Organisational Structure And Cross Cultural Management Icici Bank Commerce Essay


This paper explores the linkage between organizational structure and cross-cultural management. It suggests that a fluid and continuously evolving structure enables effective cross-cultural management. In support of this, the paper reports on the experience of the second largest bank in India and the largest private sector bank in India by market capitalization. The Bank has a network of 2,509 branches and 5,808 ATMs in India, and has a presence in 19 countries, including India. ICICI Bank offers a wide range of banking products and financial services to corporate and retail customers through a variety of delivery channels and specialization subsidiaries and affiliates in the areas of investment banking, life and non-life insurance, venture capital and asset management. ICICI Bank is also the largest issuer of credit cards in India. ICICI Bank's shares are listed on the stock exchanges at BSE, NSE, Kolkata and Vadodara (formerly Baroda) ; its ADRs trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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The Bank is expanding in overseas markets and has the largest international balance sheet among Indian banks. ICICI Bank now has wholly owned subsidiaries, branches and representatives offices in 19 countries, including an offshore unit in Mumbai. This includes wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, Russia and the UK offshore banking units in Bahrain and Singapore, an advisory branch in Dubai, branches in Belgium, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, and representative offices in Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and USA. Overseas, the Bank is targeting the NRI (Non-Resident Indian) population in particular.

ICICI reported a 1.15% rise in net profit to Indian rupee1,014.21 crore on a 1.29% increase in total income to Indian rupee9,712.31 crore in Q2 September 2008 over Q2 September 2007. The bank's CASA ratio increased to 30% in 2008 from 25% in 2007.

ICICI Bank is one of the Big Four Banks of India, along with State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank - its main competitors.


International business houses are increasingly operating with multicultural work forces. One key to competitive advantage for these business houses is effective cross-cultural management. Even conservative business houses such as traditional banks are finding that the thrust of competition requires them to manage diversity in their workforces. An example of one such traditional bank is ICICI Bank. ICICI Bank's performance and aspirations are underpinned by a strong organizational culture of dynamism, meritocracy, excellence in execution and high standards of professional integrity that have helped us become an industry leader. The bank runs a leadership development program which aims to build leadership talent within the organization. The program attempts to tap into the potential of employees and develop them into global leaders. It has also extended its role beyond economic growth concerns to directly participate in the pursuit of human development. 


Smith's Work View

Smith (ICICI MD) and his original team did well. ICICI prospered. Their 8-8 banking service set a new benchmark in the industry BUT its grown too vast. Smith is surrounded by people who do not present the true status of the crippling retail dissatisfaction

Smith has become risk averse and has appointed people who've been around him for years, as heads of divisions. They do not have the same drive and enthusiasm as Smith and hence the stagnation. The need of the hour is to expand infrastructure, bring in younger people in the top management (people in 30s and early 40s). and ofcourse until then, ICICI can be avoided.

Work culture at ICICI Bank

It is a tech-savvy, non-hierarchical, work environment where early responsibility and independent decision-making enable each employee to reach his/her potential. Coupled with this is a strong performance management system that has built a meritocracy where high performing-high potential individuals are duly rewarded.

Employee's Satisfaction

Even during recession ICICI Bank did not cut back on employees But instead announced a policy of - No promotion & No bonus but no attrition too!! This policy is serving two purposes for ICICI bank, cutting down employee cost and employee retention.

Employees also feel that as an employer the bank extends a lot of authority along with justified accountability.

Employees perceived the working culture at ICICI bank to be very collaborative in nature. It can be owed to the fact that the bank is highly segmented with a lot of overlapping and mostly distinct roles and responsibilities.

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The Employees also considered that ICICI bank offers them with a lot of financial benefits ranging from your family health insurance to your kids school donations.

But certain concerns in terms of Lack of time for fulfilling social responsibilities And more sales oriented culture are there.

