Bank of Baroda today conducted a ‘Mega MSME Outreach Programme’ in a unique initiative to connect with MSME borrowers across entire country at a time when the sector is passing through an extremely difficult phase on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
A large number of MSME borrowers along with the Bank’s concerned General Managers, Zonal Managers, Regional Managers, Branch Managers and Heads of SME Loan factories participated in the live webinar, which was hosted by Executive Director Shri Vikramaditya Singh Khichi. It was an exercise to address the concerns of MSMEs and inform them about various hand-holding measures being taken by the Government of India, Reserve Bank of India and Bank of Baroda in particular, to support them in their efforts to overcome their challenges.
The ‘Mega MSME Outreach Programme’ is a unique, pro-active initiative by Bank of Baroda and probably a first in the industry, considering the scale of outreach across India. An important objective of the webinar was to educate MSME borrowers about various facilities/options made available by the Bank for their benefit. The Bank’s Executives also suggested a road-map with suitable advice and guidance as to how they may utilize these facilities for surmounting the difficulties. Through a Chat Box facility, the participating borrowers were able to raise doubts/queries and bank received approximately 22,000 queries through the Chat Box. Further, the MSME borrowers were made aware of the business opportunities that are likely to arise in certain segments in the post COVID-19 scenario.
Shri Vikramaditya Singh Khichi, Executive Director, who hosted the webinar from his desk said: “The MSME sector, which is the backbone of the economy and country’s biggest employer, has been severely affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown. MSMEs have always been an area of priority for Bank of Baroda, hence the need was felt to have a direct communication with the MSME borrowers to assure them about our continued support in terms of additional facilities in these testing times. As a face-to-face interaction was ruled out, this Mega MSME Outreach Programme was conceived wherein we connected online with almost 33,000 customers apart from bank officials from Metro, Urban, Semi-Urban and Rural centres across the country.”
“The Department of Financial Services, MoF, GOI is very keen to ensure that the MSME industry remains in good health, as it is one of the growth engines of our economy. This outreach programme was part of our Bank’s continuous and committed efforts to contribute to the national cause. We hope to fructify this initiative with focused and result-oriented measures including liquidity management through special COVID Emergency Credit Line, moratorium on loan instalment/ interest payment, re-assessment of limits, restructuring of loans etc. that would enable our MSME borrowers not only to mitigate the damage caused by COVID-19, but also to regain prosperity.”