Being a part of the essential services, banks were allowed to work. During this Covid situation, we witnessed that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts received more money. So, we were asked by the Centre to grow our footprint across the country. So, Covid actually converted adversities to opportunities for us, said Rishi Gupta, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Fino Payments Bank, during the recently organised Elets BFSI NextGen Virtual Summit.
PMJDY is National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely, Banking/Savings & Deposit Accounts, Remittance, Credit, Insurance and Pension in an affordable manner.
Talking about the board room discussions and the evolving role of Chief Executive Officers during the COVID times, Gupta from Fino Payments Bank said, “We have already navigated through the first three months from the time the lockdown was announced. We are much more at peace now as compared to the initial stage of lockdown. At Fino, we immediately went into Business Continuity Plan and we formed a quick response team internally and looked at various aspects of business operations. But the most important thing that we initiated at the board level, we immediately called a meeting in the first week of April once this situation started to evolve. We formed an informal group of three independent directors, who were overseeing the entire COVID situation.”
In my conversations with the board, the first and the foremost thing that came up was the safety of employees and how to keep their morale up during this crisis situation. We also gave a significant amount of focus towards streamlining the business and keep the momentum intact. These were the three broad areas we focused on, he further added.
Being a part of the essential services, we were allowed to work. During this COVID situation, the PMJDY got more money. So, we were asked by the Centre and RBI to grow our footprint across the country. In fact, we are doing more business now than we were doing in the pre-COVID period. With regards to board discussions, the first priority was given to employee security followed by Cybersecurity. In the last two years, the RBI had personally taken up-initiatives to keep the board abreast with cybersecurity, added Gupta.
Commenting on the rising significance of cybersecurity during the pandemic, he said, “Many of our board members have actually attended cybersecurity workshops. With the amount of work from home happening now, the risk around cybersecurity and data is high. RBI is generating a lot of advisories around cybersecurity. And, the third focus area of the board is around performance of the company and employees. This is done to increase active participation on the ground in sync with the centre-led initiatives.”