Dress Code

ICICI Bank would issue dress to be worn by all Progamme Participants. This dress, as laid down, would be worn for all classes and other organised activities. Till the time the participants are issued with the dress they would abide by the following dress code: -

(a) Gentlemen

(i) Formal office trousers and shirts with a tie. Most acceptable colours for trousers would be black, brown, blue and grey. Preferable pastel colours for shirts.

(ii) Suits for formal occasions.

(iii) Formal footwear

(iv) Well groomed.

(b) Ladies

(i) Silk or cotton (starched) sari

(ii) Formal western wear (formal trousers/skirts with a top or a jacket) or salwar kameez.

(iii) Formal footwear.

(iv) Well groomed.

Role Of Women In ICICI Bank

Chanda Kochhar knew nothing about retail banking when she took over ICICI Bank's fledgling retail operations in 1998 at the age of 36. That made Citibank and others think ICICI was only doing a "small flirtation," she says, and they "underestimated the growth in the market." They also underestimated this smart, assertive woman, known for her colorful saris and carefully matched jewelry.

Today ICICI, India's second-largest and fastest-growing bank, is the market leader in retail banking, with more than 15 million customers, accounting for more than a third of India's total retail credit. And Kochhar - No. 37 on this year's list of the world's most powerful businesswomen - added corporate banking to her portfolio in April and is a leading candidate to become managing director and chief executive of the Mumbai bank when the job becomes vacant at the end of 2008.

That a woman should achieve such success in a male-dominated industry, in an economy where women often play subservient roles, might be a surprise at any other Indian bank. But ICICI (Charts) has made a name for itself by recognizing female talent. Three of the five members of the bank's executive board are women, as are 13 of its 40 top managers and one of Kochhar's two rivals for the chief executive job - Shikha Sharma, the 47-year-old managing director of ICICI Prudential.

Once dubbed the "petticoat brigade" by Mumbai's chauvinistic banking fraternity, these highly competitive women have helped build a business known for its aggressive, risk-taking attitude and its growth from a sleepy, bureaucratic development institution into India's most diversified and customer-oriented bank. "Almost all the leaders we have picked have succeeded, and most have been women," says K.V. Smith, ICICI's CEO, who has been responsible for empowering them.

Kalpana Morparia, a lawyer and the other joint managing director, retires next May. Her peers at other banks say she has been the backbone of ICICI for the past ten years, looking after the raising of funds and the regulatory environment. She says she stayed at ICICI, when she could have earned far more elsewhere, "because the empowerment gives an entrepreneurial framework, where you have all the support systems."

Sharma, another early achiever and fast learner, admits she is "fiercely competitive." When she was 33 she headed ICICI's side of a securities joint venture with J.P. Morgan, initially knowing little about markets. That led to a two-year stint at Morgan, after which she ran ICICI's corporate planning department and started its retail banking operation. In 2000, knowing nothing about insurance, she set up the joint venture with Britain's Prudential, which is restricted by government policy to a 26% equity stake and has only a minimal management presence. That leaves Sharma in charge of India's largest private-sector insurance company, with 12.5% of the market. She says women are good at succeeding without prior experience because "they have smaller egos [than men], and it's easier for me to say, 'Hey, I know nothing about this.' "

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Very aggressive Bank in terms of adopting the best practices, technology and takng business for a young entrant a very good opportunity to learn and grow

Extreme work pressures makes one to learn to respond quickly and efficiently and absorb pressure a trait useful for the future

Senior management backing for new initiatves

Fairly transperant Performance Appraisal system

Open to changes in department for employees, allowing employees to grow

Very professional, Good place to work

It need only to sell product, brand awareness is high, very strong in systems, minimum paperwork, good training opportunities, opportunities given to do different things other than the regular job. Excellent place to learn marketing and strategy. Unearthly working hours usual. Less involvement from HR regarding welfare of employees, some established managers tend to push down people who don't perform instead of hand holding them, demotions in roles very common, even if you are a good performer. Senior Management care more for your employees, they are more than just another email id! Find ways to understand what's happening on the field, its very different from whatever impression you have!

