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    Icici Bank- Strategy Analysis Essay

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    ICICI Bank : Strategy Analysis Table of Contents ICICI Bank : Strategy Analysis1 ICICI Bank4 Brief History: Evolution of the Entity with respect to Time4 Inception4 Establishing Synergy: Consolidation5 ICICI Bank in the Retail sector6 How it all began6 ICICI’s perspective of the retail market and the elements of strategy7 Corporate relationships7 Technology8 Operational excellence8 ICICI and International Business9 International remittance key corridors for India9 Business Model10 ICICI Bank Approach10 Agri and Microfinance sector12

    Rural, Micro-Banking & Agribusiness Group (RMAG)13 Mapping the Possibilities14 The Distribution Network15 ICICI and Corporate Division16 Leveraging Technology17 Focussed Group Approach17 Leveraging relationships18 E- Finance In ICICI Bank19 The Way Ahead19 Corporate Social Responsibility: ICICI Bank19 The Core Social Values of ICICI and The Strategic Approach to Achieve them20 Alignment of the Firm’s Objective with its CSR21 Tools for Firm Analysis21 Value Chain25 Generic Competitive Strategies26 BCG Matrix:27 Resource Based View(RBV)28

    Porter’s 5 Force Model:32 ICICI Bank Brief History: Evolution of the Entity with respect to Time Inception ICICI Bank traces back its origin to 1955 when, at the initiative of World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of Indian industry, The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Limited (ICICI) was incorporated with the objective of providing long-term and medium-term project financing to Indian businesses (Exhibit 1). In 1955 ICICI acted as a primary source of foreign currency in the Indian Market.

    Funding from World Bank, GOI, and other multilateral sources not withstanding ICICI was also one of the first Indian companies to raise funds from international markets. In 1956 itself the company declared its first dividend of 3. 5%. Spreading Wings: Developing a Diverse Product and Market Portfolio In 1967 ICICI made its first debenture issue for Rs. 6 crore, which was oversubscribed and in 1969 the first two regional offices were set up in Calcutta and Madras. In 1972 the company set up merchant banking services and became one of the first two Indian entities to do so.

    In 1977 the formation of Housing Development Finance Corporation was sponsored by ICICI, and the company also managed its first equity public issue. In 1982 the bank raised European Currency Units, the first Indian borrower to do so, and also commenced leasing business. In 1986 ICICI received ADB Loans, again the first Indian institution to do so. In the same year, ICICI, along with UTI, set up Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited. In the same year ICICI promoted Shipping Credit and Investment Company of India Limited.

    The year 1987 saw ICICI making a public issue of Swiss Franc 75 million in Switzerland, marking the entry of an Indian entity in the Swiss capital market. In 1993 it Promoted TDICI, India’s first venture capital company. ICICI Bank Established It was in 1994 that ICICI Bank started as a wholly owned banking subsidiary of ICICI Limited. And in 1996 when K. V. Kamath took over ICICI Bank, ICICI, and its other group companies had largely complementary services, and though legally not a single entity, operated as a “virtual universal bank” in unison. Establishing Synergy: Consolidation

    The process of achieving synergy across the different areas of operation began formally with the year 1998 when the name The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Ltd was also changed to ICICI Ltd and subsequently in 1999 a new logo symbolizing a common corporate identity for the ICICI Group was introduced. The Merger: It was in 2001the Boards of Directors of ICICI and ICICI Bank sanctioned the amalgamation of ICICI and two of its wholly-owned retail finance subsidiaries, ICICI Personal Financial Services Limited and ICICI Capital Services Limited, with ICICI Bank.

    In the following year, the merger was approved by its shareholders, the High Court of Gujarat at Ahmadabad as well as the High Court of Judicature at Mumbai and the Reserve Bank of India. In the merger process one fully paid up equity share of ICICI Bank stood for two fully paid up equity shares of ICICI. The share exchange ratio was determined by two separate financial advisors and an independent accounting firm, on the basis of the valuation process carried out by them. The shares held by ICICI in ICICI Bank were not cancelled.

    They were delivered to a trust to be divested in future, the benefits of the divestments accruing to the merged entity. (Exhibit2) Why: The growing competition in the industry, and the structural changes, happening very fast with changing regulations, initiated such a decision. The merger of ICICI Bank and ICICI, and two subsidiaries formalized the potential synergy that existed between them because of complementary services, products, and similar operational processes and ideology. The merger resulted in a winning combination of the deposit raising capability of the ICICI Bank with the large capital base of ICICI.

    It made the corporate relations built by ICICI easily accessible to ICICI Bank. It also integrated the retail operations of ICICI, and its two subsidiaries, with ICICI Bank. Thus the merger helped in creating a seamless line of services to both the corporate and the retail sectors. Present Situation: An Overview ICICI Bank presently is one of the most reputed financial companies in India. The second largest bank in India, it is also the largest private sector bank in terms of market capitalization.

    It is also the largest issuer of credit cards in India. With more than 24 million customers, about 5,219 ATMs and a network of 2,016 branches and 17 subsidiary companies (domestic and international included, Ref. Exhibit. 3,as on 31 March 2009), ICCI is not only one of the four major players in the Indian market, but also boasts of presence in 19 different countries ( Ref. Exhibit. 4) , including India. Its shares are listed in stock exchanges of Kolkata, Vadodora, The BSE, The NSE and its ADRs trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Its main competitors are State Bank of India, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank, the other three of the four major players in the sector The bank caters to a wide range of both corporate and retail customers with its various banking and financial instruments in the areas of investment banking, life and non-life insurance, venture capital and asset management. The bank is one of the firsts among the Indian banking companies to expand overseas, keeping in mind particularly the NRI population, and presently operates in its different markets through wholly-owned subsidiaries (for e. g. n Canada, Russia and the UK), branches (for e. g. in Belgium, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka) and representatives offices (for e. g. in Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and USA). This case will be dealing with the banking sector of the ICICI Bank. ICICI Bank in the Retail sector The retail banking business is often regarded as the bread and butter of the ICICI bank among all its other portfolios of businesses. ICICI is the largest provider of retail credit in India. As of March 31, 2008, its total retail portfolio was Rs. 316. 63 billion. And even more astonishingly, retail business single-handedly accounted for 58% of its total loans in the same year of 2008(for reference see Exhibit 5). Its current and savings account (CASA) deposits as a percentage of total deposits increased from 22% at March 31, 2007 to 26% at March 31, 2008, with savings account deposits increasing by 36% during fiscal 2008. Also its CASA ratio took a dip in 2009 when savings increased after the downturn but soon underwent a recovery in 2010(see Exhibit 6). How it all began

    Deputy MD Chanda Kochhar says “When we rolled out the retail strategy in a big way — that was again a huge change and therefore a hugely enriching experience because at that time, the entire consumer finance business was very nascent for the country as a whole. So, we really had to create a vision of what this business is going to be like for the country and of course it was absolutely new for ICICI. One was really moving in uncharted territories and taking decisions, taking a call as one moved along and learning alongside. ” In 1996 when K.

