Really, I never felt that pre-requisites in courses at IITK were ever much of an hindrance. At least they always seemed logical. But the pre-requisite of opening a bank account at ICICI Bank has done something to me which is best described as "पाँवों के नीचे से ज़मीन खिसकना" in Hindi. Nice phone banking facility they have which you can avail even before you are a customer. Yeah, you can apply for an account over a phone. You call them up. Follow the instructions and get to a call center staff, who would tell you about the product which he/she has repeated so often that you can see that they can not talk slow enough for you to be able to comprehend. But since you have already figured out enough about the product by talking to the people, you excuse them and straight away say "yes" on being asked whether you would like to apply for it. You are given a reference number and told that a DSA would meet you "within two business days". After calling up 3-4 times over next 12 days, finally someone comes in. He isn't the same person whose name has been told to you time and again by the call center staff. Has he run away?? Anyway, this person has already called you up thrice on that day and is still late by 3 hours from his last appointment, but you have to be in the office anyway – so you excuse them again. He comes with a form, you fill it up, you hand over the documents and lo! It turns out that there was severe miscommunication. The cheque you are required to give has to be a self-addressed cheque. It won't do if it is from someone else to you. What the hell!! How can I give a self-addressed cheque, I do not have an account yet. I have closed my earlier one before moving from Lucknow and am now trying to set-up one here. That's the reason I have applied for an account.

"Will you take cash?"

"Ma'm, to open an account with cash you have to go to one of our branches."

After waiting for 12 days, you are extremely irritated, but then there was a miscommunication. So, you have to live with it. Fine I'd go to the branch, with the only regret being that I should have known this earlier had the agent come "within two business days" and could have gotten an account earlier.

Anyway, I rush out of the office, go to the branch. But no! Even there they won't take cash. What is that supposed to mean? I do not have another account. I want an account, that's why I am here and applying…

"Sorry, Ma'm. Does your company have a salary account agreement with us?"


"Are you married?"


"Does your father or brother have an account in some bank?"

"They do have it, but they are not here. Take this cheque from my company."

"Sorry Ma'm."

"So, I need to have another account before I can open one at ICICI Bank."



I throw their application in a dustbin and walk out. Do not know whether to laugh or to feel irritated. Banks (any business, for that matter) would love to have competitors like that, don't you think so? They are doing the business for their competitors.

Darn! I am seriously tempted to go banking "old-fashioned way" and get an account with a nationalized bank. Truly amazing.

A friend gave the right analogy: You must eat Tiger Biscuits before eating Parle Biscuits. Else, we won't sell you the Parle Biscuits at all!!

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe ( with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: Twitter: @jayajha Facebook:

8 thoughts on “Pre-requisites…

  1. SBI in banaglore is really good. They have a lot of ATM’s and are better than any of the Private banks anyday.
    Another good thing about SBI is that their ATM’s are almost always free, which you would realise over some time is a thing that would save you atleast half and hour everytime you visit an ATM in bangalore.
    The way i worked it out during my internship in Sun was to get a form signed from the manager of SBI Calcutta where my father has his account, and use that to open an account in the Richmond town branch.

  2. What form did you get signed? My whole family is associated with one PSU Bank or the other. If there is a form that speeds up an account opening in one of them, it’d be great. I got an SBI form today, but they will also take it only next week because of some salary business still pending!! (May be the impact of recent strike…)

  3. My first account was with ICICI. Never used it. It had a trading account with it. The account shows no transactions and a negative balance of 1300 bucks. So I owe the bank money because I did not deposit any.

  4. I had totally different experience with ICICI, at the same branch I guess, Indira Nagar. I got due reply in 2 business days and he came at the time I wanted, no hassle and fast opening process. This was about Savings account, I had same pleasant experience with Trading account with ICICI too…

  5. Yes, but I suppose you had already eaten Tiger Biscuit (i.e. had an account with another bank so you could give a self-addressed DD/cheque).

    Or may be I have been caught in the unlucky days of post scam era, with 5000 ICICI detected in the name of the same person and they have gone paranoid over identity of the people!!

  6. Nahin koi paranoina nahin hai. I know the problems my sis went thru when she tried to open an account ~1.5 yrs back. Finally Kotak Mahindra agreed that if someone is opening his/her first account, the person cannot give a self addressed check :).

    Anyways, I kind of liked the service and rationality of ppl we interacted with in Kotak and opened an account there. Since u r looking for a new account, let me outline a few things that helped me take the plunge despite having enuf accounts.

    – An account with 25k min balance gives u the facility to use any visa electron atm free of cost. (I have so far done ~10 transactions in a month without any extra charges). Essentially makes it have the largest network of atms.
    – Pretty decent service. From day1, I have check pickup and cash drop facilities. Citibank gave me the same after ~2.5 years of having a salary account. They even came to pick up a 5k check from my sis in Ghaziabad tho her account is in Gurgaon. So atleast, this promise of service stands validated.
    – Smaller customer base, therefore the ability to be more personalized than ICICI. Especially when it comes to helping out with your investments (Mutual Funds in my case).
    – Promise to help me calculate my STCG and LTCG on the mutual fund transactions. Not yet validated 🙂

    Jahan tak IITK mein pre-reqs ki baat hai, I do not fully agree. Mostly the pre-reqs made sense. But there were some interesting issues. Non CSE junta ke liye DS pre-req tha b4 u can do CO. Even if u had done or were doing MicroP in batti dep. Then what about those Macro & Micro economics that were pre-reqs for the eco HSS courses. The problem I have is that the 1st yr eco courses were handed out at random and if u miss both, u r forced to stick to psyco, english lit, etc… Anyways, its not a perfect world, IITK days were really wonderful days.

  7. The form i was talking about is a simple account opening form from say SBI Bhagalpur where the manager there signs the verification column. Send in the bank details from Bangalore, that would do.
    Otherwise i suggest you walk into one of the SBI’s near your office and talk to the manager directly. I have always found them very helpful.

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