Flexibility in terms of changing job profiles; power and authority assigned at each level is very motivating; employees feel very powerful in ICICI as compared with other organisations.

Literature Review

The author reviews the theoretical and empirical literature to examine the traditional perception that the following trade-off exists between economic efficiency and stability in the banking system: a competitive banking system is more efficient and therefore important to growth, but market power is necessary for stability in the banking system. That this trade-off exists is not clear. Market power can have positive implications for efficiency, and the potentially negative implications of competition on stability may be manageable through prudential regulation. Neither extreme (perfect competition nor monopoly) is likely ideal. Rather, it may be optimal to facilitate an environment that promotes competitive behaviour (contestability), thereby minimizing the potential costs of market power while realizing benefits from any residual that remains. It can be very difficult to assess the contestability of a banking market. Recent work suggests that the number of banks and the degree of concentration are not, in themselves, sufficient indicators of contestability. Other factors play a strong role, including regulatory policies that promote competition, a well-developed financial system, the effects of branch networks, and the effect and uptake of technological advancements.

Classical views of organizational structure have emphasized the "durable arrangements" within an organization. Jackson & Morgan (1982) define organizational structure in line with the classical view as: "the relatively enduring allocation of work roles and administrative mechanisms that creates a pattern of inter-related work activities, and allows the organization to conduct, coordinate, and control its work activities". This definition of organizational structure with the caveat that work arrangements need not always be relatively enduring.

Early writers on the subject, including Taylor (1911), Fayol (1930), and Weber (Gerth & Mills, 1958), had stipulated an ideal-type of organizational structure for all situations. In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, the "one best form fits all" view was replaced by the contingency approach. A contingency perspective such as that of Lorsch & Morse (1974) prescribes that an alignment should exist between structure, task, technology, the environment, and people. This approach takes into account that structures can be flexible and responsive to change. Contingency theorists such as Duncan (1977), Lawrence & Lorsch (1967), Burns & Stalker (1961), Minzberg (1979), Miles & Snow (1978), and Galbraith (1973) recommended that organizational structure should be either organic or mechanistic depending on the nature of the external environment. A stable external environment called for a mechanistic structure, while a turbulent environment required an organic structure - one flexible enough to evolve. The power of the contingency theory was validated in two countries from the non-English speaking world by Boseman & Simonetti (1975), indicating that non-traditional notions of structure apply in a variety of cultural contexts.

In the past twenty-five years several researchers have made a case for viewing organizational structure in terms of transient features rather than durable ones. Duncan's work (1977) was among the earliest in this genre. Duncan advocated a bifurcated initiation and implementation structure for creative organizations. It then became possible to envisage structures that were bifurcated in other ways, such as those that have organic and bureaucratic structures existing conterminously as described by Peterson (1981). Here, the segment of the organization that engages in creative activities is separated from the rest of the organization, which is essentially bureaucratic. Just as creativity exerted a pressure for organizations to adopt transient structures, lately, knowledge generation and transfer in high information-intensity and velocity contexts have likewise exerted pressures for looser structures. Miles & Snow (1995) have argued for flexible networked structures for such organizations. In their literature review piece, Child & McGrath (2001) too note how continuously changing structures, are de rigour in knowledge based organizations.

Coulson-Thomas (1991) has predicted that corporations dealing with complex operations would opt for "flatter and more fluid organizational structures that can develop into networks", as well as have "greater flexibility and responsiveness to customer needs". This would be accompanied by "a management approach which pushes organizational hierarchy to individuals, who require access to expertise and specialists".

Pepper (1995) advanced an even more dynamic perspective on structure, which incorporated such elements as working relationships, actual experiences of members, and interpretations of occurrences. Pepper suggested that structure should be treated like a document that is authored by organizational members.

