Anil Bansal Leading Indus American Bank

Headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey, Indus American Bank operates a full service branch in Iselin, Jersey City, Parsippany, Plainsboro and Hicksville (NY) and plans to expand to other cities in New Jersey and New York. Indus American Bank has been founded specifically to serve the needs of the South Asians, one of the fastest growing segments of the Asian ethnic group over the coming decade. Presently, Indus American Bank serves both the business as well as the retail customer.

The bank specializes in core business banking products for small to medium-sized companies with emphasis on real estate based lending as well as all the other products that are offered by main-stream banks.  Indus American Bank’s focus is to establish and maintain long term relationships with its customers by creating mutually beneficial relationships built on trust and integrity.

The Indus American Bank has become a landmark in the history of Indian immigration to the US with its financial success as well as its efforts to reach out to the community, sponsoring events like India Day Parades and other worthy causes in the tristate. Over the years, it got acclaim for its work to make a difference in the life of the desi community.

To a large extent, the credit for this goes to Anil Bansal, one of the founders and the largest shareholder of the bank in 2005 in Iselin, New Jersey and its chairman since 2011. He became executive chairman next year. His philosophy of helping the community, while doing business has changed the face of the bank from a mere financial organization to a social service partner of the community.

As a community bank, the Bank caters primarily to the needs of consumers and small businesses. More importantly, as a niche community bank it better understands the unique needs of our clients. We do not use a cookie-cutter approach and tailor our solutions to meet the unique needs of our constituents. As a community bank we rely on the community for the funding of our loans, which are concentrated in our geographic footprint. So in effect we act as the community intermediary to channel funds from those who have excess liquidity to those in the community who need funds for growth. We say “Let’s grow together”.

The Bank was established with the mission to be of service meeting the unique banking and financial services needs of consumers and businesses in the Indian-American community in the New York/New Jersey market area. The Bank is striving to be the Bank of Choice for consumers, businesses, their owners and their employees in our catchment area as defined by the CRA Assessment Area. The Bank strives to deliver on the promise of understanding the unique needs of our customers and providing solutions with exceptional personalized service. Help the customer’s business grow through an emphasis on relationship banking over transaction banking.

According to Bansal, while the Bank was founded to serve the needs of the South Asian community, our customers happen to be manly of Indian origin. There are a few reason for this. Over the last 10 years the Indian economy has not only been booming but has also opened up to overseas investment. The sheer size of the Indian population also provides a much broader and deeper base for recent immigrants compared to the other South Asian countries.

Anil Bansal with Senator Bob Menendez
Anil Bansal with Senator Bob Menendez

The past one decade has been a period of steady growth. “They say timing is everything. The Bank opened in 2005 and the financial crisis started in 2007. Yes, we hit some serious head winds but were able to come out of the turbulence stronger and resilient. Overall we have been able to achieve the goals we envisaged and believe are on the track for more broad and deeper market penetration.”

As for the future plans for growth, Bansal says, “We follow our clients or members of the community. In ten years we have 5 branches despite the deep recession. We expect our growth to gain momentum as the economy gathers steam and we are able to attract more customers with new and improved products and services. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary with an even greater contribution to the community, both in terms of contributions and time devoted by our employees.

Anil Bansal, Executive Chairman is one of the founders of the Bank and is the largest shareholder. Presently the Bank has over 200 shareholders from within the community. The bank’s market area had been defined to include Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Union, Bergen, Essex, and Hudson Counties in New Jersey and Nassau County in New York. Loans have also been made in the five boroughs of New York City to include Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx. The population in the defined counties is in excess of 6.7 million.

Anil Bansal with Gov. Christie of NJ
Anil Bansal with Gov. Christie of NJ

The New York and New Jersey metro areas have the largest concentration of Indian-Americans in the country. Indian-Americans are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S. Indian-Americans generally have higher than average household incomes, savings rates, and ownership of real-estate. Bansal believes that while statistically overbanked, there is significant deposit growth in the market to support a niche institution with strong ties to the community. The existing branch network represents a good platform for delivery of services.

And he is full of confidence. “We expect to see continued improvement in the real estate market and government agencies are taking steps to stimulate this sector, being so critical for the overall economy. While Indians have been good savers, they have also been very astute investors. Our advice would be to continue on the path with diversification as a goal. We as a community have done very well in America, our adopted country. We should use our success in continued contributions to our mother land an our adopted country. India is on the cusp of major changes and we as Indian-Americans can play a crucial role.”

According to Bansal, Indus American Bank takes pride in promoting religious and social community events and participating in outreach programs. “We have supported and will continue to support events like India Day Parade which showcase India’s rich history and culture and symbolize India’s growing economic power in today’s world,” he said.

Bansal said that Indus American Bank is committed to the development and growth of the communities in which we operate. “We partner with our communities and build on those relationships.” Bansal has played a leading role in the development of the bank since inception. When IAB started operations in 2006, Mr. Bansal was co-chairman of the bank and over the years has been active in the growth of the institution. As a matter of fact, IAB was selected in 2009 by NJ BIZ as one of New Jersey’s top 50 fastest growing companies, a result of the vision and guidance of the Board.

