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ICICI Bank (formerly Industrial Credit and Investment

Corporation of India) is India's largest private sector bank and
second largest overall in terms of assets. Together with its
subsidiaries, the Bank has a network of 1,416 branches and
about 4,644 ATMs in India ICICI Bank is India's second-largest
bank. The Bank has a network of about 1,416 branches and
extension counters and over 4,644 ATMs and presence in 18
countries. ICICI Bank was originally promoted in 1994 by ICICI
Limited, an Indian financial institution and was it wholly-owned

ICICI was formed in 1955 at the initiative of the World

Bank, the Government of India and representatives of Indian
industry. The objective was to create a development financial
institution for providing medium-term and long-term project
financing to Indian businesses.

In the 1990s, ICICI transformed its business from a

development financial institution offering only project finance
to a diversified financial services group offering a wide variety
of products and services, both directly and through a number of
subsidiaries and affiliates like ICICI Bank.

In 1999, ICICI become the first Indian company and the

first bank or financial institution from non-Japan Asia to be
listed on the NYSE. In 2001, ICICI bank acquired Bank of Madura
Limited. ICICI Bank set up its international banking group in
fiscal 2002 to cater to the cross border needs of clients and
leverage on its domestic banking strengths to offer products

ICICI Bank has total assets of Rs. 3,849.70 billion (US$ 82

billion) at September 30, 2008 and profit after tax Rs. 17.42
billion for the half year ended September 30, 2008

ICICI Bank currently has subsidiaries in the United

Kingdom, Canada and Russia, branches in Singapore and
Bahrain and representative offices in the United States, China,
United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and South Africa.

ICICI Bank's equity shares are listed in India on Bombay

Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India
Limited and its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are listed
on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

History and Formation:

The World Bank, the Government of India and
representatives of Indian industry form ICICI Limited, as a
development finance institution, provided medium-term and
long-term project financing to Indian businesses in 1955.

ICICI Bank was originally promoted in 1994 by ICICI

Limited, an Indian financial institution, and was its wholly-
owned subsidiary. ICICI's shareholding in ICICI Bank was
reduced to 46% through a public offering of shares in India in
fiscal 1998, an equity offering in the form of ADRs listed on the
NYSE in fiscal 2000, ICICI Bank's acquisition of Bank of Madura
Limited in an all-stock amalgamation in fiscal 2001, and
secondary market sales by ICICI to institutional investors in
fiscal 2001 and fiscal 2002. ICICI was formed in 1955 at the
initiative of the World Bank, the Government of India and
representatives of Indian industry. The principal objective was
to create a development financial institution for providing
medium-term and long-term project financing to Indian
businesses. In the 1990s, ICICI transformed its business from a
development financial institution offering only project finance
to a diversified financial services group offering a wide variety
of products and services, both directly and through a number of
subsidiaries and affiliates like ICICI Bank. In 1999, ICICI become
the first Indian company and the first bank or financial
institution from non-Japan Asia to be listed on the NYSE.

After consideration of various corporate structuring

alternatives in the context of the emerging competitive
scenario in the Indian banking industry, and the move towards
universal banking, the managements of ICICI and ICICI Bank
formed the view that the merger of ICICI with ICICI Bank would

be the optimal strategic alternative for both entities, and would

create the optimal legal structure for the ICICI group's universal
banking strategy. The merger would enhance value for ICICI
shareholders through the merged entity's access to low-cost
deposits, greater opportunities for earning fee-based income
and the ability to participate in the payments system and
provide transaction-banking services. The merger would
enhance value for ICICI Bank shareholders through a large
capital base and scale of operations, seamless access to ICICI's
strong corporate relationships built up over five decades, entry
into new business segments, higher market share in various
business segments, particularly fee-based services, and access
to the vast talent pool of ICICI and its subsidiaries. In October
2001, the Boards of Directors of ICICI and ICICI Bank approved
the merger of ICICI and two of its wholly-owned retail finance
subsidiaries, ICICI Personal Financial Services Limited and ICICI
Capital Services Limited, with ICICI Bank. The merger was
approved by shareholders of ICICI and ICICI Bank in January
2002, by the High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad in March
2002, and by the High Court of Judicature at Mumbai and the
Reserve Bank of India in April 2002. Consequent to the merger,
the ICICI group's financing and banking operations, both
wholesale and retail, have been integrated in a single entity.