Weick (1995) also postulated a dynamic view of structure. Weick talked about "enacting organizations" which are a function of organizational members' preferences. He observed, "Organizing is a continuous flow of movement that people try to co-ordinate with a continuous flow of input."

Taking off from the notion of 'enactment', is that of inverted firms. Anderson, Finkelstein, & Quinn (1996) have recommended that hierarchies be dispensed with in certain contexts; instead, structures be organised in the form of patterns tailored to specific needs.

Also closely related to the notion of enactment is that of improvisation. Improvisation connotes flexibility of form, an area a few contemporary researchers are currently discussing. Volberda (1999) holds that the extent of flexibility of a firm's structure should be aligned to the extent of turbulence prevalent in its environment. Additionally, a firm may on the whole be averagely flexible but have both a unit that is extremely flexible and a unit that is extremely rigid, functioning within it. Gold & Hirshfeld (2005) have demonstrated how the principles of improvisation underlying jazz music can be used to promote strategic renewal within organizations.

McHugh & Wheeler (1995) described a particularly fluid structure called holonic network. This is "a set of companies that acts integrated and organically; it is constantly re-configured to manage each business opportunity a customer presents. Each company within the network provides a different process capability and is called a Holon." This capacity for frequent re-configuring has been termed more recently by Eisenhardt & Galunic (2001) as "architectural innovation". Here, the different capabilities of an organization, including its structural components are re-combined in various ways to enhance performance.

Table I: Consider how our view of structure has changed over time - I

From durable structures to flexible structures


Essence of Theory


Weber, Taylor, Fayol

One best form of structure that is largely unvarying, durable and bureaucratic. Focus was on establishing order and maintaining predictability

Early 20th Century

Duncan, Lawrence & Lorsch, Burns & Stalker, Minzberg, Miles & Snow, and Galbraith

Structure should not be consistently unvarying. A stable environment necessitates a mechanistic structure, while a turbulent environment calls for an organic and flexible structure. The type of structure adopted should be contingent on the nature of the environment.

1960's & 1970's

Duncan, Peterson

A creative organization should have certain elements of structure that are flexible.

1970's & early 1980's

Child & McGrath, Miles & Snow

A knowledge generation and transfer organization should have a flexible structure.

1990's & early 2000's

Table II: Consider how our view of structure has changed over time - II

Different imperatives for flexible structures


Essence of Theory



Complex, high-performance organizations require flat, fluid, flexible structures that enable responsiveness to customer needs. These structures can develop into networks.


McHugh & Wheeler

Complex, high-performance organizations require a fluid structure that enables re-configuration suited to each business opportunity that arises. These structures can develop into colonic networks.



High-performance organizations require flexible structures capable of incorporating such features as actual experiences of members, etc. These structures enable employee participation in and ownership of organizational processes



High-performance organizations require flexible structures that enable employees to "enact" their work-related preferences. These structures promote efficiency and employee participation.


Anderson, Finkelstein, & Quinn

High-performance organizations sometimes require inverted structures that enable the removal of hierarchies. These structures can be tailored to specific needs.



High-performance organizations should be internally differentiated so that units have varying extents of flexibility. This promotes efficiency and alignment with the environment's demand.


Eisenhardt & Galunic

High-performance organizations should emphasise the "architectural innovation" capability of its structure. This enhances performance.


Gold & Hirschfield

High-performance organizations require structures that are capable of improvisation. This enables strategic renewal.


Looking at organizational structure in terms of a historical perspective is useful, since it underscores the fact that its components do not have to be durable. Thus due to several imperatives, organizational structures are assuming flexible forms. Cross-cultural management can be a further reason why organizations should adopt flexible structures with transient features. That personnel can have preferences for structural forms that reflect their cultural heritage is indicated by the INSEAD study of Stevens (cited in Hofstede, 1991).

