Russian bank VTB operating through a lone branch in New Delhi for about five years is considering expanding the network in the country. “We are thinking of expanding our branch presence to big business centres like maybe Mumbai, maybe Chennai or other big cities depending on the business,” said Yuri Yakovlev, Chief Executive Officer, JSC VTB Bank.
In an interview here recently, Dr. Yakovlev said, “We are profitable for last two years, and working on a new strategy on what to do, how to work here… how to expand our operations,” he said.
While maintaining its focus of assisting Indian companies do business with Russia and CIS (Commanwealth of Independent States) countries and also bringing more Russian companies to India with projects for joint ventures, the bank wants to “cover Indian business with our banking umbrella in countries where we have presence.”
“Can you imagine that the [bilateral] trade between Russia and India is just $11 billion, [whereas] India and China have nearly $70 billion, Russia and China more than $75 billion?” he asked. One of the reasons for the comparative less trade, he explained, was the lack of banking assistance to do business.
VTB Bank in India has nearly 100 corporate clients. It sees scope for further co-operation in auto components and pharmaceuticals.