Back to basics of banking

As part of a competitive campaign between leading B-schools in the country, Ankush Mittal, a management student realised how several myths are associated with banking and financial services, especially in the rural areas. Team Abhiyaan — a  team of 10 students from International Management Institute (IMI) New Delhi, won Axis Bank’s Financial Literacy Campaign ‘Pragatishala’.

Situated in the vicinity of their campus, team Abhiyaan visited Dhatir village in Palwal district of Haryana. The team organised communication camps and staged street plays as part of the month-long campaign to create awareness on banking and financial
services.

“The main aim behind the campaign was to inform villagers about financial policies and government schemes. We had to start with identifying the need of the villagers. A stark reality was a lot of apprehensions and misconceptions. For instance, a woman was apprehensive of operating her bank account as she was illiterate,” he tells Metrolife.

Under the guidance of nominated professors from the institute, the training team formed smaller teams and performed three skits that centered on the importance of savings, investments and new central government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana for crop insurance. “When we brainstormed, we realised that we need to target them by including their issues. Farmers suffer losses because of debt trap and we showed how one can get out of the debt trap through investing smartly.

We also focused on women entrepreneurs from the village, and shared financial diaries from the Reserve Bank of India to help them keep a record of their daily spends, besides answering several queries on banking,” recalls Mittal.

Out of the 40 teams that participated in the competition, the winning team
Abhiyaan will be sitting for pre-placement interviews conducted by the bank.

Team members will appear directly in the final interview while skipping rest of the rounds. “This gives us an able opportunity to learn more,” he says.

Prod him about leading the team as the youngest in the team comprising Neha
Nahata, Priyanka Jain, Ankur Kalra, Pulkit Ghai, Kaustav Sen, Abhilash Patil, Rachi Agrawal, Vishnu Prasad, Stuti Ritolia, the 21-year-old says, “Age wasn’t a factor at all.

After the 10 of us were selected, it was the team’s decision to have me as the team leader because I have been active in various activities on campus. But it (the win) would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the perfect coordination in the team.”

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