In this study, MBA students from Great Britain, France and Germany were presented with a caselet about and interpersonal problem in a corporation. The students were requested to present a solution that involved re-engineering the structure. The interpersonal problem was that two department heads could not see eye to eye. The British students diagnosed the problem as being one of poor communication between the department heads. The problem could be resolved, according to the British students, by providing training in interpersonal skills to the feuding department heads. The French students suggested that the problem be referred one level up to the president of the corporation. The German students recommended that there should be greater clarity regarding the roles, responsibilities, and spheres of activity of the two department heads. These roles, etc. the German students opined, should be described and specified unambiguously.

Steven's study specifically suggests that flexible structural forms may be appropriate in cross-cultural management contexts. Chang's (2002) paper written notes that culture has implications for job design. Thus, managers from individualistic ethnic cultures will value personal accomplishments. Meanwhile managers from collectivist cultures would place a premium on working harmoniously with others. The challenge is to design structures so that managers from both types of cultures can work productively together.

We present here the experience of ICICI Bank as indicative that a fluid, flexible structure enables cross-cultural management. The fluid, flexible structure at ICICI Banks enabled managers from different cultures (collectivist and individualistic, high power-distance and low power-distance, etc.) to work synergistically with each other. Flexible structures obviate the sense that a structure or work pattern is being imposed by one cultural group on others. It provides a mechanism whereby culturally different work patterns can be 'reconciled' in a meaningful fashion. (Reconciliation is a term used by Trompenaars (1993) for the process he developed to work through the tensions created by cultural differences.)


This study constitutes an exploratory effort. Its purpose is to examine how a fluid, flexible organizational structure facilitates cross-cultural management. Huberman & Miles (1994) have recommended that when a deeper understanding of management contexts is sought, qualitative research designs may be appropriate. Similarly, organization theorists like Marjoribanks (2000) and Vogel (1996) have deliberately used fine-grained case studies to capture how institutional diffusion occurs. The present study employs qualitative methods and a substantive case study to observe and report the co-evolution of a fluid, flexible organizational structure and cross-cultural management practices.

ICICI Bank has a vast and a well-connected network of branches offering incomparable banking and other financial services to its customers. You need not look far for an ICICI bank branch and can get all the relevant information regarding the address, phone number and other information about the nearest branch of ICICI bank in your area using an online tool of 'branch locator' to locate an ICICI bank branch. The ICICI bank has established its branches in easily accessible market places across India enabling its customers to avail a variety of retail banking products offered by the bank. 

The ICICI bank branches are spread throughout India and the world having 1,488 branches both in India and 18 countries. The customer care executives at branches are willing to help in order to provide assistance in all sorts of bank related products and services. The current office timings of ICICI bank branches are 8AM-8PM which has been proposed to 9AM-6PM.

The bank has spread its reach far across the globe with branches in Canada, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka. It has established its presence in places such as Kuala Lumpur, San Francisco, San Jose, New York, California etc.

As the bank is playing an important role in country's Political, Socio- economic, Technological environment as it provides many facilities to many customers throughout many countries and future plans are to expand the branches across the borders to meet the pace of Globalization and contribute to maximum Optimum utilization of resources in a well structured manner.

ICICI Bank…Background in brief

In 1955, The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Limited (ICICI) was incorporated at the initiative of World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of Indian industry, with the objective of creating a development financial institution for providing medium-term and long-term project financing to Indian businesses. In 1994, ICICI established Banking Corporation as a banking subsidiary. Formerly known as Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India, ICICI Banking Corporation was later renamed as 'ICICI Bank Limited'. ICICI founded a separate legal entity, ICICI Bank, to undertake normal banking operations - taking deposits, credit cards, car loans etc. In 2001, ICICI acquired Bank of Madura (est. 1943). Bank of Madura was a Chettiar bank, and had acquired Chettinad Mercantile Bank (est. 1933) and Illanji Bank (established 1904) in the 1960s. In 2002, The Boards of Directors of ICICI and ICICI Bank approved the reverse merger of ICICI, ICICI Personal Financial Services Limited and ICICI Capital Services Limited, into ICICI Bank. After receiving all necessary regulatory approvals, ICICI integrated the group's financing and banking operations, both wholesale and retail, into a single entity. At the same time, ICICI started its international expansion by opening representative offices in New York and London. In India, ICICI Bank bought the Shimla and Darjeeling branches that Standard Chartered Bank had inherited when it acquired Grindlays Bank.

