ITs all about Money!

DQI Bureau
New Update

Back in 1988, when Repco Bank began its operations, they thought that

standalone PCs are enough to fulfill their requirements, since banking anyway is

a very paper driven industry. Ask R Rajagopal, GM, IT, Repco Bank about the

present role of IT, and the answers are far from the earlier preconceptions.


Not only is IT essential for any organization to work smoothly; Rajagopal

also thinks that for the banking industry, IT is no less than a necessary

commodity. He holds the view that IT as a component plays a huge role in the

BFSI segment, and without automation, any company in this segment cannot hope

for any progress.

Despite these beliefs, which other CIOs in the banking industry agree with,

the adoption of IT in banking has been a slow and painful phenomenon. But, well,

it is finally happening in full throttle, and Repco Bank is another example in

the banking-IT honeymoon chapter.


GM, Repco Bank

In banking, budget

should not be a problem with CIOs. You cannot work in the financial

environment unless you are not ready to spend


The Journey So Far

What started with a few isolated boxes of CPUs and monitors has now evolved

to assume the face of a complex IT infrastructure. As operations and branches

grew, so did IT, more out of operational needs than as a bid to increase


The latter, it seems, came as a by-product for Rajagopal. The first step

towards automation and connecting various locations came with the implementation

of LAN which made co-ordination and daily reports look like easy tasks. After

that, there were a host of IT initiatives in the organization and these varied

from putting a RDBMS solution in place to buying DotNet scale servers for the


According to Rajagopal, Repco Bank achieved a critical milestone with respect

to IT infrastructure when it implemented a core banking solution across all its

sixty branches spread all over southern India. This solution was developed and

implemented totally with home expertise, something that Rajagopal is very proud



He happens to be a firm believer of home-grown solutions and says that

outsourcing is an option only when absolutely necessary. Rajagopal is also one

of those lucky CIOs who have never faced skill set or budget challenges. "In

banking, budget should not be a problem with many CIOs. You cannot work in the

financial environment unless you are not ready to spend," he says.

Loaning IT Out

Recently, Repco Bank introduced a Loan Origination Scheme. The project is

fully automated, and aimed at making the loan process simpler for individuals as

well as organizations. Rajagopal says that by fully automated, he means that

there is no physical movement of the loan file involved. It is all digitized and

well monitored.

This project has not only drastically cut down the paper consumption in the

company, but has also helped increase transparency to a great extent.


The other project that is keeping Rajagopal busy these days is the enterprise

mobility plans. Under this project, every field employee is been given a

hand-held device with GPRS connectivity. Rajagopal says that they are trying

their best to leverage the mobile for better efficiency.

Talk to Rajagopal about his major challenges and he is still more of a techie

than an executive. Application performance and connectivity failure are things

that occupy his mind more than budgets and skill-sets!

Mehak Chawla