Staying on Course

Message from Executive Director (Retail Banking)

Pralay Mondal - Executive Director, Retail Banking

Fiscal 2020 was another good year for the Retail segment with steady growth of 22% in deposits* and 24% in advances as we continue our relentless focus on delivering sustainable and profitable growth.

Pralay Mondal

Executive Director, Retail Banking

Over the last five years, retail segment growth for the Indian Banking sector has held up well led by growing demand on back of rising consumption and non‑discretionary spending. The financial year 2019‑20 was no different with retail segment growing at 15% despite series of domestic and global macro‑economic factors leading to investment slowdown in India.

However, the year ahead could be challenging given the economic growth is likely to remain stagnant on back of heightened slowdown concerns post the outbreak of COVID-19. This has not only impacted the consumer confidence and consumption demand, but poses threat to the asset quality of the banking system that hasn’t seen any major retail credit cycle in a decade.

As we enter these uncertain times we are better placed than the industry given our strong liability profile, diversified and secured nature of our lending portfolio and strong credit underwriting and risk management practices which have further strengthened during the last fiscal. Over the past decade, we have built a strong Retail franchise with customer centricity and superlative customer experience at the core of our diverse products and service offerings. The fiscal 2020 was another good year for the Retail segment with steady growth of 22% in average CASA (current and savings account) plus retail term deposits and 24% in advances as we continue our relentless focus towards delivering sustainable and profitable growth. As part of our strategy to achieve this objective, we made significant strides during the year.

One of the key initiatives that we had taken at the start of the year was to work towards improving the quality of the liability franchise and drive higher growth in retail granular deposits through our CASA plus retail term deposits strategy while bringing in stability in current account deposits. During the year, we have seen momentum pick up on savings account (SA) deposits with 11% growth led by salary account balances even as retail term deposits continued to see strong growth at 37% on cumulative daily average balances basis.

In order to strengthen our deposit franchise, we had earlier this year created a separate liability sales vertical to drive focused and better quality acquisition of new‑to‑bank (NTB) customers; while the branches have been focusing on deepening relationships with existing deposit customers. We have also strengthened our corporate salary team to drive higher NTB SA acquisitions.

The Bank has over 40,000 relations with entities for their salary mandates covering over 60 lakhs customers. With the aim towards premiumisation of the liability franchise, we have introduced new SA product propositions, Prestige Savings Account that fills the segment gap between ‘Prime’ and ‘Priority’ SA accounts and we intend to improve the portfolio balances by improving the quality of accounts.

During the year, we rolled out Burgundy Private, a differentiated value proposition for private banking customers which will be instrumental in further establishing our position in the wealth management and advisory space. We started the ‘Deep Geo’ initiative to deepen our presence in rural and semi urban (RuSu) markets and have been focusing on self‑origination of priority sector lending opportunities and broadening our retail liabilities franchise. We started the pilot in 31 existing branches in RuSu regions and have now covered this to our 387 branches out of over 1,500 branches that we have targeted in regions with high business potential. In the post COVID-19 environment where the rural and semi urban markets have been less affected, we are looking to garner higher incremental market share for retail asset products and granular deposits. We currently offer rural lending products through 584 districts across the country and it is a widely diversified portfolio comprising farm loans, gold loans, rural enterprises, farm equipment and micro finance.

We continue to strengthen and improve efficiencies across the channels like branches, outbound call centres and digital platforms using process transformation and automation initiatives.

We aspire to deliver seamless omni‑channel experience to our customers, and with this objective we continue to strengthen and improve efficiencies across the channels like branches, outbound call centres and digital platforms using process transformation and automation initiatives. We intend to create ‘Branch of the Future’ and take out repetitive operations and service out of branches, leverage them for customer relationship management and turn branches to ‘financial super markets’ providing entire gamut of financial products. During the year, we have set up dedicated Asset Desks and Wealth Desks at select branches that would leverage One Axis capabilities to provide niche offerings from the Bank and its subsidiaries and further reinforce our commitment of providing an array of product and services in the branches. We have created a new team for Process Transformation and Service Excellence, which has been working on over a hundred transformation and automation projects. We have already made significant headway on customer complaints and resolution turnaround time, led by our sundown initiative.

