May 27, 2024, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

ADBL is soon introducing digital banking service such as online loan processing

The Nepal Weekly
October 10, 2023

– Beena Sharma, Department Head, Marketing & Sales, ADBL

(Beena Sharma, has been serving as the Departmental Head of Marketing and Sales at the Agricultural Development Bank Limited. She joined the ADBL after completing her graduation in agriculture more than two decades ago as an officer. At present she has been promoted to the10th level in the bank. She has also continued her studies even after marriage and completed Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). A mother of two children, Beena is showing her talents in the field of marketing and taking the banking services to the remote and rural ares of Nepal. Here are excerpts from an encounter with Beena regarding her present responsibilities and the activities of the bank.)

TNW: When did you join banking service?

Beena Sharma: I joined the Agricultural Development Bank in 2057 B.S. Now it has become almost 23 years working in the banking sector. In the beginning I joined the service as a credit officer (7th level) of the bank after completing my graduation. Currently I am working in 10th level in the marketing department in the head office.

TNW: What types of responsibilities are you shouldering under marketing department?

Beena: My main responsibility is to publicize the bank’s products and services before the people. Other than that, we also do branding. We need to focus on the activities that are required to be done to let people know about the ADBL and its functions. We should also make our customer relations excellent and also care about customer satisfaction. We are also conducting research in the area of customer relations.

TNW: In which areas the ADBL is currently focusing ?

The name of our bank ADBL itself implies that our main focus should be the development of agriculture sector. However, we also need to perform all those functions that a commercial bank is entitled to do, without just focusing on agriculture. The government of Nepal has 51 percent stake in the bank and the rest is owned by general public in the form of share capital. We do perform all the agriculture related works of the government and besides that being a commercial bank we provide all the services and facilities provided by a commercial bank.

TNW: What future plans do you have as regards expanding and promoting the bank’s services to the people ?

We are currently working towards providing digital services to the customers. We have also formulated strategy for the same. Our immediate plans under digitization includes online payments, online account opening and online loan processing etc. Besides, we will also provide branch-less banking services and other digital facilities. We will aggressively move forward towards implementing all the digital services that are currently available in the banking sector in Nepal.

TNW: What type of challenges are you facing currently ?

Our main challenge is the growing competition in the banking sector. We have to face double challenges in the market. As an agricultural bank we should focus our activities in agricultural sector and being a commercial bank we also need to focus on the services being provided by a commercial bank. There are 19 other A class banks in the market, with whom we need to compete. Besides providing services to our customers as a commercial bank we also need to serve the interest of the farmers living in the rural areas.

TNW: The Nepalese economy is currently passing through a tough period as there is lack of liquidity and the bad debts are increasing. Have you faced any such problem?

We don’t have liquidity problem at this moment. We have good fund flow these days. The liquidity situation is favourable now-a-days. We had never faced liquidity crisis in the past too. However, the problem related to bad debt is a common one, which other banks are also facing. The bad debt is increasing in the industry as a whole in this period and we are not the exception. The majority of our loan recipients are the farmers. Our farmers are suffering due to the outbreak of Covid -19 pandemic and the global economic crisis these days. Keeping this in mind these days we are moving forward by adjusting loan re-payment plans.

TNW: How the ADBL is different from other commercial banks in terms of its services ?

The majority of clients of other commercial banks are corporate houses and big loan recipients. However, the ADBL is providing services to the grass root people, the marginal groups and small farmers living in the rural areas. Out of a total number of around 160,000 clients of the ADBL, 140,000 are from the lower levels of the society, small farmers from rural areas. They also demand smaller amount of loan from the bank. We are conducting our business not only for earning profit but also following the concept of banking with social orientation. Our cost of fund or operation cost is very high as compared to other commercial banks because we have to focus on rural areas where other banks have not yet reached.

TNW: As our economy has slowed down due to the Covid, what are your plans of recovery ?

As you know our economy is facing a hard time, due to the Covid and the global economic crisis in the aftermath of the Ukraine war. The industrial sector is also suffering due to the global crisis. But now the situation is gradually improving. The bank is also facing some difficulty due to these challenges. We are also finding a way out from this crisis. And the Nepal Rastra Bank has also brought some policy level decisions to come out of the crisis. The bank has also started providing entrepreneurship training to the people so that the farmers know how to diversify their income sources and how the banks can securer loan repayments. We have also been launching financial literacy programmes to educate and make people aware about the banking sector activities.

TNW: DO you want to spread any message to the people through this weekly?

Finally, I want to say that ADBL is not only an agricultural bank, it is also a commercial bank. We are providing all those services, which a commercial bank is supposed to provide. As the bank completes 57 years of its establishment, we are able to provide all the services being provided by a commercial bank.