Brief About the Company

ICICI Bank Limited, together with its subsidiaries, offers

various banking products and financial services in the areas of
commercial banking, investment banking, and insurance to
retail and corporate customers primarily in India. The company
offers various deposit products, which include time deposits,
savings accounts, current accounts, and certificates of
deposits. Its loan portfolio includes home loans, automobile
loans, commercial business loans, two wheeler loans, personal
loans, agricultural loans, working capital loans, and credit
cards, as they will offers dealer funding, and technology and
developer financing products and services. ICICI Bank also
offers various agricultural and rural banking products, including
loans for crop production, micro-finance, and purchase of farm
equipment, as they’ll as offers commodity based finance, and
various savings, investment, and insurance products.

ICICI offers a wide range of banking products and financial

services to corporate and retail customers through its
specialized subsidiaries and affiliates are in the areas of
investment banking, life and non-life insurance, venture capital
and asset management.

Knowledge management theory

adapted by ICICI bank:

ICICI Bank’s knowledge management (KM) strategy was

established in 2000. Back then, the company was very much
smaller than it is now – just 1,200 staff compared to the
30,000 that works for ICICI Bank today.
However, the program was started at a time when the
company’s growth was starting to go into overdrive. Initially,
the organization developed a broad technology-linked
infrastructure, including a corporate intranet, ICICI Universe,
intended to provide a platform where, for instance,
employees could check the human resources (HR) system for
vacation entitlements, book days off or view their personal
pension details.

By putting these simple, but necessary activities on the

intranet, it encouraged employees to get familiar with using
the yb-based applications, to overcome any fear of
technology as they’ll as providing them with a good reason
for using the portal on a regular basis.
What began more as an idea and less as a project was simply
the belief that staff should have a space on the intranet
where they could participate in collaborative activities, such
as contribute or find documents, engage in discussions and
post or another queries. That idea, in essence, first converted
the bank to KM.
Initially, the organization was motivated to act due to the
upheaval caused by the tail-end of the dot-com boom, which
was depriving the bank of many good staff as they left in
significant numbers to join dot-com start-ups – taking their
knowledge and know-how with them. Hence they developed
Wise Guy; ICICI’s KM intranet portal – easily accessible from
the main staff portal – to provide a way of capturing and
disseminating the knowledge of departing staff.
To develop Wise Guy, a team was put together encompassing
KM, HR, technology and research with a brief to ‘just do it’.
Indeed they did and a beta version was ready within just
three months.
Before the year was out, faced with the prospect of a reverse
merger of ICICI Bank with its parent ICICI, which was through
in 2002, the KM team had to restructure to meet the needs of
the new corporate entity. Some issues articulated at the time

1. How to connect this vast new pool of employees with each

2. How to share business-related information about clients,
deals and ideas;
3. How to manage staff through the change process via
communication, messages, channels and so on;
4. How to overcome the problems caused by staff turnover;
5. How to ensure that every person in the company is
adequately equipped with the skills and training required
for their jobs and for lifelong learning and development.