The digital channel is scaling up well. Over 60% of fixed deposits and 44% of personal loans in fiscal 2020 were sourced digitally.

Bank and its subsidiaries and further reinforce our commitment of providing an array of product and services in the branches. We have created a new team for Process Transformation and Service Excellence, which has been working on over a hundred transformation and automation projects. We have already made significant headway on customer complaints and resolution turnaround time, led by our sundown initiative.

During the year, we opened 478 new branches which has been the highest in any given financial year. However, we continue to optimise the branch sizes with emphasis on higher efficiency, customer centricity

and relationship management to drive cross sell opportunities from existing customers. During the fiscal 2020, over 80% of retail assets originations were from the Bank’s existing customers with branches, contributing 47% to the overall sourcing of retail assets.

The digital channel is scaling up well with 62% of savings account sourced digitally through tab while over 60% of fixed deposits too were acquired digitally. On the retail assets side, 44% of personal loans in fiscal 2020 were sourced digitally. During the year, the Bank has launched project ‘Aarambh’ that would further assist the front sales team to offer real time point‑of‑sale offers for cross sell of multiple products to our customers.

The alternative and digital channels have been playing a key role in the last few months post COVID-19 outbreak. We have been reaching out to nearly 3 lakhs customers daily across the retail Bank through various channels. We have recently re‑launched our digital online saving product ‘ASAP’ and are working towards launching video KYC based digital SA and FD opening and simpler CA on‑boarding in the next few months to continue strengthening the liability franchise.

Over the last six years, the Bank has grown its retail lending book steadily at a CAGR of 23% with significant diversification in product mix led by its strategy to cross sell to Bank’s existing customers. Despite the significant diversification, the Bank continues to maintain a healthy proportion of secured loans with an objective of providing sufficient cushion to its balance sheet. As at end of fiscal 2020, the secured portfolio constituted 80% with home loans, auto loans and rural loans forming 35%, 13% and 12% of the overall retail book, respectively.

During the year, the Bank has been cautiously optimistic and has grown its lending book in segments where risk return looked attractive. On the unsecured lending side that constitutes around 20% of the retail book, we have continued to focus on cross selling of credit cards and personal loans to the Axis Bank’s existing customers. At the same time, our strong data analytics engine and robust proprietary risk models and scorecards have helped us in better underwriting of loans on the unsecured side. Further, over 80% of the unsecured book is from salaried segment and over 80% of borrowers are existing to bank customers.

In the post COVID-19 environment where the priority is towards conserving capital, we would continue to focus on secured lending products like mortgages, LAP and small business banking loans through our branch channels; while leveraging on cross sell opportunities for liability and investment products to generate fee income.

We have further strengthened our credit card offerings by launching new cards ‘Magnus’ and ‘Burgundy Private’ in the premium category.

We continue to have strong positioning across the payments space. In Credit Cards, where we are the 4th largest in the industry with over 12% market share in terms of cards outstanding, We have further strengthened our credit card offerings by launching new cards ‘Magnus’ and ‘Burgundy Private’ in the premium category. We partnered with Flipkart and launched a Flipkart co‑branded card to provide best‑in‑class benefits to our customers. Strategic partnerships is a key focus area for the Bank and we will continue to explore this space for identifying new opportunities for business expansion. In UPI, we strengthened our position with market share of 15% and now have 92 million VPAs (Virtual Private Addresses) registered with us. Our Mobile Banking platform where we have one of the best rated financial apps in the country, witnessed 92% increase in mobile transaction volumes during the year.

Leveraging on the One Axis strategy we had embarked upon earlier this year, we continue to provide solutions to our clients from across our subsidiaries that have strong positioning in retail businesses like consumer finance, mutual funds, retail broking and digital payments. Given our strong positioning with diversified offerings and well established partnerships in payment space, we also intend to leverage huge customer base for cross selling to these known‑to‑Bank and NTB customers.

