SmartUp zones to be set up in 65 branches across 30 cities
SRINAGAR: HDFC 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, an official press note read.
According to the press note, through this zone, specially trained bank staff would offer tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to entrepreneurs. Furthermore, by accessing the bank’s new SmartUpportal, start-ups would 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 would be launched in over 65 branches in 30 cities across India, including tier 2 and 3 cities that were emerging as start-up hubs, the press note read.
The SmartUp Zone in Srinagar was inaugurated by Yasir Kazmi, Director, Myasa Network Solutions, and Zubair Iqbal, Circle Head – J&K, HDFC 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, read the press note further.
“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,” Circle Head – J&K, HDFC Bank said.
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.
Zubair Iqbal said, “We have also revamped the SmartUp product suite to include escrow accounts for investors and demat shares for these unlisted companies for raising funds.”
At HDFC Bank, the objective is to harness the potential of the start-up and fintech eco-system using a multi-pronged approach. The SmartUp zone is one such initiative. Recently the bank also announced the launch of Industry Academia where it would 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 press note added.
The Bank’s Digital Innovation Summit in its second year has enabled it to get ideas in fintech space particularly in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning. For example, the bank’s chatbot Eva is from Senseforth, a fintech and one of the winners at the Digital Innovation Summit.