SrinagarHDFC Bank on Tuesday announced the launch of SmartUp Zone in Srinagar. A SmartUp Zone is an exclusive area inside the branch dedicated to start-ups. The SmartUp zone is located inside Hari Singh High street branch in Srinagar.
Through this zone, specially trained bank staff will offer tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to entrepreneurs. Furthermore, by accessing the bank’s new SmartUp portal, start-ups will be able to tap into the knowledge and experience of a complete network of start-ups while simultaneously offering their services to this universe.
The first SmartUp zone was launched in New Delhi and similar zones will be launched in over 65 branches in 30 cities across India, including tier 2 and 3 cities that are emerging as start-up hubs.
The SmartUp zone in Srinagar was inaugurated by Mr. Yasir Kazmi, Director, Myasa Network Solutions, and Mr Zubair Iqbal, Circle Head J&K, HDFC Bank in presence of other officials from the Bank. Srinagar is home to close to 40 start-ups (source: Angel.co) and the objective is to service the needs of these start-ups and also encourage entrepreneurship in the state of J&K.
This initiative is part of a larger effort by HDFC Bank to create an ecosystem to nurture the spirit of innovation and enterprise in the start-up space. The journey began with the launch of SmartUp, a first-of-its-kind banking solution for start-ups last year. SmartUp is tailored to meet all the requirements of a start-up, offering banking and payment solutions, along with advisory and forex services. This year, the bank is taking its start-up offering to the next level with dedicated start-up zones.
At HDFC Bank, we believe that start-ups need partners, who will be with them right from the start of their entrepreneurial journey, creating solutions that evolve as the company grows. The launch of SmartUp zone in Srinagar is aimed at creating a complete ecosystem to nurture the spirit of innovation and enterprise in the state of J&K. After the launch of SmartUp last year, we are taking offerings for start-ups to the next level this year. We have also revamped the SmartUp product suiteto include escrow accounts for investors and demat shares for these unlisted companies for raising funds, said Mr.Zubair Iqbal, Circle Head J&K, HDFC Bank.
At HDFC Bank, the objective is to harness the potential of the start-up and fintech eco-system using a multi-pronged approach. TheSmartUp zone is one such initiative. Recently the Bank also announced the launch of Industry Academia where it will work with the incubation and entrepreneurship cells at IIT Bombay, IIT Roorkee and IIM Ahmedabad to mentor start-ups at these institutions. The Bank intends to take this programme across other leading educational institutions in India.
The Bank’s Digital Innovation Summit in its second year has enabled it to get ideas in fintech space particularly in AI and machine learning. For example, our chatbot Eva is from Senseforth, a fintech and one of the winners at the Digital Innovation Summit.