Earlier during the year, we had created a dedicated team focusing on third party products to boost the Bank’s fee from distribution while offering product choices to our customers. The Bank has also increased focus on retail forex products and has seen good penetration among its existing clients. Our new partnership with Bajaj Allianz and strategic joint venture with Max Life are likely to help us deliver more value to our customers going forward. Once the COVID-19 situation normalises, the distribution driven fee income should also start to improve, which in the current scenario remains depressed.

Given the current environment, I believe that the banking sector will see challenges with respect to retail asset quality if COVID-19 induced slowdown in economic activity takes longer time to recover. However those with lesser leveraged portfolio, strong relationship with customers, prudent risk management framework and better collections infrastructure would be far better placed than competition.

We had at the start of the year, segregated underwriting and collections from business and have strengthened both of these through the year. Given the signs of economic slowdown visible since the start of fiscal 2020, we had recalibrated our score cards and reduced the limits across unsecured products like credit cards and personal loans while taking corrective actions cutting down on the risk wherever required some 9‑12 months back. Post COVID-19 we have made changes to our incremental sourcing strategy in favour of secured products and will now be based on our ‘macro COVID-19 risk model’ and ‘geography micro segment score’.

Leveraging on the One Axis strategy we had embarked upon earlier this year, we continue to provide solutions to our clients from across our subsidiaries that have strong positioning in retail businesses.

For us, sustainability and conservatism continues to remain the most important strategy vector and we would be able to withstand the challenges in the near term considering the conscious portfolio choices we have made in favour of secured nature of lending in the Retail with higher share of salaried and existing to bank customers in the unsecured book.

As part of the RBI’s directive to all lending institutions, we have provided an option to our customers for availing moratorium on payments. During these uncertain times, the trend among customers seems to be to conserve cash; and nearly two thirds of those who have availed of the moratorium had sufficiently higher balances than the EMI amount in their accounts.

In Retail, we continue to have conservative stance on provisioning where we hold higher than RBI mandated provisions in certain categories of unsecured products. The Bank has over the last year also built additional provisions toward various contingencies including that for COVID-19. The overall additional provisions held by the Bank towards various contingencies together with the standard asset provisions, translate to a standard asset coverage of 1.3% at 31 March, 2020; and does provide strength to the Bank’s balance sheet to mitigate the unknown risks emanating from the COVID-19 fallout.

For us, sustainability and conservatism continues to remain the most important strategy vector and we would be able to withstand the challenges in the near term considering the conscious portfolio choices we have made in favour of secured nature of lending in the Retail with higher share of salaried and existing to bank customers in the unsecured book. In the medium to long term, I am confident that the Bank’s Retail franchise would continue to deliver sustainable profitable growth without compromising on the risk standards, given the initiatives we have taken during the year.

Warm Regards,

Pralay Mondal

Executive Director, Retail Banking

Staying on Course

Message from Executive Director (Wholesale Banking)

Rajiv Anand - Executive Director, Wholesale Banking

We as a Bank have over the last one year taken significant strides in not only de‑risking and diversifying the Wholesale book but have also strengthened our position as a full service Wholesale Bank; which places us in a better position for the future.

Rajiv Anand

Executive Director, Wholesale Banking

The macro‑economic conditions in fiscal 2020 continued to remain uncertain for the Corporate segment with trade wars followed by the global COVID-19 pandemic impacting businesses worldwide. On the domestic front, it was yet another tough year as slowdown in the economy, ongoing deleveraging of the corporate balance sheets along with unforeseen events like corporate frauds continued to weigh on the banking sector performance. As a result, the banking sector credit growth for industrial segment in fiscal 2020 remained muted at 1% as compared to 7% in the previous year.

Even as there wasn’t much of private capex investments during the year, the sector saw refinancing led growth from larger companies who have been consolidating their banking relationships and from those bidding for NCLT led resolution cases that has benefitted private banks. Over the last 5 years, the private banks have continued to grow faster than industry, gaining on an average 60‑65% incremental market share in advances across the business segments with their better service and offerings.