When he took over as chairman he said, “I am excited at the opportunity to work closely with my colleagues on the Board and with Bank Management to build on the existing business. I believe there is huge potential for the Bank and the community to grow together. We are committed to serving the needs of our customers and the communities we operate in.”

Last year, the bank felicitated Mok Singh, a well-known entrepreneur and president of Sita World Group and Air World Alliance, who rode on the bank’s float as a guest of honor at the India Day Parade in New York City. “The presence of Mok Singh is very appropriate for the occasion as he has brought pride to the Indian American community with his election as president of Skål International, the largest organization of professional travel and tourism leaders around the world which promotes global tourism and friendship,”

Bansal continues as chairman of IA Bancorp, the holding company and the Executive Chairman of Indus American Bank. He has been active in the South Asian business community and is presently president of Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce. The bank has been founded specifically to serve the needs of the South Asians, one of the fastest growing segments of the Asian ethnic group over the coming decade. Presently, the bank serves both the business as well as the retail customer.

Anil Bansal with Shashi Tharoor
Anil Bansal with Shashi Tharoor

An alumnus of IIT Kanpur (BTech-1977), University of Notre Dame (MS materials science-1979) and Syracuse University (MBA-1985), Bansal worked with various institutions in the US before embarking on setting up his own businesses. After graduation, he worked as a senior project manager for Perkin Elmer and later GTE Corporation as an engineer and was primarily responsible for new product development.

He has led successful computer and real estate companies and his interests also include investments in the restaurant business. He is presently CEO of First National Corporation, a real estate investment and management company and Chairman of vSplash, an international web design and  development company.

As an international corporate business leader he is on the board of several corporations and charity foundations. In addition, he served for 15 years as vice chairman of the board of trustees at PBI Regional Medical Center, a prominent non-profit acute care hospital located in the City of Passaic in New Jersey.

Bansal also runs the Bansal Foundation, which helps provide academic scholarships and medical help to needy Indians children worldwide. He was on a state level board to suggest strategies for revitalizing Asian American community, when Jon Corzine was the governor of New Jersey.

As a private entrepreneur he was responsible for the introduction of Apple Computers to the school system throughout New Jersey. He understood the importance of computers in daily life decades before it became a reality and he formed a company to supply and train customers in the use of computer systems.

Anil Bansal graduated from IIT Kanpur in 1977 and came to the United States for a master’s degree in metallurgical engineering. After working for a few years as a metallurgist at Westinghouse and GTE, he got more interested in marketing and decided to do an MBA. After completing his MBA, he joined Perkins Elmer but soon decided to go out on his own and start his own business. He tried different businesses, eventually starting a computer business selling PCs to homes and businesses which was fairly successful, and at the height of the 1994-95 computer boom had around $25 million in annual sales. At the time, he had started another business, a real estate company acquiring and renting properties in New Jersey, which is still operating.

In 2005, Bansal joined with few friends who felt there was a need for a bank focused on the Indian immigrant community in US, especially in the New Jersey area which had the second largest Indian-American population. By December 2005, they had got the approvals, raised the capital and opened their first branch in Iselin, New Jersey. Within four years, Indus American Bank had over $200 million in assets with several branches in New Jersey-New York area, serving Indian owned businesses and communities, with personalized services and a staff that can communicate in Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, Sindhi and English. In 2009, the bank was honored as one of “Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies” in New Jersey by NJBIZ.

Anil   Bansal with his wife Kumud
Anil Bansal with his wife Kumud

Bansal began his next venture in 2006, this time in the restaurant business. “I want to try different things” says Bansal, “There are two factors to it -I am a very curious person and I like to learn new things and there are passions that go in different ways, some people have a passion to go deeper into one field, other people have a passion to start and grow business’s, I happen to have a passion where I want to do something different every five years.” Within two years of opening, his restaurant, Mantra in Paramus, New Jersey, was named one of the “25 Best Restaurants in New Jersey” by New Jersey Monthly.  Bansal also serves his community as the President of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, an association of Indian/South Asian businesses in New Jersey, helping create an environment for the businesses to network and

Promote interactions with the state government. He was the vice chairman of Beth Israel Hospital in Passaic for 15 years. Bansal also represented New Jersey state in a national level committee on Diversity, supporting the Governor of New Jersey in promoting diversity in the state and in efforts to create local grassroots organization. “New Jersey is the most diverse state in the US, with immigrants representing countries all over the world, and Indians are the fastest growing new immigrants coming in” said Bansal.

“As a true community bank, Indus American Bank is committed to the development and growth of the communities in which we operate. We partner with our communities and build on those relationships,” Bansal noted. “We believe long-term relationships breed long-term success, which is why we say “come grow with us. Our customers feel proud and refer to us as “My Bank” and feel free to speak their own language with our multilingual employees. All decisions are made locally and our President and senior management team are readily available and accessible to all of you: our customers and partners.”

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