In 2003, ICICI opened subsidiaries in Canada and the United Kingdom (UK), and in the UK it established an alliance with Lloyds TSB. It also opened an Offshore Banking Unit (OBU) in Singapore and representative offices in Dubai and Shanghai. In 2004, ICICI opened a representative office in Bangladesh to tap the extensive trade between that country, India and South Africa. In 2005, ICICI acquired Investitsionno-Kreditny Bank (IKB), a Russia bank with about US$4mn in assets, head office in Balabanovo in the Kaluga region, and with a branch in Moscow. ICICI renamed the bank ICICI Bank Eurasia. Also, ICICI established a branch in Dubai International Financial Centre and in Hong Kong. In 2006, ICICI Bank UK opened a branch in Antwerp, in Belgium. ICICI opened representative offices in Bangkok, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur. In 2007, ICICI amalgamated Sangli Bank, which was headquartered in Sangli, in Maharashtra State, and which had 158 branches in Maharashtra and another 31 in Karnataka State. Sangli Bank had been founded in 1916 and was particularly strong in rural areas. With respect to the international sphere, ICICI also received permission from the government of Qatar to open a branch in Doha. Also, ICICI Bank Eurasia opened a second branch, this time in St. Petersburg. In 2008, The US Federal Reserve permitted ICICI to convert its representative office in New York into a branch. ICICI also established a branch in Frankfurt. In 2009, ICICI made huge changes in its organization like elimination of loss making department and re-stretching outsourced staff or renegotiate their charges in consequent to the recession. In addition to this, ICICI adopted a massive approach aims for cost control and cost cutting. In consequent of it, compensation to staff was not increased and no bonus declared for 2008-09.

On 23 May ICICI Bank announced that it would merge with Bank of Rajasthan through a share-swap in a non-cash deal that values the Bank of Rajasthan at about Indian rupee3,000 crore. ICICI announced that the merger expand ICICI Bank's branch network by 25%.

On 18h October 2010, ICICI will inaugurate I-Express, an instant cross-border money transfer option for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). This service will be available through the ICICI Bank's select partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council.

ICICI Bank is India's second-largest bank with total assets of Rs. 3,634.00 billion (US$ 81 billion) at March 31, 2010 and profit after tax Rs. 40.25 billion (US$ 896 million) for the year ended March 31, 2010. The Bank has a network of 2,509 branches and 5,808 ATMs in India, and has a presence in 19 countries, including India. ICICI Bank offers a wide range of banking products and financial services to corporate and retail customers through a variety of delivery channels and through its specialised subsidiaries in the areas of investment banking, life and non-life insurance, venture capital and asset management. The Bank currently has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Russia and Canada, branches in United States, Singapore, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Dubai International Finance Centre and representative offices in United Arab Emirates, China, South Africa, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Our UK subsidiary has established branches in Belgium and Germany. 

ICICI Bank's equity shares are listed in India on Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India Limited and its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Controversies over time…

ICICI Bank has been in focus in recent years because of alleged harassment of customers by its recovery agents. Listed below are some of the related news links:

ICICI Bank was fined Indian rupee55 lakh for hiring goons (known coloquially as "goondas") to recover a loan. Recovery agents had ,allegedly, forcibly dragged out a youth (who was not even the borrower) from the car, beaten him up with iron rods and left him bleeding as they drove away with the vehicle. "We hold ICICI Bank guilty of the grossest kind of deficiency in service and unfair trade practice for breach of terms of contract of hire-purchase/loan agreement by seizing the vehicle illegally,""No civilised society governed by the rule of law can brook such kind of conduct" said Justice Kaleem, who was born in Laddhawala, Muzaffarnagar is the president of the consumer commission. [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18]

