They may be the weaker sex, but they are making the cash registers at the State Bank of Hyderabad ring. Yes, the all women SBH branch at Kotla Alijah near Charminar is making waves.

Within seven months of its opening, it has touched a business of Rs. 8 crore, a figure surprising for a new venture.

Marginalised they may be, but the fair sex in the old city seem bent on determining the course of events. The setting up of a women's branch by SBH has come as a boon with more ladies opening their own bank accounts.

Some had even closed down their accounts elsewhere to open one here. The bank boasts of 1,723 primary women account holders.

What's so special about this bank? Well, it is not just staffed by women, but restricted exclusively to female customers alone.

Right from the peon to the manager - all are women. Interestingly, it is the only all women branch of any bank in the State.

A classic case of women's empowerment. And the idea came from none other than SBH woman managing director, Renu Challu. Women employees, she feels, can understand the sensitivities of women customers much better. Her initiative has improved women's access to financial services a great deal in the old city.

Growing patronage

“Since all are women here I find it easy to interact and do business”, says Saleha Hasan echoing the views of many others. Wives of NRI husbands are finding it very convenient to operate in this branch.

The SBH has set about getting women employees of government offices, private institutions, colleges in the old city to open their account in the all women branch.

The gen-next working in IT companies are also being roped in. “It's not brick and mortar but online banking. One can operate from anywhere”, says M.A. Samad, assistant general manager, SBH.

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