here, we shall discuss how the operations and human resource framework at sbi and other public sector banks of india contrasts with that of mcdonalds, a prominent restaurant chain. in the end, we shall be able to comprehend why sbi is struggling to maintain its profitable operations despite being a bank of almost every indian.
let us start with the recruitment process at the two establishments. to be able to work with sbi, one needs to be a graduate and clear the competitive exam that the bank conducts to fill positions of clerks and probationary officers. for a mcdonalds job, one gets selected without any such exam, however, only those with good communication and other skills can expect to be hired.
do sbi and other public sector banks actually need a competitive exam to fill vacancies. the answer is ‘no’.
and this is backed by the rationale that a clerk or a probationary officer would not undertake any scientific explorations or innovations, the task allocated to them would only comprise of basic computational and computer skills. why then ask lakhs of aspirants prepare and sit for an exam that will only subsequently need you to perform simple accounting tasks?
still, this exam is undertaken by many, reason? the lucrative salaries that come along with job security, perks and repute.
while a mcdonalds employee, who has almost same skills as the bank clerk or probationary officer, is not paid more than inr 15,000 a month, a public sector bank employee takes home more than double this amount for performing more or less identical tasks.
so were you wondering why sbi and other psbs are reeling under npas, low productivity, dipping operating ratios, poor customer service? blame the high salaries of their staff and the employment security they enjoy, not the economic stagnation or loan defaulters.
on the other count, a mcdonalds outlet starts operations from early morning and functions at least till 10pm. reason? when there is demand, you need to supply (this is a fundamental economic theory). sbi functions from 10 to 5, is closed on 2 saturdays and all sundays of the month.
so if one needs to open a savings account or get a fixed deposit or apply for a loan, you can only approach the bank from monday till friday, strict 10am to 3.30pm, which is when almost every bank customer is out to earn bread and butter for her own.
the bottom line is if the government, the central bank and public sector banks want to improve on their operating ratios, they need to do away with sham competitive exams, rationalize salaries of their staff, re-think the working hours (hire more staff to work till at least 8pm and to keep at least some branches open on saturdays and sundays) and infuse work ethics in employees.