HDFC Bank aims to become go-to bank for start-ups with grants, platforms

HDFC Bank aims to be a dominant and go-to bank for startups, a key official said on Tuesday.

Close to 9,000 start-ups are currently banking with HDFC Bank, said Smita Bhagat, Country Head, Government & Institutional Business, e-commerce and start-ups, HDFC Bank.

Officials said the bank now has dedicated "SmartUp" zones in 70 branches in 30 cities across India.

"Through the SmartUp programme, we are already engaging with the start-up community to partner with them in their entrepreneurial journey using smart financial tools, advisory services and technology", Bhagat told reporters here.

"We also have a platform where the start-ups can register themselves and sell their products to our own customers", she added.

HDFC Bank on Tuesday disbursed SmartUp grants totalling Rs 5 crore to 20 start-ups in Bengaluru working in the social sector.

This takes the total tally to more than 60 start-ups who have been been given a total grants of Rs 14 crore over the past three years.

"We hope to take this number (number of start-ups awarded grants) to 100 by the end of the next financial year", Bhagat said.

These grants -- part of a larger effort by HDFC Bank to create an ecosystem to nurture the spirit of innovation and enterprise in the start-up space -- have been offered under the aegis of 'Parivartan', the umbrella name for the banks social initiatives.

The bank works through incubators such as IIT Kanpur, T- Hub, KIIT TBI, Villgro, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and BITS Pilani to identify start-ups in the social sector.

It has signed MoUs with several state governments to support the start-up ecosystem in those states, she said.

"We would like to be a dominant bank and go-to bank for all the startups and start-up community", Bhagat said.



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