We as a Bank have over the last one year, taken significant strides in not only de‑risking and diversifying the Wholesale book but have also strengthened our position as a full service Wholesale Bank; which places us in a better position for the future.

Aligned to our strategic imperative of profitable and sustainable growth, we had, at the start of the year re‑oriented the organisation structure in Wholesale Banking for delivering execution excellence. We had segregated the responsibilities of business relationships and product specialists to ensure sharper focus on client coverage and product groups. We now have focused coverage groups not only for large corporates, strategic clients and government, but also for segments like MNCs, financial institutions, mid corporates and commercial banking. For the fiscal 2020, the Bank’s domestic corporate growth stood at 13% as we continued to focus on disciplined execution with a higher rigour and rhythm of our strategy to get our fair share of business from customers.

Strong relationship led wholesale franchise driving synergies across One Axis entities

Axis Bank Annual Report 2019-2020 - Wholesale Banking

Investment Banking/Capital Markets

  • Debt Capital Markets (DCM)
  • Equity Capital Markets (ECM)
  • M&A & Advisory
  • Forex & Derivative Solutions

AXIS CAPITAL

AXIS MUTUAL FUND

Commercial Bankings

  • Working Capital/Term Loans
  • Letter of Credit/Bank Guarantee
  • Bill/Invoice Discounting, Supply Chain financing
  • Wholesale Deposits

A.TREDS

Transaction Banking

  • Cash Management Services (Collection/Payment)
  • Current Accounts
  • Custodial Services
  • Correspondent Banking Services

AXIS TRUSTEE

Linkage to Retail Bank

  • Wealth Management – Burgundy/Burgundy Private
  • Salary Accounts of employees

AXIS FINANCE

Reliable Partner Throughout the Business Life Cycle

  • We have re‑oriented Coverage Groups and strengthened Operations & Service Infrastructure
  • We have leveraged ‘One Axis’ to provide comprehensive solutions to clients’.
  • We offer on an average 9 products, including at least 2 products from our subsidiaries under ‘One Axis’ to our large and strategic clients

During the year, we continued our focus on de‑risking the book by reducing concentration risk and pivoting the same towards better rated entities and groups. As at end of fiscal 2020, the proportion of loans to those rated A- and above stood at 83%, up from 79% in fiscal 2018 and almost all our incremental growth in loans came from ‘AAA’ and ‘AA’ rated clients. At the same time, we have pivoted our book towards shorter tenure loans with 38% of the book being of less than a year tenure as compared to 35% at the end of fiscal 2018. We continue to focus on identifying sector specific opportunities and have diversified the portfolio with strong growth in loans to segments outside top 10 sectors.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown has hit the businesses across sectors hard. The Bank had been proactive to take requisite measures on the operational front and had proactively developed strategies to counter the near term challenges. The Bank had invoked business continuity plan weeks prior to the lockdown and all the business and critical operations, including Treasury were spread over to alternative sites and ‘work from home’ mode. Post lockdown, our business and treasury teams had been continuously engaging with clients to understand their needs related to funding and transaction support.

We are entering this COVID-19 led cycle with a much de‑risked book in the SME space that is well diversified across sectors and geographies.

We have been working towards strengthening our position as a transactions‑led bank with the clients and become their reliable partner through the business life cycle where we can deliver the full capabilities of our group to them. Our Syndication desk is well established in the market and we are ranked as the top arranger of Bonds in the league tables over the last 13 years. Leveraging our leadership position in Debt Capital markets, we have actively participated in the targeted long term repo operations (TLTRO) auctions conducted by the RBI providing liquidity to the well rated corporates at attractive yields.

We have built strong relationships with corporates over the years and have been focusing on deepening relationships with these better rated corporates by increasing our share of their non‑credit businesses.

Over the last year, we have worked closely as ‘One Axis’ and have leveraged the leadership position of our subsidiaries like Axis Capital, Axis MF, A.Treds, Axis Trustee and Axis Finance in their respective businesses to offer comprehensive solutions to the clients.

