On being asked about the tug-of-war between the two banks, Amitabh Chaudhry harked back to the moment when he joined Axis Bank as its CEO and MD. Here’s what the Axis Bank MD and CEO had to say.
Amitabh Chaudhry was speaking at a fireside with Udayan Mukherjee, Global Business Editor, BT TV, at BT’s Banking & Economy Summit in Mumbai. (Image: Mandar Deodhar/India Today)
Axis Bank MD and CEO Amitabh Chaudhry said that the Mumbai-headquartered bank aims to give tough competition to top bankers in India– the Sashidhar Jagdishan-led HDFC Bank and the Sandeep Bakhshi-led ICICI Bank. Chaudhry was speaking at a fireside with Udayan Mukherjee, Global Business Editor, BT TV, at BT’s Banking & Economy Summit in Mumbai.
On being asked about the tug-of-war between the two banks, Chaudhry harked back to the moment when he joined Axis Bank as its CEO and MD.
The Axis Bank boss said, “I made the mistake that when I joined Axis Bank, I said [that] I have not joined Axis Bank to remain number three. I’ve joined the Axis Bank to take the situation to a different level otherwise, what is the point? I’ll be well where I was before. So, in that sense, still on that journey. Still very much behind ICICI Bank.”
He added that the gap between ICICI Bank and Axis Bank has narrowed and that people tend to identify banks as number two or number three basis their size. He added that the journey to beat the ICICI Bank is a long one and that they also have smart people.
Chaudhry noted, “Gap of Axis Bank with ICICI Bank has narrowed. We are working hard, but I am sure ICICI Bank is not sitting idle. They also have smart people and a great team. Our ambition is to be Number, but it is a long journey. We want to give tough competition to ICICI and HDFC.”
But how should Axis Bank approach this competition? In Chaudhry’s words, the Axis Bank has to be like a crouching tiger and utilize every opportunity to its advantage.
Chaudhry said, “We (Axis Bank) should behave like crouching tiger, we should grab every opportunity which comes our way. We are continuing to invest but we know that we need to crouch if things go bad.”
At the time of writing this story, Axis Bank shares are down 0.79 per cent to trade at 927.95 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). While HDFC Bank’s shares are trading at 1,600.10 apiece on the BSE, ICICI Bank’s shares are up 0.15 per cent to trade at 862.45 apiece on the bourse.