Four ICICI loan employees arrested on theft charges in Punjab. [19]

ICICI Bank told to pay Indian rupee1 lakh as compensation for using unlawful recovery methods. [20]

RBI warns ICICI Bank for coercive methods to recover loans. [21]

ICICI Bank drives customer to suicide - Four men including an employee of ICICI Bank booked under sections 452, 306, 506 (II) and 34 of IPC for abetting suicide. According to the suicide note they advised him, "If you cannot repay the bank loan, sell off your wife, your kids, yourself, sell everything at your home. Even then if you cannot not pay back the due amount, then it's better if you commit suicide." India biggest private bank has compensated the life by money. [22], [23], [24]

ICICI Bank on huge car recovery scam in Goa - ICICI Bank invest in car-jackers to recover loans in Goa. A half an hour investigative report on CNN-IBN's 30 Minutes. The under cover report was executed by CNN-IBN's Special Investigations Team from Mumbai, led by Ruksh Chatterji. [25]

Family of Y. Yadaiah alleged that he was beaten to death by ICICI Bank's recovery agents, for failing to pay the dues. Four persons were arrested in this case. [26]

A father while talking to Times of India, alleged that "ICICI Bank recovery agents visited his house and threatened his family. And his son Nikhil consumed poison because of the tension". [27]

Oppressed by ICICI Bank's loan recovery agents, Shakuntala Joshi (38), committed suicide by hanging. The suicide note stated that she was upset with the ill-treatment meted out by ICICI Bank's recovery agents and had thus decided to end her life. [28]

In another case of a suicide it is alleged that 'goondas' sent by ICICI Bank abused Himanshu and his wife in front of the entire residential colony before taking away his vehicle. Feeling frustrated and insulted, he reportedly committed suicide. [29]

C.L.N Murthy, a scientist with the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, was allegedly tortured by recovery agents of ICICI Bank after he defaulted on his loan."They humiliated me no end. They ripped my shirt, shaved my moustache, cut my hair and gave electric shocks on my chest and even spat on my face" adds Murthy. [30]

A dozen recovery agents of ICICI Bank, riding on bikes, allegedly forced a prominent lawyer, Someshwari Prasad, to stop his car. They held Prasad at gunpoint and also slapped him to force him. A manager of the ICICI Bank branch, Rakesh Mehta, along with four other employees were arrested. [31]

In a landmark case, Allahabad High Court had ordered registration of an FIR against ICICI Bank's branch manager, President, Chairman and Managing Director on a complaint of 75-year-old widow Prakash Kaur. She had complained that "goondas" were sent by the bank to harass her and forcibly took away her truck. When the Supreme Court wanted to know about the procedure adopted by the Bank, ICICI Bank counsel said notice would be sent to a defaulter asking him either to pay the instalments or hand over the vehicle purchased on loan, failing which the agents would be asked to seize it. When the Bench pointed out that recovery or seizure could be done only legally, ICICI Bank counsel said, "If we have to go through the legal process it would be difficult to recover the instalments as there are millions of defaulters". [32], [33]

Taking strong exception to ICICI Bank's use of 'goondas' against a defaulter, the president of Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said, "The fact leaves us aghast at the manner of functioning and goondaism in which the bank is involved for a petty amount of Indian rupee1,889... such attitude is deplorable and sends chills down the spine....The bank had the option to recover dues through legal means. They have no legal right to snatch the vehicle in such a manner which amounts to robbery,". In this case recovery agents pointed a pistol at a defaulter when he tried to resist. ICICI bank argued that they had taken peaceful possession of the vehicle "after due intimation to the complainant as he was irregular in remitting the monthly instalments". But the court found out that the records proved otherwise. [34]

Two senior ICICI Bank officials were booked for abducting one Vikas Porwal from his house and keeping him hostage in the Bank's premises. [35]