    V Kamath joined ICICI bank as the new MD and CEO, he immediately initiated strategic initiatives and structural changes across the ICICI Group that helped redraw its boundaries and take it to the next level. Retail financing in the mid-1990s was an open field, with no major players and Kamath recruited a young bunch of strikers who would score winners for him. In 1997, ICICI became the first Indian financial institution to go online. At a time when word was experiencing the dotcom boom, Kamath was quick to sense the shift in customer demands.

    Whereas the opportunity was the vast untapped potential, he achieved this by adding a new weapon to his armoury – technology. It is worth mentioning here that ICICI has been investing in technology since many years, even much before other banks had started thinking this way. So ICICI bank leveraged on this technology resource to a lot of extent to emerge as a leader in this space. It was K. V Kamath’s idea that introduced ATMs across the country using current technology as an enabler.

    ICICI Bank had experienced a growth rate of more than 180% in its very first year and a separate majority owned company called ICICI Infotech supported the IT operations of the banking section. But it was the innovative idea of introducing ATMs, which gave them the special headstart. The competitors present in the then retail banking sector were the State Bank of India and other foreign banks who had an excellent presence in the retail sector. What ICICI lacked then was a resource that these banks had in plenty. SBI in particular had huge number of branches that helped it reach out to its customers.

    ICICI back then had only 50 branches across the country. It compensated for this lack of resource by setting up ATM’s all over the country. ICICI’s perspective of the retail market and the elements of strategy In exhibit 8, the year wise comparison of mortgage loans to that of other retail loans for three consecutive years of 2000- 2002 is shown where the loan units are in billions of rupees. Despite the fast growth, the Indian retail market continued to be under-penetrated in comparison to its peers.

    This was the perspective that ICICI took in looking at the retail market. Corporate relationships ICICI bank’s strategy to capture the untapped market potential can be said to revolve around four elements, they being strong corporate relationships, brand, technology and operational excellence. Coming to the first element of strong corporate relationships, ICICI has undergone a series of mergers to enhance its capital base. For example, In May 2002, the merger of ICICI, ICICI PFS and ICICI Capital with ICICI Bank was realized, creating what is now referred to simply as ICICI.

    According to the ICICI’s 2001-2002 Annual Report, the merger of ICICI and its subsidiaries with ICICI Bank created a combined entity with complementary strengths and products and similar processes and operating architecture. The merger has combined the large capital base of ICICI with the strong deposit raising capability of ICICI Bank, giving ICICI Bank improved ability to increase its market share in banking fees and commissions, while lowering the overall cost of funding through access to lower-cost retail deposits.

    ICICI Bank is now able to fully leverage the strong corporate relationships that ICICI has built, seamlessly providing the whole range of financial products and services to corporate clients. Then delving into the second decider of strategy for ICICI’s growth, ICICI has built up its brand and has been able to position it in the minds of the retail consumer in such a way that it helps drive its business. After 2002 ICICI has more consciously started its brand and has been successful to a great extent. Technology Technology has always been the key driver in most of the growth strategies of ICICI bank.

    Technology is a very important aspect of ICICI’s innovations, as the firm has taken advantage of the affordability of technology to enhance its business. The financial services company has allied itself with a number of other companies in order to offer innovative services. They have partnered with Orange and Airtel to provide WAP-based m-commerce (mobile/telephone banking), with Compaq to develop a payment gateway, with Yahoo! to provide on-line financial information, and with Satyam Infoway to offer retail financial products over the Internet.

    ICICI and its subsidiaries have portals that allow its customers to access accounts and products on-line, offering cutting-edge web-based tools. ICICI was the first of the Indian financial services firms to aggressively pursue an e-commerce strategy and has established a reputation as the leader in this area. The firm has invested in the development of its e-commerce group and has dedicated resources to using their technological advantage to great better customer service and increased internal efficiencies.

    ICICI bank has been able to successfully go for technology that has immense utility in its industry context yet quite affordable also thereby enabling it to attain scale economies (see exhibit 9). Operational excellence ICICI bank has also built its strategies around operational excellence. They have applied innovation very well to develop competencies in reaching the customer. For example, they have developed a successful third party distribution model with a growing market share in distribution of mutual funds, Reserve Bank of India relief bonds and insurance products.

    This allows them to meet all customer needs through products that are complementary to those that they offer directly, while leveraging their distribution capability to earn fee income from third parties. They also provide online trading facilities through www. ICICIdirect. com. ICICIdirect provides complete end-to-end integration for seamless electronic trading on the stock exchanges and has been rated “TxA1” by CRISIL, indicating highest ability to service broking transactions. ICICIdirect has also launched India’s first Digitally Signed Contract Notes (DSCN), which allows a customer to view and print their contract notes online.

    ICICI Bank has pioneered a multi-channel distribution strategy in India, giving its customers 24×7 access to banking services. The enhanced convenience that this offers the customer has supported its customer acquisition efforts and migration of customer transactions from branches to lower-cost technology-enabled channels. During the year, ICICI Bank continued to expand its non-branch channels aggressively and successfully migrated customer transaction volumes to these channels. Only 35% of customer induced transactions now take place at branches.

    ICICI Bank set up over 500 new ATMs during fiscal 2002, taking the ATM network to over 1,000 ATMs. Another very innovative and important feature here worth mentioning under operational excellence is the concept of cross-selling that ICICI has implemented to acquire as well as to retain its customer base in retail banking where it has offered different products to the same clients or made one product popular among different kinds of clients. See exhibit 10 for the share of various channels ICICI bank has made use of to reach the end customer.

