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Shikhar Dhawan fielded as brand ambassador by Canara Bank to take on bad loans

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Can a tough batsman help chase down a bank’s piling non-performing assets? Canara Bank seems to think so.

The public sector bank, which reported a 42.39 per cent decline in net profit for the third quarter ended December, mainly due to higher provisioning for bad loans, has announced cricketer Shikhar Dhawan as its brand ambassador.

And this is not the first time it has roped in a cricketer to endorse the brand. Venkatesh Prasad has also batted for the bank.

Canara Bank is now banking on Dhawan, who is known for his fastest Test century as a debutant in Mohali in 2012-13 — that too in his ninth year of first-class cricket after he had been written off by everybody.

“The bank and Shikhar have a lot in common. He has an admirable record, is constantly innovating his game and setting new standards. He represents the dreams of today’s youth and their aspiration, confidence and energy. Shikhar, as a youth icon, cements the partnership between the bank and the youth,” said RK Dubey, CMD of Canara Bank.

Cricketer Rahul Dravid, Bank of Baroda’s brand ambassador since 2005, has made a “significant difference” for the bank.

“Rahul’s assertion in the TV commercial that Sab Kuch Badal Raha Hai … Hamara Bank Bhi (Everything is changing … so is our bank) underscored Bank of Baroda’s determination to reinvent itself as a gen-next product. The campaign was so successful that within 45 days of its launch the bank had garnered another 1.26 million customers and mobilised Rs 650 crore in new savings account deposits,” BoB says.

“Now you will see more banks appointing brand ambassadors. They used to adopt this strategy in 2000-2008 when many Indian banks had brand ambassadors,” said a nationalised bank official.

ICICI Bank, which once had Amitabh Bachchan endorsing the bank later roped in Shah Rukh Khan. “We don’t have any brand ambassadors now,” said a bank official.

Sachin Tendulkar was the brand ambassador for Royal Bank of Scotland in 2008.

Bank of Rajasthan had actress and parliamentarian Hema Malini as its brand ambassador.

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