Two autobiographies of SBI chairmen reveal how they got involved in super App

Two autobiographies of SBI chairmen reveal how they got involved in super App

So here are two autobiographies in the market of the two powerful chairmen Arundhati Bhattacharya and Rajnish Kumar of the country's largest bank, the State Bank of India SBI, who had back-to- back tenure when super App YONO's idea was born.

The first woman chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya of SBI, who has turned author with her autobiography Indomitable - A Working Woman's Notes on Life, Work and Leadership '', writes that B Sriram MD National Banking Group has suggested that the bank should have a marketplace model and not only an app.

Kumar said that it was not easy to convince the bank's senior management team to go for such a massive transformational change, despite the fact that he gave his account of the events.

Bhattacharya wrote that the bank's digitisation journey accelerated as the bank's digitisation journey accelerated, the next step was to provide a mobile application that would enable people, especially the young customers.

She writes that while talking about the topic, Sriram, MD of the National Banking Group, suggested that we should have a marketplace and not only an app.

Sriram was MD National Banking Group from July 2014 to November 2015.

I thought his idea was absolutely on point and that scope was expanded. We wanted to have an application that would allow our customers to seamlessly conduct banking as well as allow them to do all other activities, such as shopping, booking shows, surfing, connecting to social media platforms, and even connect to all other activities, as well as to do everything through a single application. "You Only Need One, or YONO was born," Bhattacharya writes in her book.

In November 2015, Rajnish Kumar took over as the MD National Banking Group from Sriram. When Bhattacharya was chairperson, he was looking after YONO. YONO was expected to be launched in early 2107, but on account of implementation delays, it was actually launched a month after I retired from his position as head of the National Banking Group in October 2107 - a position that was fitting for the past year when he had been the head of the YONO Implementation Committee, writes Bhattacharya.

Kumar wrote that after taking over as MD National Banking Group, I started wondering if we were underestimating the transformational potential of YONO. The bank invited a number of consultants and external thinkers to make presentations to identify the potential objectives for Project Lotus. One of the presentations, which highlighted three key elements, was the presentation by McKinsey Co, which suggested what SBI could do differently from other banks in projecting itself as a digital icon, details Kumar.

McKinsey's presentation had set Kumar thinking hard and deep. It was increasingly becoming clear to me that we had to do something remarkably different from the run-of-the-mill apps to catapult SBI as a leader in the digital space, writes Kumar.

He says it was not easy to convince the bank's senior management team to go for such a transformational change.

The bank's Chairperson, Arundhati Bhattacharya, said: Are you sure we are not taking too much?'' There were several intense debates on the topic in the bank-the discussions culminated with a clear question from the bank's Chairperson, Arundhati Bhattacharya: Are you sure we are not taking too much?