Punjab bank's profile growing
On a cold and rainy February morning, Belgrave Road is a world away from Delhi, where Ajay Gupta has spent most of his working life.
But the chief manager of Punjab National Bank, in Leicester, models the branch on the values that have helped its parent company become India's largest nationalised bank.
A year ago, Mr Gupta, who has chalked up 32 years in banking, and senior manager Suman Kumar transferred from India to Leicester to begin a four-year stint.
The bank wants its UK managers to come from India because they know the business model, which includes offering a highly personal service.
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Mr Gupta's door is always open to customers and Saturday opening is from 9am to 5pm.
Having marked four years in Leicester the bank's aim now is to build on its customer numbers – currently 8,000.
Mr Kumar said: "The way we run the bank is we are here to serve the community.
"We believe our customer service is a cut above the high street banks.
"I want customers to come in and see me – my door is open.
"I don't like to see someone queuing – I will call them into my office.
"When it comes to corporate customers, our ethos is quality lending.
"The criteria is whether the money can be paid back because as a bank we are custodians of public money – that's the most important thing rather than the type of customer.
"We can work with firms of all sizes but find in Leicester it is small and medium-sized businesses which are the core corporate customers."
At the end of March, the bank launched a cash ISA.
Next month, it will add a contactless debit Mastercard, the first Indian bank to do so.
The Punjab Bank, India's third largest overall, was set up in 1895 and how has more than 78 million customers.
The Leicester branch is part of its subsidiary, Punjab National Bank International.
It was the third in the UK to open, in January 2009, after two in London.
There are now seven branches in the UK.
The Leicester branch does more than £72 million of business and is aiming to increase that total.
During their time in Leicester, Mr Gupta and Mr Kumar's job is also to promote the brand within Leicestershire and further afield.
The bank is now sponsoring Rotary Club events, supporting the Leicestershire Loros hospice and Sabras Radio and has established links with the Leicestershire Asian Business Association.
Mr Gupta said: "Soon you will see us everywhere. This idea of serving the community also means, where possible, we are involved with music, culture, charity."
With the Indian economy growing rapidly and on course to be the world's third largest by 2030, the links with the country only strengthen to boost the bank's image.
Mr Gupta said: "David Cameron has said 2013 will be our year and certainly we think what is happening with the Indian economy can only help to boost the bank's name."