    ICICI and International Business Flushed with its success in the retail sector, ICICI decided to foray into the international market in 2001. But it needed a well planned strategy to venture into this new sector. One of the top executives -Lalit Gupte was chosen to head over the international business. But it still had greater issues to resolve like- Which countries to enter into? Who will be the target customers? What products and services would ICICI offer? Which technology to use to automate the process? International remittance key corridors for India

    International remittance from migrant workers to their home countries have been a significant source of income for many developing countries (Exhibit 11). Unlike FDI and developing aids, remittance tends to be a more stable source of income for these countries. Based on the remittance flow pattern top 10 remittance corridors have been identified (Exhibit 12) and India is one of the major recipients of these remittances. The figures exceeded a little over 22 billion USD in 2004. (Exhibit 13). What drives the huge remittance flow to India?

    Maybe it is the huge Indian Diaspora spread across the world (Exhibit 14). Before the IT revolution in 1999 much of the India bound remittance used to flow from the Gulf countries – Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, Bahrain etc. These migrant workers received little political rights in these countries and their sole motive was to earn as much as possible and return home. They were then replaced with a fresh set of migrant workers. The money remitted home was used for a variety of purpose like meeting day to day needs, vehicle purchase, real estate etc.

    With the IT business emergence the blue collared workers in US, UK, Europe also began to remit on a regular basis. While the white collared workers used to remit small amounts at a time, were under-banked in their source countries and preferred traditional transfer methods; the blue collared workers remitted large amounts, were highly banked in the source countries and preferred online methods. ICICI made note of these patterns and decided to develop its products accordingly to cater to the varied customer base. Business Model The remittance business was initially dominated by Money transfer Operators (MTOs).

    The major source of revenue in this business comes from three sources- * Transactions Fees-Depends on the transactions amount and the destination place * Exchange rate-Applicable when the remitter’s currency is not the same as destination currency. * Float revenue- revenue earned from lending or transmitting overnight When banks saw the opportunity in this business they ventured into the sector offering services at a much cheaper rate (Exhibit 15). By providing remittance as a value-added service banks were able to gain market share and customer loyalty.

    ICICI Bank Approach ICICI saw an opportunity to focus on inwards remittances towards India from anywhere in the world. But to become a serious player in this field it needed to focus on the following issues- * Understanding regulatory compliance –‘Know your Customer’, ‘Fraud Detection’ and ‘Anti-Money Laundering’ rules in different countries; * Establish correspondent network in the source and recipient countries; * Cater to customer requirements- ease of transfer, transparency in fee structure, in –time and safe delivery of remittance.

    Also ICICI studied that the major players in this sector –viz SBI, HDFC, Citigroup had strong international presence in the form of branch network. Hence it adopted the following strategies to capture the money transfer market. Product Innovation: ICICI formulated different products and service delivery mechanism for different customer segments. In order to cater to the blue collared workers is used traditional approach viz partner bank based products and bank branch based products.

    For the white collared workers is adopted the innovative model-Online web based products and alliance with partners offering both online & offline services (Exhibit 16). Its direct banking facility through Hi-Save accounts offers attractive interest rates Exhibit17 compared to other banks Partnership Strategy: ICICI had a huge customer base and extensive distribution network in India. But it also needed its presence in the source countries. Hence ICICI went on to establish presence in key geographies through partnership with banks in the source countries.

    The partners enjoyed high business volume through their alliance with ICICI and hence readily contributed to the partnership. Some of the key alliances formed by ICICI are as follows: * UK- partnered with Lloyd TSB Bank. ICICI customers can open current and saving account through 2,200 Lloyd’s branches in UK. * US-alliance with Wells Fargo Bank. Customers get the facility to initiate transactions from their remittance accounts with Wells Fargo using both online and offline (branches and ATMs) method. Gulf- ICICI follows multiple methods here. It has its own branches in the region, also it has tied up with Emirates Bank, Commercial bank of Qatar and some exchange houses. * Singapore – ICICI has alliance with DBS bank Technology Strategy: ICICI has used technology to provide dedicated infrastructure and improved customer service levels. Also technology provided it with alternate transaction and payment channel, provided scalability and reduced cost. The transaction flow happening in the remittance process is given in Exhibit 18 and 19.

    ICICI offers international remittance services through two accounts-Vostro account and Nostro account. Nostro account is an account one bank holds with a bank in the foreign country usually in the foreign country currency. Vostro account on the other hand is held by a bank as a correspondent account of an overseas bank. ICICI uses a channel middleware (SMART software) as a customer interface . The commission charges are between 0. 125% and 2. 5%. The details of the commission charges by ICICI are given in Exhibit 20. For every transaction a SWIFT code is generated.

    SWIFT is a worldwide financial messaging network where messages are securely and reliably exchanged between banks and other financial institutions. These SWIFT codes in batches are cleared by Finacle (ICICI’s core banking platform developed by Infosys) through interaction with the Exchange rate system and the NEFT clearing system. ICICI has upgraded its core banking platform Finacle to enable it to integrate with various clearing systems. It developed the remittance portal Money2India to enable customers to make online transactions.

    Today ICICI operates in 19 countries and has an international customer base of 450,000 NRIs. 24*7 service facility, multiple products, multiple channels, same day clearance has enabled ICICI to bet he proffered bank for NRIs making international remittances. Exhibit 21 shows comparison of the various remittance channels to India. Agri and Microfinance sector Maruti Nathu Gadge, a sugarcane farmer from Rahuri, a village near Ahmednagar, Maharashtra was very worried. This is because previous year there was unusually heavy rainfall in the state and his crop was a soggy mess.

    Now he needed to borrow money so that he can cultivate new crop that year. Maruti was unhappy because he would have to bribe the money lenders before he could get the money for staring the work. Just then, he happened to meet Sanjay Jambukar on his way to market. Jambukar is a bhai of ICICI bank and is working for the marketing department of ICICI’s credit access centre in that village. He explained to Maruti that the bank will give him a loan of ` 32,000 for his crop which will be sufficient for his next harvest.

    He would need to give only two documents for the same which are his saat-baara i. e. the land deed and his seshan i. e. the voter’s ID card. Maruti complied for the same and his loan was processed within a week by the Ahmednagar branch of the ICICI bank (see exhibit 22). 300 km away from this village Rahuri, such small loans are adding up in the headquarters of ICICI bank based in Mumbai. This has allowed the second largest bank in the country to have a momentum of its own in the rural sector.

