Counted among the largest and most respected Cooperative Banks of the country, The Udaipur Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd celebrates its golden jubilee today, 3 August 2022.
The Hakimi Association of the '60s era in the 20th century at Loha Bazar, Chamanpur, Udaipur was the foundation of The Udaipur Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd, which is now a nationally respected cooperative bank. The members of the association in the late 1960s were guided by senior members of the cooperative department of Rajasthan to establish Banking operations under the cooperative domain. That idea and hard fought efforts led to the establishment of The Udaipur Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd (UUCB), which came into full enterprise in 1972.
Enterprise and Efforts
UdaipurTimes took this opportunity to highlight the enterprise, efforts and struggle that went into establishing The Udaipur Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd, by a handful of members of Udaipur's Bohra Youth community. Speaking to Mansoor Ahmed, who was one of the first founder members and part of the team that included Ibrahim Ali, Saifuddin Saifee and others, we were informed that the idea of converting the businessmen association into a full fledged bank happened way back in the late sixties.
Subsequent to the initiation of the process, members of the association were guided into taking part in building this community initiated cooperative bank. Shareholders were inducted, with a promise to issue share certificates once the charter was given by the banking regulators of the country. Banking operations commenced and saving accounts were opened with door to door marketing and convincing by members of the Bohra Youth community. The Bank which had 455 members in 1972-73, now boasts of a Shareholder family of 6,873.
Understanding the Customer needs
Mansoor Ahmed, recalling the early days, said that being a businessman himself and well acquainted with banking and the needs of a customer, be it an individual or a business, set up a single day clearing facility in the bank, while other cooperative banks took up to 7 days to facilitate a round of clearing. Another major step to provide good facilities was the tie up with Bank of India, who gave a 7 day credit for Demand Drafts issued by BoI for customers of Udaipur Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd. This credit period, which was enhanced to 21 days later, gave immense liquidity to the Bank, which rose to nearly Rs 3 Crore, which was a substantial amount in those days. Mr Jari, an ex employee of the nationalised SBBJ was the first CEO of the Bank and played the most important role in client acquisition, operations management and training of staff, who were primarily youth from the Bohra community in Udaipur.
Source of Employment
The Bank provided immense employment opportunities to the youth of the community, which was a new domain, as most members of the Bohra community were either businessmen or travelled to far off Middle East countries in search of employment. On the occasion, UT took an opportunity to meet and interact with Abbas Ali Attarwala, who was the first employee of the UUCB, with the first branch in a small shop at Loha Bazar, housing a 3 foot long table and chair with files and papers scattered all around.
Source and Standing
Mansoor Ahmed says that it was the funding in terms of savings and long terms deposits of individuals and small business of the community in Udaipur coupled with remittances from abroad that were the major source of funds to the Bank and facilitated credit opportunities at a larger scale to businesses across Udaipur, both small and big. Many businesses began with funding from the Udaipur Urban Cooperative Bank, which raised the standard of living of the community in Udaipur. He added that and additional landmark of the UUCB is its owned premises in the prime location of Madhuban, which houses the Main Branch and the Head Office. When this premises was built, no other local bank had its own premises.
Culture and Numbers
Staff were trained to respond to customer requests and treat them like family members. Customer interaction, support, empathy and service have been the blood line of Udaipur Urban Cooperative Bank, which resonates till date across all branches. The Bank has risen from a profit of Rs 9,000 in 1972-72 to a profit of Rs 11.5 Crore in 2021-22. Deposits have risen from Rs 18,000 in '72-'73 to Rs. 769 Crore in '21-'22 while the advances book, which was Rs 2.64 lakh in 1972-73 boasts of Rs 316 Cr in 2021-22. Efforts of the staff, enterprise of the founders, foresight of the management and faith of the customers have got this small association of a handful of traders to blossom into a bank of repute, with all state of the art facilities at par with most nationalised and private banks of the country.
The Udaipur Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd has 13 branches across Udaipur district, with 10 branches in Udaipur city and 1 branch each in Fatehnagar, Salumber and Rajsamand. Banking facilities provided by the Bank include Term Loans, Vehicle Loans, Business Loans, Overdrafts, Limits, Housing Loans, Debit Card facility, NEFT, RTGS (UUCB is the first cooperative bank in the region to get its own IFSC Code), Mobile Banking App, UPI, among others. The Bank has 5 ATMs spread across Udaipur.