During the year, as a conscious strategy our overseas book as a proportion of overall corporate book has further come down to 14% from 24% two years ago. We have also closed down operations at some of the international offices and we intend to support the Indian Corporates through our Gift City branch and leverage the trade and financial institutions growth opportunities through our overseas branches in Dubai and Singapore.

We continue to maintain our strong positioning among the leading private sector banks handling the Government Businesses across the country. Our government business is more oriented towards providing solutions, around collections and payments businesses, which has helped us make a very distinct place for ourselves in the industry today. Today, we are one of the leading private sector banks handling the Government Businesses across the country, across Central and State PSUs, Central & State Government Departments, their entities, autonomous bodies, local bodies and educational institutions. The bank is in the forefront of offering solutions in the e‑Governance, DBT, Scheme management space right and other business sectors like Agriculture, Urban Local Bodies, Education, and Health etc. spread across Local Bodies and Gram Panchayats. The wholesale deposits of the Bank, where the Government business plays a key role, have grown at 19% during the year on a daily average basis.

In the Commercial Banking segment, we have remained cautious over the last year given the weakness in underlying economy and have been downsizing much in advance. We are entering this COVID-19‑led cycle with a much de‑risked book in the SME space that is well diversified across sectors and geographies. Over 85% of the SME portfolio is secured, backed by collaterals and 78% of the book is towards working capital financing.

At the start of the year, we had overhauled our risk assessment framework and tightened underwriting standards in the wholesale segment. The credit underwriting function has been taken out from the businesses and has been made an independent function. For the fiscal 2020, 95% of incremental sanctions were to those rated ‘A’ and above. Also we have reduced concentration risk significantly with total exposure to top 20 single borrowers as proportion of tier 1 capital coming down from 162% in fiscal 2015 to 89% at the end of fiscal 2020.

From a risk mitigation stand point, we have been monitoring the wholesale book rigorously and have carried out stress testing of portfolio to identify borrower segments and sectors that may face incremental stress in the current scenario. Post COVID-19 related lockdown, our business teams had reached out to all the wholesale banking and commercial clients to assess the impact and sustainability of their business models. The trend among corporates seems to be to conserve cash and protect immediate cash flows. However, we expect government to come out with specific fiscal measures for the stressed sectors that will help in gradual improvement in business conditions.

Looking ahead, the private capex seems unlikely to pick up meaningfully in the near term given the capacity utilisation levels have moderated post the COVID-19 crisis. However the better rated corporates with established track record, resilient business models, financial strength and high governance standards would be better placed and should continue to gain share from the smaller corporates, this trend will play out in most organised sectors.

These are exceptionally challenging times and we expect the economy to take time to normalise as all sectors will sooner or later get impacted directly or indirectly. The Bank is entering this phase on the back of significant improvement in the Wholesale book and continued cautious outlook on SME business during the year. I am confident that the changes implemented over the last few years and our strategic priorities towards de‑risking and diversifying the wholesale book, while being conservative in our stance on risk and provisioning, have made us more nimble and better positioned to build a sustainable and profitable Wholesale franchise ahead.

Warm Regards,

Rajiv Anand

Executive Director, Wholesale Banking

Staying on Course

Message from Executive Director (Corporate Centre)

Rajesh Dahiya, Executive Director, Corporate Centre

Our 74,000 plus employees have displayed true commitment and have walked the extra mile to remain fully functional and continue to serve our customers.

Rajesh Dahiya

Executive Director, Corporate Centre

We are all aware of the unprecedented global and national crisis that has been brought about by the COVID‑19 pandemic, which all of us are battling together. Now, we are at the cross‑roads of a new phase where economic activities are gradually picking up. I am proud to say that all through these difficult times, Axis Bank has firmly stood by the country as a responsible corporate citizen.

Our 74,000 plus employees have displayed true commitment and have walked the extra mile to remain fully functional and continue to serve our customers. Over 99% of our branches and 96% of ATMs have remained operational, while our employees have continued to reach out to over 3 lakhs customers on a daily basis to understand and serve them in this hour of need.