    Nachiket Mor, the deputy managing director has been give the charge of driving the ICICI bank deep into the rural sector. In six years only the rural portfolio of the bank has increased to ` 16,300 crores. Mor was however not resting with this success. He was planning to plant the flag of the bank in 450 districts by the year 2008. To achive this target of his he encouraged innovations in product design, distribution and technology. Moreover, the bank was seeking partners with local knowledge who can help and provide service to the emerging rural clients much more effectively.

    Earlier it was seen that rural banking is a social obligation and not a profit opportunity. It was imposed on banks by the government. However, Mor with his team was trying to merge both social obligation and profitability. They were trying to a big task by reforming the rural India. They had to build rural supply chains, provide farmers with the risk management tools and work creatively with the microfinance groups. Mor had a belief that every region of India has the capability of producing viable occupations that even the poorest can engage in.

    All they require are the inputs to support the same at the market prices. Mor says, “Access to basic financial services, which include savings, credit, insurance and tools for risk management can allow families to start with extremely low-skilled occupations, such as buffalo rearing, and then gradually move up to a level where they can afford minimal meals and even come to a point where their children are withdrawn from the work force to attend school. ” The CEO of the ICICI Bank identified that the rural foray is one of the key drivers of revenue growth.

    There were many drivers of change in rural market (see exhibit 23). He used to meet the core team every fortnight to execute it in the coming years. Kamath also believed that the benefits of economic growth can be prelocated in the rural India as well. He wanted to bring the rural India in the ambit of mainstream economic activities by providing rural people the financial services. Rural, Micro-Banking & Agribusiness Group (RMAG) RMAG is responsible for ICICI’s, rural, micro finance and agribusiness initiatives.

    RMAG aims at creating interfaces between mainstream financial service providers, markets and organizations maximize outreach, leverage technology to reduce the cost of finance delivery, devise customised solutions and offer complete supply-chain solutions for corporate partners. RMAG covers the entire agricultural value chain consisting of agri small and medium enterprises, major agro corporates, rural and agri small businesses, and farmers and rural artisans. RMAG is capable of providing solutions to each constituent of the value chain of agri.

    The bank has also structured financial solutions for major agri corporates and agri SMEs. For small businesses, it offers working capital loans, term loans and loans against commodities. Farmer finance and tractor loans are also provided which help farmers to carry out their farming activities effectively and efficiently. Genesis of a strategy The push into rural India began towards the end of 1999. This is when USAID provided money to the Indian government to finance activities that would assist developing a dynamic private agricultural sector in India.

    This programme was called the Agricultural Commercialisation and Enterprise (ACE). ICICI was chosen to be its implementing agency. A two-member team was in charge of ACE which comprised Brahmanand Hegde and Zarin Daruwala. Then ICICI Bank acquired Bank of Madura in 2001. While ICICI Bank had grew out of the industrial lending strengths of ICICI, its parent, and then made a very successful foray into consumer lending. It had almost no strengths in lending to farmers and other people in rural India. Bank of Madura had a substantial rural reach and its core strength was mass banking.

    In April 2000, Kamath asked Mor, Chanda Kochar, and the members of the ACE team to form a separate team and explore opportunities in the rural areas. Instead of the hue and cry about the need to have an inclusive banking system, 58 per cent of the rural households do not have a bank account and only 21 per cent of them have access to credit from a formal source. This is the opportunity in rural banking. Mor said, “The banking system, thus far, was not able to internalise lending to the poor as a viable business activity, but looked at it as a mere social obligation. We wanted to change that. In 2005, Suvalaxmi Chakraborty, of ICICI Bank’s retail business, took charge of the rural, micro banking and agribusiness group (RMAG). It was only after then that ICICI Bank’s rural push actually took off. A team of 10 members at the centre became functional as the nodal point of RMAG. The team members handle portfolios from product and credit development to legal and regulatory compliance, and they are more innovators than anything else. RMAG has become the new kid on the block for the largest retail loans provider of the country. Chakraborty said, “We have developed a robust hybrid channel tructure with a combination of branch and non-branch channels. Biometric cards and rural ATMs further aim to bring convenience that aid our efforts to bring doorstep banking to rural India. ” The bank currently has more than 200 rural branches, 1,500 credit access points and 5,000 kiosks. Mapping the Possibilities Today, RMAG’s focus is on a rural strategy that is different from its predecessors, who used the same channels to cater to all the customer segments in rural India with a narrow product suite and a branch driven infrastructure which was expensive.

    ICICI Bank changed all that by dividing its rural customers into four categories: from R1 to R4 (See Exhibit 24). It built a strategy which was customer driven and technology-intensive. It used hybrid channels and offered multiple products. Lessons were imbibed from other countries. Madhavi Soman, consultant of RMAG said, “We visited the Netherlands, Chile, and Israel to understand the function of farmers. We found that Indian farmers are not aware of the end-consumer of their produce, while every farmer overseas is producing for the supermarket buyer.

    While we have an excellent crop of several fruits, we are not very large exporters as we do not meet international standards. We are trying to anticipate trends and are assisting in creation of markets as well. ” The RMAG business has two categories: Corporate Agribusiness and Rural Retail Business. 1. Corporate agribusiness: It is what the bank had started out with. This business consists of direct lending to large corporates, poultries such as Godrej Agrovet and Venkateshwara Hatcheries or seed companies as Suguna. Lending was done in the form of term loans for project expansion or working capital loans.

    There is also a corporate linked SME model which does dealer or vendor financing, or corporate linked farmer financing. Programme-based lending has also been undertaken to understand the SME sector. 2. Rural Retail Business: The bank offers a basket of asset products on the rural retail side such as working capital loans, crop loans, farm equipment loans as per the requirement of the farmer at any stage of his crop, and commodity financing when his produce is ready. For the poorer segment of farmers there exist micro-finance options and jewel loans.

    On the liability side, there are current accounts for agri-traders which are called Agri Express Funds, term deposits and also other investment products like insurance and mutual funds provided by ICICI Lombard and ICICI Prudential. The Distribution Network The bank is using both branch and non-branch channels to reach out to the rural population. Branches are classified under three categories: 1. District cluster processing branches in locations with high agri-rural potential, which is the processing hub for all channels. A typical example is the Ahmednagar branch that BW visited.

