‘no-color’ printing.  Are mobile devices helping sustainability initiatives? Absolutely. We have a large mobile user base, which would otherwise have banked with us by coming to the bank–using vehicles that create emission. Another example is a recent pilot project, called YES Kisan Dairy Plus in South India. This is a payment system that helps small milk producers get instant payments for their sale to the partnering dairy, without having to wait for days to get paid. These producers get instant credit confirmations on their mobile devices. This is a successful example of financial inclusion. What about social media? We are very active on social media and have 1.2 million fans on Facebook, 2.4 lakh followers on Twitter and 22,000 followers on LinkedIn. We have a strong social media marketing team that delivers impactful campaigns. One of the largest social movements is ‘YES! I am the Change’, a nationwide social film making challenge initiated by the YES Foundation, for which they received 50,000 registrations and over 1700 film submissions.  Brick-and-mortar models have limitations in terms of quality and delivery for employability training. We creating a learning management system on web, mobile, textbooks, computer-based training, and DTH to reach every nook and corner in India. Creating social impact with technology is the future and a major breakthrough to reach 1.3 billion people in India.  Yogesh Gupta is executive editor,CIO India. Send your feedback to Follow Yogesh on Twitter at @yogsyogi1