Mumbai: ICICI Bank has announced the launch of a programme for startups that takes care of their banking as well as beyond-banking needs such as regulatory assistance, analytics, staffing, accounting, customer acquisition and digital outreach to customers, among others.
Named ‘iStartup2.0’, the country’s most comprehensive programme, offers customers an eponymous Current Account which is available in three variants–Platinum, Gold and Silver– the widest range by any Bank for start-ups.
New businesses (up to 10 years old) including partnerships, private and public limited companies as well as limited liability partnerships can opt for the Current Account.
Further, startups can seamlessly open an account and get the account number instantly at the time of incorporation as the Bank has integrated its APIs with the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).
It offers significant convenience to founders/entrepreneurs as it saves time and efforts since they don’t have to fill details again to apply for an account.
As further convenience, the Bank sends an official to startups at a time of their choice to verify the original documents for KYC.
Other benefits of this Current Account include the availability of a dedicated Relationship Manager, premium savings account for promoters and salary accounts for employees and waiver of quarterly average balance for a year.
Additionally, startups can customise and choose the facilities required in their account and use the single account for both domestic and international trade transactions with preferential pricing, both industry-first services.
The beyond-banking services are available under an umbrella, named ‘Startup Assist’ that offers services, in association with partners, to help startups in their early stage as well as growth stage. Typically, start-ups spend a lot of time and bandwidth to reach out to individual service providers.
With ‘Startup Assist’, they get the convenience of single-point access to a host of services. It consists of a ‘Set-up’ concierge, which gives them access to an array of experts at a discounted price to help the startup with complex services like company registration, taxation, compliance, logistics, facility management among others.
Additionally, for start-ups wanting to expand business digitally in the virtual world, a ‘Digital concierge’ is available. It offers a one-stop solution for services ranging from website development & hosting, social media marketing, SEO & SEM among others, thus making the digital transformation of a start simpler and easier.
All of these services are available through a dedicated concierge helpline or via an app or an email. Further, the Bank has tied up with various other companies to bring in attractive offers on solutions for instance on ‘Work-From-Home’, IT hardware deals, web-hosting, accounting software, telecom packages, printing and stationery among others.
With the above array of services, ‘iStartup 2.0’ offers a 360-degree holistic and most comprehensive proposition for startups with a combination of banking and beyond banking services across their life stages in a single place.
Speaking about the initiative, Pankaj Gadgil, Head- Self Employed Segment, ICICI Bank said, “The MSME & self-employed segment in India is the backbone of the economy. Within this, we foresee that the startup segment in the country is poised for rapid growth with favourable regulations in the ecosystem and high spirit of entrepreneurship.”
“We believe that ‘iStartup 2.0’ is the most comprehensive programme available in the country. It offers them unprecedented convenience of getting onboarded with us instantly in a digital manner during incorporation with MCA. It undertakes all business, trade and personal banking requirements within this one relationship and transacts digitally using the robust mobile and internet banking platforms on-the-go.”
“Our research shows that startups also need immense hand-holding initially for other areas of business like website development, digital marketing, staffing solutions, regulatory and tax solutions and accounting. Armed with this insight, we have tied up with companies who are leaders in their fields to offer services under ‘Startup Assist’. It provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for nearly all the early stage as well as the growth stage needs of a startup.”
“We believe that this ‘all-in-one’ and comprehensive iStartup 2.0 programme will provide easy banking and beyond- banking services to startups, free up their bandwidth from paper-intensive procedures and thus boost their business growth by improving overall productivity and efficiency.”