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India 2015: TOP 50 ANALYSIS | Q&A with Kartik Jain

Consumer presence on web and mobile channels drives more investment to digital

Customers expect easy access to brands anywhere and any time.

One of India’s original private banks, HDFC Bank continues to expand rapidly and for the second consecutive year ranks number one in the BrandZTM Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands.


Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of brands in India over the next five years?

One is clearly optimistic about the future of brands in India. As the number of products continues to proliferate, customers are spoiled for choice. In such a scenario, differentiated and well-positioned brands will make it easier for customers to make a purchase decision. Brands that resonate with customers and meet their needs will see higher revenue and profits and organizations will see increased value in investing to build strong brands.

How has your media investment strategy changed over the past few years? Are you spending more on digital and in what ways?

Our philosophy towards media has not changed over the past few years and we continue to look at the ROI from our media investments and optimize spending based on the same. We are spending more on digital as the medium lends itself to sharper ROI tracking with more targeted options. Our customer base is also present on web and mobile channels. In order to provide service to them through the channels of their choice, we provide comprehensive digital banking solutions that give 24/7 access to our full range of products and services in a convenient, easy and secure manner, thereby delivering the “#PowerOfBanking” to our customers.

Has increased empowerment changed consumer attitudes toward brands and in what ways?

The relationship between customers and brands has changed with customers having the upper hand. They have choice due to the proliferation of quality brands and they have a voice due to easy access to social media. Customers expect brands to listen to them and be cognizant of this shift in power. Brands that don’t respect consumers will not be respected by consumers.

Further, with the advent of social media, customers expect brands to be accessible and provide convenience at the time of their choosing. Social media has also empowered customers to give their feedback, share grievances and praise brands in real time. Brands therefore need to be responsive in their engagement with customers, keeping in mind the changing landscape.

What is your brand’s particular commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and how important is it to the brand’s relationship with consumers?

HDFC Bank is deeply committed to CSR with a focus on reaching out to marginalized communities and rural India. Our Sustainable Livelihood Initiative empowers women in rural India by giving them direct access to livelihood finance, as well as non-financial services such as occupational training, credit counselling and financial literacy training. Through this initiative we have already reached out to over 3.5 million households in the country. We also focus on education, vocational training, community initiatives and environmental sustainability. Banking is based on trust with a focus on long-term relationships. Our CSR philosophy reflects this sentiment where we look at sustainable solutions with long lasting impact.