Axis Bank was well prepared to handle the crisis. We were proactive to recognise the severity of the situation and a senior Central Emergency Response Team (CERT) was activated over a month before the lockdown. This was to ensure business continuity, while taking into consideration the well‑being of our employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Even before the lockdown was implemented, the business continuity plan was devised for the Bank and its subsidiaries, testing was completed across all the major centres and infrastructure was beefed up for continuity of operations in case of a lockdown. This led to a smooth transitioning to a new ‘Work‑from‑Home’ environment for a majority of our employees, keeping all the banking services up and running. In branches, we have been taking safety and precautionary measures for all our staff and customers.

The Bank has always considered the physical and psychological well‑being of employees and made them aware of the precautions to be taken, issued multiple travel and health advisories and offered them insurance and dedicated doctors’ assistance. The Bank has been strictly adhering to its risk management framework and strengthened information security monitoring and cyber security risk measures to mitigate any potential threat.

The Bank continues to place high importance to managing compliance risks in the Bank and its Subsidiaries. With changes in regulatory environment getting more frequent and complex, the Bank’s compliance department has been more actively involved in implementing a group level governance and compliance culture. During the year, the Bank defined several guidelines and processes for employees to conform to our ‘Basic Responsibility Framework’ and reinforce the culture of ethics and compliance in dealing with clients and other stakeholders.

During the lockdown, the Bank’s mandated large scale work from home has been one of the biggest in the domestic banking industry. Over 9,000 Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections were provided to employees with accessibility to 483 applications, to ensure 100% of all critical activities getting executed seamlessly. The Bank also enabled its internal ‘One Axis’ App along with the Microsoft Teams App for its employees to collaborate and work effectively.

With a young workforce averaging around 31 years, we have been focusing to keep our employees motivated, engaged and capable of delivering on the organisational goals. During the lockdown phase, we also had multiple employee‑connect initiatives with the Bank’s senior management interacting with the employees online to motivate them and maintain the rhythm around work from home.

We are now looking to transform the way we work and exploring the option of employees working remotely for two to five days a week from home, depending on the criticality of the business function.

At Axis, we believe that on demand, role‑relevant, modular learning will bring in transformational results. Our learning pedagogy is a good mix of e‑learning along with classroom programmes. Our top talent has exclusive access to customised learning solutions across 1,500 best‑in‑class e‑learning courses. With a comprehensive library of courses available at their fingertips, the initiative truly democratised learning to result in 5,000+ hours of learning till date. Through the year, we have worked towards promoting meritocracy and a performance‑centric work culture, and launched several employee initiatives to foster a sense of ownership and greater alignment with the Banks overall strategy.

Our values act as a guiding force in our strategy and hence in October, we launched a prestigious programme of ‘Axis Values Realizers’ to identify a network of 950 Axis Role Models who will passionately

drive the shift from merely knowing to living our values, every day. The journey opened the doors to numerous exemplary and heart‑warming stories, culminating in numerous winning stories recognised at the Axis Champion Awards 2020.

We are now looking to transform the way we work and exploring the option of employees working remotely for two to five days a week from home, depending on the criticality of the business function. We believe we would be able to redefine the work culture and would not only be able to attract varied talent pool breaking geographical boundaries, but also enhance employee efficiency and work‑life balance.

Axis Bank remained one of the largest employers in the country with focus on gender diversity and inclusion. During the year, the new hirings both on a gross and net basis were higher compared to the previous fiscal year, as we continued to strengthen capabilities in critical functions and subsidiaries. During the year, we revamped our internal job portal ‘Catalyst’ that empowers employees to manage their own careers and provide opportunities for them to make a move within the Axis Group to their next desired career milestone. The Bank is among the few in the industry to have gone ahead with yearly appraisals and provide variable pay‑outs to all employees upto middle management roles during these trying times.

