India is a strategic market and Mashreq Bank will continue to make investments to expand its business in the country, Bank's Group CEO Ahmed Abdelaal has said. The oldest private bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has had corporate banking operations since 1980 in India, while Mashreq Global Network (MGN), in Bengaluru, supports the entire group in many areas, including business development and risk management.
Mashreq Bank invested additional capital of USD 100 million in January 2022 in India demonstrating its confidence and growth aspirations, he said. "So, as we grow, we will continue to increase our investment in India...We have no intention of growing our brick and mortar branches, we will rather grow our digital services," he said. He said the bank will continue to expand in India because of its high potential and high growth market not only from corporate activity but also from talent acquisition.
"The bank is expanding its corporate (lending) footprint business at the same time using the pool of talent available in the Indian market to support the entire operation of the group...MGN has significant intellectual capital covering all aspects of services, technology, risk management, and business development. MGN has tripled its headcount in the last 18 month," he said. MGN has close to 1,600 employees with an addition of 110 employees since January this year.
The bank, in the last 40 years of its operations, has achieved critical mass and would follow an organic path for growth, he added. Meanwhile, the Dubai-based bank on Wednesday unveiled its new brand identity with tagline 'Rise Every Day' indicating its mission to be the region's most progressive challenger bank through a collaborative, digital-first approach to building a new banking-as-a-service (BaaS).
Mashreq's new brand identity is anchored on a three-pronged approach of 'innovation, consistency and prudence' towards customer experience, he said. "The new identity reflects our new direction that aims at building deeper and more personalised connections with our customers and partners. The principles behind 'Rise Every Day' come from Mashreq's belief in building better lives and livelihoods through hard work and innovation," he said.
The core focus is to challenge the status quo, inspire our customers and build a banking-as-a-service ecosystem fit for the digital economy - a framework that encourages every customer to 'Rise Every Day' to realise their dreams, he added. Asked how the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement entered recently between India and UAE to boost bilateral trade would help the banking sector, Abdelaal said, "we, at Mashreq, are focused on adding value in the growing trade and investment flows through our strong franchise on both sides."