The deeper question was, quite simply, how do they create a

hunger among staff to acquire and share knowledge? That is
to say, how to create the culture? The aim was to ensure that
employees stayed permanently aware of the external
competitive challenges of the business, and to persuade
them to remain constantly open to new thoughts, ideas and
ways of working.
Satisfied users
In their view, employee satisfaction drives usage and they
wanted to use this as the delivery vehicle to support three
major information-handling behaviors: sharing, collaboration
and self-help. In essence, the workplace was no longer just a
physical location. It had become a blend of physical and
virtual spaces in which work is undertaken.
The KM program is now deeply embedded in the bank, but
not as a result of any directive from top management.
Employees work with the KM program because they see its
benefits and realise the value it brings to them on a day-to-
day basis. This is what makes it vibrant and engaging.
It is significant that a small project originally designed for
about 1,200 employees in few locations has been flexible and
scalable enough to cater for more than 30,000 employees in
more than 600 locations, most of whom are customer-facing
Everything they need should be at their fingertips, whether
getting an answer to a problem, checking a policy or
accessing standard templates and formats such as letters,
agreements or guidelines.
The importance of scalability cannot be underestimated. In
2005, usage increased more than six times compared to the
year before and the portal marked a record one-million logins
in November 2004 after the site was redesigned. The number
of staff using the KM portal doubled in the same period.
On average today, about 6,000 users visit the site daily, of
which 95 per cent came from ICICI Bank’s retail branches.
The Wise Guy KM portal also encompasses a variety of
sections including: document management; news inside and
outside the organization; digital resources such as trade and
news journals, research reports, maps, directories, currency

and time calculators; information on the various business

groups and group companies, complete employee
information; and, interactive sections such as discussion
forums, query boards, book reviews, online quizzes, the
rewards and recognition scheme, and so on.
Wise Wednesdays
Early on, they realized that several senior people they were
reluctant to type and post submissions to the portal. So they
invited them to share their tacit knowledge in an informal
manner and the Wise Guy Knowledge Leader Series (KLS)
was born.
Guest speakers included experts on various topics, such as
advanced finance, and internal business heads who were
delighted to be invited and were willing to give it a try. KLS
evolved to include even chief the financial officers and CEOs
of renowned companies in India, who spoke on the topics of
leadership and strategy.
In another experiment, they set aside some time once a week
for a knowledge café in the canteen of their Mumbai
headquarters. Similarly, they tried a variety of other formats,
including informal ‘brown bag’ concepts, in which staff would
be invited to bring their lunch along to a presentation on a
particular subject by a notable individual, to web conferences
and live webcasts, so that any user in any location could
participate. KLS encouraged face-to-face, live interaction and
KM was therefore not seen purely as a portal activity.
Not all of these were successful. For example, their
knowledge cafes had to be abandoned because the noise in
the canteen proved too distracting, while some of their
speakers for the brown-bag presentations felt offended that
staff were tucking into their lunches while they were
presenting about weighty topics.
Corporate learning
The ability to learn across the group and from team mates is
a very powerful tool. They aim to build a learning
environment by encouraging collaboration and push
mechanisms, including a webzine e-mail to every employee
before 9.30am. The Daily Dose, as it is called, is a summary
of what is new in the outside world and on the portal. It

features headlines, opinions, polls, happenings, customer

appreciations, newsletters and other regular updates.
Again, one of the main benefits of the Daily Dose is the high
profile it lends to their various KM initiatives. When they
polled staff, almost 97 per cent said that The Daily Dose
represents an important part of their working day. By
delivering it direct to their mailbox, it helps the KM team to
capture the ‘mind space’ of employees as soon as they sit
down to work in the morning.
Other tools they use include Newsroom, a space on the
intranet where daily news headlines are published. Here,
staff can look up all the newsletters published by internal
business groups, media releases, as they’ll as tracking what
their competitors are up to. Then there are ‘K-mailers’, which
are short, one-page reviews on any one of 33 topics in six
categories; internal newsletters from various domain
specialists; online quizzes; ‘word poor’ articles or glossaries;
training modules; and, a whole library of online research
Query Board, a central, interactive frequently asked
questions repository by and for staff, is where they can post
any work-related queries, such as the number
of cheques that can be deposited at any one time, customer
credit questions, cheque returns and so on.
Indeed, anything work-related that demands authoritative
responses from colleagues and in-house experts. It serves as
the fastest and most reliable source for feedback on queries
or doubts related to workplace rules, policies and procedures,
technical know-how and much more. Remarkably, the
average response time to a query ranges from five to 15
minutes, but never more than one day from the time the
query was posted.
In addition to Query Board, they also offer a more general
discussion forum on the intranet where staff can talk about
finance, business and economy-related topics. Discussions on
their forum revolve around topics highly relevant to the work
in the bank, such as the automatic cheque book re-
orders system and solutions for detecting fake bank notes.