    It caters to mostly sugarcane and onion farmers in the area. 2. Mandi branches that focus on servicing mostly agri-traders, giving them facilities for commodity training and insurance. 3. Crop cluster branches located in belts of growers and processors of specific crops that specialise in local knowledge and relationships and provide the farmer finance for specific crops. Non-branch channels include credit access centres which are repositories of local customer knowledge. These are typically located in a district head quarter/taluka or in a larger village in a district.

    Take for example, the ICICI Bank credit access centre at Rahuri, Anup Bihani is the credit access centre manger there, the man who brought a smile on the faces of hundreds like Maruti. Bihani is a third-generation entrepreneur who had roped in his father, Ashok Bihani who has been entrusted with the job of hand-holding farmers. While Anup is busy coordinating with his seven-member marketing and research team, Ashok ensures that the farmers feel at home; reassure them many times over that they are not going to be duped.

    That is not all. A few kilometres away from the credit access centre, there exist another ‘touch point’ of ICICI Bank. Chandreshekhar Kharde is a passport agent who runs the ICICI Bank Internet kiosk which is located at a distance of approximately 5 km from the credit access centre at Rahuri. Kharde was selected by officials of the Ahmednagar branch along with Bihani so as to run the kiosk because he had network and local know-how of the credit worthiness of farmers in and around Rahuri.

    Apart from the credit access points and Internet kiosks, there are MFI branches which are platforms to reach out to the rural poor, for example Spandana at Andhra Pradesh, which is targeting the R4 segment and is a facilitator for ICICI Bank’s savings, insurance and micro loans. And lastly, there are some recent additions to the retail network — business correspondents such as the KAS Foundation in Orissa that is providing banking to the under-banked areas. These business opportunities range from opening savings accounts and sale of third-party products, to loan disbursements and collections. ICICI and Corporate Division

    ICICI bank’s corporate banking strategy is based on providing customized solutions to its clients. The corporate banking business was otherwise known as the Wholesale Banking Group which specifically focused on credit products and banking services with dedicated groups for corporate clients, Government Sector clients, financial institutions and rural and micro- banking and agri-business. It also included structured finance, credit portfolio management and proprietary trading. After the merger, the focus on fees based products developed as shown in Exhibit 25. The bank followed a three pronged strategy: ) The bank targeted large corporate with at least 100 crores of business. 2) It put a structure in place to help garner more business and also to challenge the competition 3) The bank focused on non fund activities to cater to them. Leveraging Technology Leveraging technology to gain competitive advantage: * Setting up of centralized processing facilities for back office operations to benefit from economies of scale. * Expanding the scope of web based services through ICICIebusiness. com, a single point web based interface for all their corporate products * It has offered online foreign exchange and debt securities trading services.

    Technology is used as a tool to better understand the customer so that it can accordingly customize its various products and services. The strategy can be well inferred from the Executive Director, Nachiket Mor “We have created a comprehensive corporate portfolio that enables us to partner our customers’ progress every step of the way. We are constantly endeavoring to reinforce our competence of providing complete fulfillment solutions to corporate and government. ” Some innovative e- initiatives by ICICI bank: * Introduction of pre loaded smart cards for small value purchase *

    Customer calls routed to Call centres to handle complex queries Focussed Group Approach The Technology Management Group (TMG) is the focal point of ICICI Bank’s technology strategy which directly reports to the Managing Director and CEO. In 2002, they developed 3 Groups in order to increase their leverage: * Corporate Solutions Group: To offer tailor made solutions to current and potential clients. * Government Solutions Group: To develop Comprehensive banking relationships with all central, state and local government bodies. State & Medium Enterprises Group: To develop comprehensive banking relationships with SME’s leveraging corporate linkages and focus on agri-lending. They dedicated a specific group i. e. Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory Group (MAAG) which provides end to end services to the Client in the mergers and acquisitions which involved target search, analysis of the target and potential synergies for the client, value analysis, pricing strategy, and review of the transaction documents, negotiation support, documentation and closure of the transaction.

    Another Group i. e. Global Investment Group provides advisory to strategizing services to the Client through the entire length of the Project Leveraging relationships Expanding the range and depth of relationships with corporate clients and Government sector. One of the reasons, ICICI merged with Bank of Madura was because of its stronghold in small and medium sized corporate banking. ICICI has been able to capture 70% of the M&A cross border deals of Indian Corporate in UK .

    Some of them are * Acquisition of Typhoo Tea from Premier Foods by Apeejay Surendra Group, India, for $147 million. * Acquisition of ICI subsidiary Brunor Mond by Tata Chemicals for $185 million. The opportunities for ICICI bank in 2006: * The companies were having a renewed investment cycle due to increased capital expenditure in infrastructure and manufacturing. * More and more companies going global through mergers and acquisitions. * Increasing integration of global markets through Forex * Increasing Demand for efficient transaction banking Growing use of derivatives for risk management. How the ICICI bank did leveraged the Corporate banking opportunity: * They leveraged domestic and international balance sheets for credit and market solutions. * Increasing their focus on fee based revenue streams. In 2007, the Corporate Banking Group was re-organized into 2 groups- The Global Clients Group, responsible for Corporate Clients having significant international presence and/or international investment plans, and the Major- Clients Group, which is responsible for all other corporate clients.

    Due to these developments, ICICI was involved in 88% of outbound Indian M&A financing deals in Jan-Sept 2007 and it was ranked no. 2 in offshore corporate syndicated loans during the same time. ICICI Venture is the no. 1 private equity player in India. It is the industry leader since 1988. The various success stories of ICICI venture: * Infomedia India: India’s 1st leveraged buyout * Ace Refractories: India’s 1st successful buyout exit by a PE * Swiss Biosciences: India’s 1st CRO roll-up * I-Ven Medicare: India’s 1st healthcare roll-up Dr. Reddy’s: India’s 1st royalty based structured deal * Arch Pharma: Life –cycle financing incl. 1st mezz financing * Cyber Gateway: India’s 1st real estate yield investment * Glaxo Property: 1st RE development investment in India ICICI bank followed a 3 phase growth strategy in order to diversify its investor’s risk: First, establish a growth platform in core private equity and real estate. Then, increasing participation in larger deals of private equity, real estate and infrastructure.

