Sunday, December 21, 2008

Life at SBI

Yesterday as I completed two weeks of my branch training as a Probationary Officer of State Bank of India, I would like to share some of my experiences of these two weeks. I feel that the most unique thing about being an SBI probationer is that you can get an opportunity to interact with so many people from diverse socail backgrounds. This is really a very enriching experience.
For my first on-the-job training, I was posted to SBI Howrah branch, the branch code being 0091. In our training center (SBLC Saltlake), I had collected some information about this branch and came to know that this is a very big branch.
On the first day(8th December, 2008), I arrived there at 9-30 AM. I was told to wait on a wooden bench (meant for the customers) on the first floor of the branch. As Iwaited there, Inotices a large poster which says, "Use ATM. Avoid waiting in Q". There were a number of posters around about SBI Life, SBI Homeloan etc. Shotly thereafter, the Branch Manager (who is an Assistant General Manager) arrived. I showed him the letter of my joining. He said, "So your name is Swagata. Swagatam, suswagatam to our branch."

For the next thirty minutes or so, I sat in the AGM's room. There was a brief introduction, after which I had to fill-up one biodata form. He introduced me with some senior officers of the bank and offered me a cup of tea.

The branch has three sections, viz. SME (Small and Medium Enterprises), PBD (Personal Banking Division) and Accounts & Administrative, each headed by a CM (Chief Manager). I was told to learn first the works in the PBD. So, for the first day, I sat with a CRA (customer Relations Associate) in PBD and tried to learn the works which he does. It continued for a week. In this week, I learned many things like up

During this first week of my branch training, a circular came to our branch that we have to make popular our alternate channels, viz. ATM and INB (Internet Banking), and by 2009, fifty percent of all our transections should be through these alternate channels. Our AGM gave me the responsibility to market the ATMs. I was the forms of ATM. All that a customer has to do is to fill-up a form, mentioning his name, address, tel. no., Savings bank account no. and sign it and after a few days, he/she will get the ATM. In SBI, we give the ATM free-of-cost to the customer for the first year, and from the second year onwards, the customer has to pay a service charge of Rs. 50 per year. To my surprise, I found out that most of the customers who do not have ATM, are very much reluctant to take one, just for the fear of spending fifty rupees a year.
From the second day of the second week, I started to learn clearing from a staff who does this job. I learned chaque clearing, ECS (Electronic Clearing Service) debit/credit, Loan Repayment posting and some other related things.
Yesterday, being a Saturday, was the last day of the week. Yesterday was also a very memorable day for me, as I finally got my user-ID and password. I accessed the CBS software with my own ID and password for the first time. Our Manager-Accounts asked me, "Working in the machine of SBI is like a dream comes true. Isn't it?" "Yes sir", I replied. Yesterday I was told My CM to prepare a list of customers who had not paid locker rent and calculate the amount due. As it was Saturday, most of the clerical staffs started leavivg the office from 2 0'clock, whereas I, being an officer, was given the responsibility of checking the V V Rs (Voucher Verification Report). By the time I finished the job, it was dark outside. "Madam, will you have a cup of tea?", asked the man who serves tea in our bank. "Yes", I replied. On the cold December evening, I left the office at 6-30 PM. A very hectic week ended, at last.