The credit card division of the ICICI Bank allegedly threatened a senior citizen in Chandigarh with a fictitious arrest warrant on account of a default that never was. [36]

A Consumer Commission has asked ICICI Bank MD K V Smith to appear before it in respect a complaint. A borrower on protesting against the forceful dispossession of his car, as seen in the post-incident photographs, was roughed up and sustained injuries. [37]

An 18-year-old boy was allegedly kidnapped and detained at the Pune branch of ICICI Bank. [38]

There have been several other minor legal cases accusing harassment by ICICI Bank. [39], [40], [41], [42]

A consumer court imposed a joint penalty of Indian rupee25 lakh on ICICI Bank and American Express Bank for making unsolicited calls.[43]

The truth is the ICICI Bank cannot serve you. Its branches are crowded, its staff has become incompetent and its ATMs resemble municipal water pipe queues in early morning Mumbai slums. They started with a good strategy. With Smith as the CEO, ICICI executed his plans very well. Unlike the dominant government owned banks, ICICI's branches are located on the main commercial streets of cities and towns. These are well decorated, glass and steel type of buildings and very spacious (by Indian standards). Of late, ICICI has added more retail customers in proportion to its existing branch infrastructure.

The already overcrowded branches are now packed with people of all backgrounds and colour. ICICI staff is still 10% better than say Union Bank of India's but they are not as efficient as they used to be. A lot of ex- government bankers have get into ICICI working culture and with them they have brought their 'more excuses than work' attitude. Account opening is a meticulous process for want of unwanted documents. Cheque clearance delay is more than normal. Small talk and ICICI staff are clueless. The culture is taking over the go-getter young attitude that once reigns.

Home loans are rejected for no concrete reasons, credit verification is done by bunch of bullies and collection has probably been outsourced to the mafia or the underworld...

Conclusion & Suggestions

Now on the basis of above observations the functioning of ICICI bank can be concluded as follows:

• ICICI bank is following Value based model using the strategy of empowering employees as workers and as owners. The aim being to creates a corporate culture where work can be more satisfying and economically rewarding. Thereby principles of Value-Based Management, is being used by ICICI bank as an ethical mantra resulting into greater customer and employee satisfaction From which can flow increased cost savings, increased sales, and increased profits.

• Talking about the Bareilly District ICICI bank has two branches covering the entire district. Although ICICI bank has appointed a number of agents on commission basis for the same.

• Consumer also disclosed that there are many hidden costs involved in the services provided by ICICI bank which defies the image of private bank and hinders the common man to approach them for other business activities. A specific case that comes to mind pertains to the housing finance sector.

• Although the customers seemed to be satisfied with ICICI Bank they felt in recent years the services of the bank have been drastically affected due to the newly appointed employees who seemed to learn at the cost of customers.

• They also felt that employees at ICICI bank seemed to be stressed resulting in detoriation of service quality.

• It has also been analyzed that ICICI bank has shown the tendency to cater its services to classes rather than masses in the district. This has prevented them to give loans to priority sector, direct agricultural advances and loan for entrepreneurship.

• But it was analyses that Customers perceive ICICI bank as a one stop solution (Universal Bank) for all financial need of individuals and institutions alike. Attributing to its vast network, probably the largest among private sector banks.

ICICI has more than 5,808 ATMs. By Indian banking standards its a big number, but by ICICI Customer figures, it's too low. Most ATMs ALWAYS have a queue. ATM screen interface is user friendly but the network is often slow which kills the enthusiasm to withdraw your money and run. One Has to wait as long as 16 minutes to withdraw his/her OWN cash from ICICI.

It is a Very professional, good place to work, As it need only to sell product, brand awareness is high, very strong in systems, minimum paperwork, good training opportunities, opportunities given to do different things other than the regular job. Excellent place to learn marketing and strategy.

Flexibility in terms of changing job profiles; power and authority assigned at each level is very motivating; employees feel very powerful in ICICI as compared with other organisations.