    Phase 3 involves entering into new asset classes like hedge funds and debt funds E- Finance In ICICI Bank ICICI has a site devoted to its corporate clients i. e. icici internet banking and FX online to enable brokers to trade at the click of a mouse. This lowers the cost of delivery, increases the speed and reaches a wider customer base Some innovative e- initiatives by ICICI bank: * Introduction of pre loaded smart cards for small value purchase * Customer calls routed to Call centres to handle complex queries The Way Ahead

    With the Global Slowdown, ICICI has curtailed its exposure to derivatives and there is proactive management of existing portfolio. There is focus on 4C’s to emphasize cost efficiency and continue growth. The cost cutting measures are shown in Exhibit 26. “We believe that the Indian Economy has strong fundamentals and will provide robust growth opportunities for industry. The Indian Corporate Sector has demonstrated its ability to withstand the global economic challenges and we will extend full support to the industry as it reorients strategies in this environment.

    We will focus on deepening our client relationships to enhance the diversity and resilience of our revenue streams. ” Sonjoy Chatterjee Executive Director Corporate Social Responsibility: ICICI Bank Keen on projecting themselves as a responsible corporate citizen, ICICI Bank places ethical standards and social activities as one of the foundation pillars beneath their success story. It has formalized its efforts through the establishment of ICICI Centre for Child Health & Nutrition (ICCHN, ICICI Centre for Elementary Education (ICEE) and The ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth.

    These three emissaries for CSR focuses on different aspects of CSR to achieve the core social values that ICICI proclaims to encourage through its initiatives. The Core Social Values of ICICI and The Strategic Approach to Achieve them ICICI as a threefold value system that guides its CSR activities: Inclusive growth, Development of Human Capital and Sustainable growth. Inclusive Growth: The strategy guiding the actualization of this philosophy is that addressing the failure of low income households to access financial markets will have a substantial impact on their ability to access the goods and services markets as well.

    In this area ICICI Bank works closely with the IFMR Foundation to increase the income of low income groups through funding innovations and researches in areas that concentrate on providing different channels, business models etc, to improve access to financial services by low income groups. Developing Human Capacity: In this area the bank works through the collaboration between the three of its own emissaries as well as various collaborations between governments and non-government non-profit organization, hospitals, schools, research institutes and private sector.

    Health: ICICI Centre for Child Health & Nutrition (ICCHN) facilitates in the development of a range of community based health system strategies, and helps to mainstream them. For eg,, under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), ICCHN helped five of its partners to grow into substantial sources of health care. Education: ICICI Centre for Elementary Education (ICEE) takes on the same role as ICCHN in the field of education. Its “Read to Lead’ initiative aims to bring formal education to 100,000 children by collaborating with various organization.

    The emphasis lies not only in providing financial support, but also on an active involvement to research into the needs of such underprivileged children, to design a suitable curriculum for them. It also takes interest in providing proper training to the teachers, and 45000 teachers have received training so far through its partnership with the state governments of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat. Sustainability: To address this concern the bank has entered into a partnership with Environmentally Sustainable Project Finance (ESPF) at the Centre for Development Finance at IFMR.

    The aim is to develop environmentally sustainable goods and services through improved infrastructure. It carries out a mentoring role to CSO Partners that is engaged with various organizations such as Gram Panchayats and other self help groups to bring about social change in terms of organizational governance, resource usage, fund raining, voluntary activities etc. Alignment of the Firm’s Objective with its CSR ICICI is one of the few companies that have attempted to align their CSR activities with their business objectives.

    Reaching out to the Bottom of the Pyramid: The inclusive growth philosophy, guiding its CSR activities, provides the scope to expand the customer segment of the company by reaching out to the bottom of the pyramid, establishing an immediate and effective symbiotic relationship between the business objectives and CSR objectives. Developing a Talent Pool: The alignment of this business objective with the CSR objective of developing human capital is not as immediate as the one mentioned before. And yet, it does have a bearing give the movement towards the knowledge base economy that India is experiencing.

    Addressing Stake Holders Concern: This business objective is directly aligned with the CSR objective of achieving sustainable growth I a world that is increasingly becoming aware of the negative repercussions of today’s growth on future generations. This is especially significant keeping in mind the steady inroads made by ICICI into overseas customer base. Tools for Firm Analysis With a range of banking and financial services to its customer, ICICI bank has diversified into various fields within the domain of financial services.

    Having seen the various sectors of ICICI Bank, the following section presents a holistic view of what is the current status of the bank and how is it formulating strategies to match the environment. In order to analyze the external environment, it is very necessary to scan the internal and the external environment and thus formulate your strategy. VISION STATEMENT To be the preferred bank for total financial and banking solutions for both corporate and individuals. MISSION STATEMENT * Be the banker of first choice for our customers by delivering high quality, world class products and services * Expand the frontier of our bank globally Play a proactive role in full realization of India’s potential * Maintain a healthy financial profile and diversify our earnings across businesses and geographies * Maintain high standards of governance and ethics * Contribute positively to the various countries and markets in which we operate * Create value for our shareholders SWOT ANALYSIS This is the first stage of any analysis and helps to focus on the organization’s key issues. Strength (S), Weakness (W), Opportunity (O) and Threat (T) analysis tool is thus used for auditing the organization’s internal and external environment. Strengths: Brand Name: With the merger of ICICI along with the other ICICI group of companies have led to the creation of a massive brand. This merger has combined the large capital base with the strong deposit raising capability of ICICI Bank. This has infact helped it to raise its market share while lowering the overall cost. This has provided ICICI Bank to leverage upon the strong corporate relationship and to offer a portfolio of financial products and services. This merger has resulted in the integration of many subsidiaries into one entity thus creating huge growth opportunities for its range of products. Technology Integration: Early mover’s advantage to bring in technology into the banking sector. All the while ICICI has laid stress upon product innovation and technology integration. After having adopted this strategy it was able to set a new industry bench mark which later on went on to become industry standards. The FINO smart cards have been a successful endeavor to reach out to millions of under-served masses. The state of the art infrastructure is one of its biggest strength. * Online Transaction: Its online banking facilities have not just improved its response time but also been able to cater to a huge audience.