As a new‑age Bank, we continue to make investments in strengthening our information technology and cyber security competencies while building new capabilities in digital and customer excellence. We now have a separate digital team of highly skilled people with separate infrastructure and set‑up in Mumbai. The team is currently working on several digital garages that are likely to simplify customer journeys and improve customer experience.

Following a Lean and Six Sigma philosophy, our dedicated team of process quality experts, have also undertaken and executed large number of process transformation projects with a view to improve turn‑around‑times, process efficiencies, productivity and operational capabilities for improved customer experience.

All these digital transformations at the Bank are not only going to help us streamline our processes and serve our customers better, but also grow the business manifold and provide new world skills and tools to our employees.

During the year, we implemented a uniform visual brand identity for the Bank and its subsidiaries to drive consistency and strengthen the ethos of ‘One Axis’ across the Bank’s retail, digital and offline touch‑points. ‘Dil Se Open’ our new brand philosophy launched earlier this calendar year, also builds on the value of customer centricity that each of our employees display while interacting with customers. In the last 26 years of our journey, our employees have been the Bank’s strongest assets and true ambassadors, reflecting our core values of customer centricity, integrity and ethics in all our actions. The Bank has always stood by its customers not only to meet their financial needs and fulfil their dreams, but also contribute significantly towards sustainable economic and social development of the communities around us.

In the last 26 years of our journey, our employees have been the Bank’s strongest assets and true ambassadors, reflecting our core values of customer centricity, integrity and ethics in all our actions.

We have always believed that the communities where we serve are our critical stakeholders and significantly contribute to our success. The Bank continued to play its part in sustainable development of the communities and environment. It has set aside an amount of `100 crores for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting the cause of its stakeholders and community at large. The Bank’s employees have contributed a part of their salaries towards the PM CARES Fund.

We have been working with various government agencies, police departments and others to support them directly through hand sanitisers and masks, thermal guns, PPE masks and gloves. Axis Bank Foundation has supported distressed people in 7 cities by providing grocery kits to them with the help of credible NGOs. Earlier this financial year, under Axis ‘Sahaayata’ project, the Bank provided relief kits to cyclone affected individuals in Odisha and to those impacted by floods in Assam, Bihar, Karnataka and Kerala, collectively supporting close to 38,000 individuals and families.

During the year, we implemented a uniform visual brand identity for the Bank and its subsidiaries to drive consistency and strengthen the ethos of ‘One Axis’ across the Bank’s retail, digital and offline touch-points

Axis Bank Foundation has continued its initiatives to empower the marginalised poor and provide them the opportunity to move up the social, economic and ecological barriers. The foundation is currently working with 7 lakhs families to build their skills and earn their own livelihoods, while also offering them access to government schemes and formal credit, thus ensuring long‑term sustainability. The Foundation is now targeting a sustainable impact by reaching out to 2 million families by 2025.

Recently, the Bank concluded its CSR programme ‘Axis DilSe’, that was initiated with an objective to transform over 100 primary schools in the remote villages in Leh and Kargil districts of the Union Territory of Ladakh over a period of three years. We are very excited to take forward Axis DilSe to other remote corners of the country, and aim to launch it in the state of Manipur in the next financial year.

The Bank remains committed to serve our external stakeholders – customers and community, while ensuring progress of our internal stakeholders – our employees - our most prized assets. As we expect these unprecedented times to settle down, we stay committed to follow all precautions and ensure a smooth transition to the ‘new normal’ which includes enhanced health and safety arrangements at all our offices, a boundary‑less workspace model and establishing new work behaviours of ownership and productivity.

By staying true to our values, and continually investing in building newer capabilities, Axis is positioned well to become the Bank of choice for all. The challenges as well as opportunities ahead are huge, and we are committed to investing in our people and capabilities to connect insights to decisions and processes to outcomes.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Axis, I want to thank you for your continued trust, confidence, and support. Together, at Axis Bank, we will weather the storm and come out stronger than ever. Stay healthy, stay safe!

Warm Regards,

Rajesh Dahiya

Executive Director, Corporate Centre