Technology platforms
Much of what is deployed to support their various KM
initiatives is custom-developed, but the tools are supported
on a variety of standard hardware and software platforms,
particularly Microsoft Windows, Linux, Microsoft
Office, OpenOffice (the open-source alternative to Microsoft
Office), and a host of other off-the-shelf and custom
Implementation was eased by the fact that it was not one
single mega project, but a combination of many experiments
and modular launches. This means that they nurtured what
worked and discarded along the way any elements that
plainly did not work.
One early project was a ‘Yellow Pages’-style directory for the
entire corporate group. These, of course, are quite common
KM tools, helping put staff in direct contact with one another.
The result, Peoplefinder, is the experts’ directory that
employees use to locate others and update their own profile
with interests, areas of expertise where they can help
colleagues and other relevant information. Creating it was
like opening the doors and windows in a dusty house shut for
many months as people who did not even know who was
sitting on the same floor as them suddenly got ‘connected’
and it continues to be one of the most-used sections.
Many implementations began as line-of-business pilots. ‘At
your Service’ is one such example in which employees who
are also customers of the bank can talk directly with the
product and process teams for personal banking issues. With
a back-end plug-in to the call centre it serves the dual
purpose of learning while solving problems. It was so
effective that it was replicated for other teams too.
Compliance, quality and customer service
In 2002, the bank launched its quality program to achieve the
relevant certification levels throughout the organisation.
Naturally, KM’s role was to support the quality team and they
did this by building a KM mini-portal on quality. This quality
‘portlet’ maintains the background material, documents on
Six Sigma methodology, international quality standards,
certifications and everything else that relates to
the organisation’s endeavors in maintaining quality levels.

Staff can also post and respond to queries and interact with
the quality experts.
KM tools and techniques are also deployed so that customer-
service teams and those staff who deal directly with the
public can share almost everything related to customer
complaints and service quality issues, from branch and
customer satisfaction with cash machines, to standard
templates, letters, tools, to recognising and celebrating
customer satisfaction benchmarks and people who have
achieved it. The various activities, contributions and postings
help spread the good practices throughout the bank.
Of course, banks today have to deal with growing regulatory
demands, including circulars and notices from the regulatory
authorities that must be followed to the letter. They therefore
created E-Circulars to inform and educate staff on regulatory
and compliance matters. It is used by designated senior
managers who have a duty to inform employees on
guidelines issued by various regulatory authorities as they
affect the bank’s policies, products and processes. It is not all
one-way. Recipients can also be tested with four or five key
questions to ensure that they broadly understand the

Performance upraisel and

motivation techniques adopted
The following are the techniques adopted by ICICI bank for
performance upraisel

• When a new employee is hired or when new standards are

adopted, supervisors amend job descriptions and
performance evaluation forms and copies are given to all
affected employees.
• They document all performance problems regularly on
appropriate appraisal or progressive discipline forms and
provide the employee with a copy immediately.
• They provide employees with relevant feedback.
• They promptly evaluate nonproductive employees.
• They give the employee an opportunity to comment on or
dispute the performance appraisal. This helps support the
fact that you provided the employee with notice.
• They train supervisors how to evaluate employee
performance and how to administer the company's appraisal
• They establish a review audit system to prevent manager
bias or personal feelings from impacting on the appraisal.
• They develop written policy statements approving only a
specified procedure for conducting appraisals.

ICICI Bank has grown six-fold since its KM strategy was
established in 2000, making it the second biggest
in India today and that strategy has been robust enough to
grow with it.
Today, ICICI Bank offers a wide range of banking products
and financial services to corporate and retail customers
through a variety of delivery channels and through its
specialised subsidiaries and affiliates in the areas of investment
banking, life and non-life insurance, venture capital and asset
management and is known as one of the leading and successful
bank in the world.

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