    The need for real time online processing transaction would require very high performance and responsiveness. The use of Veritas i3 software has helped in a catering to this need of the people. This not ensures 99. 9 percent application availability but also 99. 99 percent uptime of the server infrastructure. Data protection is yet another offering of this technology. * Rural Expansion: An underlining emphasis on providing financial services to the bottom of the pyramid has not just created good will for the company but also helped it venture into an untapped domain.

    In an attempt to facilitate universal access to the basic financial services, the bank has included many initiatives like micro credit and business correspondence model which acted as a medium to reach to the poor, micro insurance and micro systematic investment plan, farmer financing and finally the icici foundation that was an endeavor to improve the social, economic, and human development outcomes at a much broader scale. * Human Resource Capitalization: ICICI views its human resources as a key source in drawing its competitive advantage.

    It focuses on the smooth integration of its employees with its human resource management system. With a robust ability testing and competency profiling tool, it has been able to attract a huge mass of talented individual with whom the customers find pleasant to interact with. They provide faster service along with bonding and personal relationship. Weaknesses: * Expensive Service Charges: Equipped with state of the art technology, the cost of service provided is automatically high and this in turn is reflected on the price that the customers are asked to pay.

    Due to this fact it is capable of reaching to only a particular section of the society. The increased service charges per transaction have been acting against the ICICI intention of reaching to the general masses. * Cash Crunch: In terms of scale up both the self help group bank linkage model and the micro finance institution intermediation model have been soaring high in terms of scale up. Lack of incentive alignment have been a set back for the SHG Bank Linkage model. Also in case of MFI intermediation, there has been serious cases of cash crunch and eventually there was ‘no capital’ on the balance sheet of MFI to lend on. Non Performing Assets Going Forward: The large portfolio of products may breed the non performing assets going forward. Since ICICI bank has a range of products, it becomes very difficult for the bank to manage it. They have been increasingly dependent upon each product but it becomes hard to let go off any such non performing asset that have been defaulting for the past 3 months. This plethora of products may thus encourage the non performing asset to be taken forward. Less Credit Period: ICICI has a very big weakness of allowing credit facilities for a very short period. This has been the practice of the bank to avoid defaulters. And after the period is over it charges huge penalty for default. This usually annoys the customers. They also get annoyed when the bank sends them reminder letters to the customers even before the credit period is over. Opportunities: * Huge Rural Set Up: With growing advances towards the bottom of the pyramid and with the increase in the disposable income of this section the bank can have a huge market share.

    All it need to is to capitalize on its core competency and innovate product offerings specially tailored for this segment of the society. * Diversified Product Portfolio: With the increase in the disposable income of the masses they are demanding for more and more products that are specially designed to suit their needs. ICICI Bank can capitalize on the increasing demand and diversify into many such products which can be helpful in increasing the market share. * Reduced Cost of Services: The bank should also target to reduce its cost of services.

    This is possible only when the product offering are reduced. Resources available can be bought in bulk and this bulk purchase may again help in reducing the price offerings * Corporate Social Responsibility: The establishment of the ICICI foundation may be helpful in creating good will amongst the customers. It was established to promote inclusive growth amongst the low- income section of the society. This aims at creating a ‘just’ society in which everyone has the equal right to develop and grow. Threats: Credit, Market and Operational Risk: ICICI Bank is exposed to specific risks that are particular to its business and environment within which it runs and that includes credit risk, market risk and operational risk. The risk that a borrower is unable to meet its financial obligations to the ICICI is credit risk. Also it is exposed to the losses resulting from changes in interest rates, currency fluctuation, commodity pricing, etc. This is market risk. While the risk resulting from failure of hardware like security procedures, computer system, documents etc is the operational risk.

    Such external threats are to be looked upon very meticulously. * Increasing Competition: Bank has been facing competition from local as well as international banks like Citi Bank, HDFC, Standard Chartered, etc. These banks provide equivalent facilities like ICICI do at a much lower rate. They have consistency in both national and international operations. * Cyber Crime: These days with the increase in the amount of net transactions, there have also been increase in the amount of Cyber crime. Lots of data and information are available over the internet with almost no supervision.

    This has inturn magnified the seriousness of the crime. Customer information and their profile is easily available and can be exploited by the competitors as well. * Decentralized Management: With extensive liberty given to the branch managers, the strategy may even back fire due to lack of coherence among the operation of the various branches. Any wrong decision taken by a manager may lead to heavy losses. Value Chain As bankers work to build winning strategies they often call the value chain model to be one of the most important breakthroughs in management.

    The “value chain” concept was first introduced about 20 years ago, and most recently it is embellished by Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard. The value chain was originally designed for, and is best suited to, manufacturing businesses. But it is a widely used concept, and has some appeal to bankers as well. The purpose of a value chain is to break a business down into its individual steps, ascribe a value to each, and determine how well the company performs each of the steps. There exists a problem with using the manufacturing value chain on banking.

    This is because it assumes that productive operations are performed on some physical goods and financial services do not feature such goods. The “raw materials” which are used in financial services – money, information, transactions – are not as concrete. Moreover, the definition of supplier is a little more amorphous in banking for instance, when a customer has both a checking account and a credit card, he acts as a customer and a supplier simultaneously. Financial services and banking sector need a radically different kind of value chain.

    The following is what that chain for ICICI bank should look like: Infrastructure: General Management, planning management, Legal, Finance, accounting| Human Resource Management| Recruitment, Retention| Training and R&D| Technological development| * Design new services * Program service routines| * reconfigure branch office infrastructure * expand communication network * set standards| Procurement| | | Generic Competitive Strategies A firm’s positioning determines whether a firm’s profitability is above or below industry average.

    Even though a firm may have myriad strength and weaknesses, there are basically 2 types of competitive advantage that is low cost or differentiation. These 2 basic types of competitive advantage combined with scope of activities lead to 3 generic strategy. Following are the generic strategies followed by ICICI Bank in order to achieve the market share it is enjoying today: 1. Cost Leadership: Though ICICI Bank is not focused on this strategy for the upper segment of the society, but when it comes to the bottom of the pyramid it is known for it low cost products. It provides help to the farmer at almost throw away price.

    With this strategy it intends to broaden its market reach. ICICI Bank in order to focus on this majority section has have create several product portfolios that would complement the need of these people and also direct its corporate social responsibility towards these people. 2. Differentiation: ICICI Bank is known for its product innovation and application of technology in this regard. Though the differentiation in a bit restricted in the bottom of the pyramid but when it comes to the higher segment of the society, they design product that specially tailored to suit the needs of these individuals.

