New Delhi: Punjab National Bank, one of India’s largest public sector banks, celebrated its 125th Foundation day on Friday. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. He released a commemorative postal stamp and coffee table book chronicling the bank’s glorious history. The bank’s leadership team comprising MD & CEO Sunil Mehta, Non-Executive Chairman Sunil Mehta, Executive Directors LV Prabhakar and AK Azad as well as CVO Satish K Nagpal were joined by senior government executives, former PNB CMDs and other members of the Bank. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalSpeaking on the occasion, Venkaiah Naidu congratulated PNB on its continued success and termed it as the “Premiere National Bank of India.” He said, “PNB is an example of what human Enterprise and aspiration can achieve in lasting growth and the difference it can make to the people in the country. PNB began as a Swadeshi bank, run professionally, on Indian money to meet the needs and aspirations of fellow Indians. Through the most testing times, it has retained the trust of its customers, employees, shareholders, regulatory bodies and government.” Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostStressing the need for inclusive growth, he added, “The Indian Banking sector is poised for growth. 36 crore bank accounts were opened under the Jan Dhan yojana. The benefit of this growth must reach the common people.” Addressing the audience on the occasion MD Sunil Mehta said, “I congratulate all the members of the PNB family on the 125th foundation day of the Bank. We are proud of the legacy of our bank and stand committed to realizing the vision of our founding fathers. On this auspicious occasion we reaffirm our contribution towards nation building by serving our customers and the country in the best possible manner.” Punjab National Bank commenced its business operations on April 12, 1895 in Lahore before the partition of the country. The Bank’s founding members comprised of prominent leaders of the Swadeshi movement which included the prominent freedom fighter Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai. From the opening of the Jalianwala Bagh Committee’s bank account to aiding the rehabilitation of account holders post the partition of the country, the history of Punjab National Bank has always been strongly intertwined with the history of modern India. Throughout the years, Punjab National Bank has weathered various challenges it has faced including the two world wars, the partition and economic downturns. Today, it serves over 110 million customers across the world with more than 7000 branches and employs around 70,000 people. Punjab National Bank has topped the first ever EASE (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) index this year. The EASE index measures performance of a public-sector banks across 6 themes, including customer responsiveness, credit off-take, responsible banking and Deepening Financial Inclusion & Digitalization. Talking about bank’s resurgence after a lean patch Sunil Mehta said, “Last year was a challenging year for us in PNB. Putting the past behind all PNBians toiled hard to ensure that the bank returned to profitability in just 9 months. Our initiative Mission Parivartan played a crucial role in achieving our goals in no time. I thank all stakeholders who have stood by us all this while. Now we have even higher ambitions and I am sure that we would live up to our reputation and everybody’s expectations.” Aligning itself to the reforms agenda of the Government, PNB has embarked on an ongoing process for continuous self-improvement. The transformational exercise, “Mission PARIVARTAN” launched in June 2017, highlights ten key focus areas for enhanced efficiency, profitability and productivity that preserve the core strengths and stimulate progress. “Mission PARIVARTAN” serves as a guidepost for the Bank to remain focused on the critical aspects that would fuel growth and help drive more profitable businesses through wider reach and sharper execution. The Bank has been taking up various initiatives under Mission PARIVARTAN to revisit, redefine and improve the 3 Ps i.e. People, Processes and Products. Riding on a host of new customer centric initiatives and with the by use of latest technologies in the banking space the bank aims to continue its profitability streak in the coming quarters.