    With the increase in the disposable income of these individuals their demands have changed. ICICI has been a bank that has quickly identified this need and have been working to cater to such needs. 3. Focus: Now this focus strategy has 2 variants as shown in the above figure. They are cost focus and differentiation focus. They aim at cost advantage in the narrow segment. For ICICI it has been extensively differentiation focus where it seeks differentiation in its target segment. They try to exploit the differences in the special need in the target segment.

    With numerous product offering at a relatively higher price they have been able to gain competitive advantage from their broadly targeted competitors. BCG Matrix: Power Transfer (Wire Transfer) Branch – based remittance Net Express (Direct Debit), ACH Transfer, Personal Loans and Credit Cards (After recession) Money2India. com, HiSave Accounts, Wells Fargo Express Send Service, Mortgages Boston Consulting Group matrix focuses on the product life cycle. The above figure shows a graph between market share and market growth.

    Marketers are supposed to study this curve and arrive as conclusion that which are the products that are star performers and should be held upon and which are the dogs that should let gone. Keeping into mind the product portfolio of ICICI Bank the following matrix has been designed. It is good for the company to liquidate the product that falls under the dog category. Few products falling in the question mark area can be selected for investment and the rest are supposed to be divested. Resource Based View(RBV) Customer Insight Smart Card Credit KissanCredit Cards Money2India. com

    Innovative Products Multiple channels-Branch, ATM, POS Networking ability HiSave Account Corporate InternetBanking M& A advisory Credit/Debit/ATM Cards DirectConnect. com End Product End Unit Resource Competence Technological expertise Partnership with international banks State-of-art network architecture In-house technical team Retail Automobile/ Personal Loans Corporate Partnership with vendors leasing network lines International Micro-Finance AgriCredit Line The resource based view (RBV) is management tool to identify the core competencies and resources available with a firm.

    The tool is based on the principle of competitive advantage where the core competencies of a firm help it to develop a pool of resources. These resources can be deployed by the firm to develop a variety of end products which are not easily imitable. Consequently the firm is able to enjoy sustained competitive advantage. ICICI Bank has core competencies such as technical expertise, networking ability and ability to gain customer insights. Each of these competencies help ICICI to develop a huge resource pool some of which are- In-house technical team-

    ICICI had realised as early as 1998 the need to maintain a strong technical team in order to provide services to its customers at low cost. ICICI Infotech (company promoted by Infotech) helped the bank transform its standalone legacy systems to integrated application network. “There was a lot of additional cost being incurred due to the duplication of the backend procedures at the branch offices,” – Manoj Kunkalienkar, Joint President ICICI Infotech Services Limited The technical team enables the bank to maintain its extensive network of branches, ATMs and data centres (Exhibit 1).

    The network is upgraded and maintained on a regular basis in order to provide 24*7 services to all its customers. State-of-art network architecture- The ICICI network is a spoke and hub architecture. It uses a mix of 600 VSATs , 800 ISDN , radio links and 800 leased lines to connect the ICICI banks, branches and around 1000 ATMs(Exhibit 2). There is a primary site and a secondary site for disaster recovery. Connected to the primary site are 8 hubs that are in turn linked to the regional branches (Exhibit 3). High end Cisco switches and routers are deployed; the network is maintained by HPOpenView and CISCO; no. f security features, firewalls are installed. Most of the hardware have UNIX as the operating system whereas most of the databases are supported by Oracle while some of them are Sybase and MS SQL. There are over 200 databases doing 24 * 7 processing. The security system is monitored by KPMG. This state-of-art architecture has enabled ICICI to transform itself into a virtual bank providing modern banking services to its customers. Partnership with international banks In order to have a global presence ICICI has formed alliances with a number of international banks.

    While the international banks gain from high volumes of transactions ICICI can cater to its customers without having actual physical presence in all geographies. Some of these alliances are Lloyd TSB Bank (UK), Wells Fargo Bank(US), Emirates Bank, Commercial bank of Qatar and DBS bank (Singapore). Partnership with VSAT, ISDN vendors ICICI has a huge network of branches, offices, ATMs and databases all connected by VSATs , ISDN lines and leased lines. ICICI has formed alliance with these vendors in order to provide uninterrupted service to its customers.

    By incorporating vendors in the its value chain it is able to provide better service levels compared to its competitors. Multiple channels to cater to customers The customers want easy accessibility to their accounts. To cater to the customers’ needs ICICI delivers its services through a variety of channels. It has a network of 1367 branches, more than 1000 ATMs and POS terminals. Since its impossible to have physical presence everywhere it has online facilities that handles the requests of more than 1. 4 million customers everyday.

    This network enables ICICI have both physical and virtual presence as its asset. Innovative products The primary activity for any service industry is to understand the customers’ needs. ICICI has developed its product lines to cater to the various customer segments. It has designed products for each of its sectors viz –retail, corporate, international, microfinance keeping in mind their specific needs. While the NRIs finds its convenient to transfer remittances on its portal Money2India. com ; the bank also has products like KissanCredit card and Agri Credit Line for the farmers.

    Thus it able to service both HNI clients and well as the bottom of pyramid clients in the process. The same resources can be reused in whatever sector ICICI operated to develop end products and services. The reusability makes it cost efficient in the service delivery process. Porter’s 5 Force Model: Threat of New Entrants (LOW) With increase in the competition, the customers bargaining power has increased. They have become extremely price sensitive and demand more variety tailored to suit their choice. Increase in the bargaining power of the various service providers like technology, software, equipment, etc.

    Lesser suppliers and more buyers gives them the edge. Threat of Substitutes (MODERALY LOW) Bargaining Power of buyers (MODERATELY HIGH) Bargaining Power of suppliers (MODERATELY LOW) Existing private banking sectors like Citi Bank, HDFC, HSBC, etc. pose a serious threat to ICICI Bank. They have a range of product offerings at a relatively low price. Rivalry among existing competitor (HIGH) Potential new entrants could be foreign player or new player with a competitive advantage much better than that of ICICI. But high entry barrier and stringent government policies might act against it.

    With the increase in technology and advances in the financial products this threat has also been increasing. One such th

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