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ICICI Bank (ICBK) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for ICICI Bank (India)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , ICICI Bank is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing energy prices, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, technology disruption, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, increasing commodity prices, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of ICICI Bank


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that ICICI Bank can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the ICICI Bank, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which ICICI Bank operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of ICICI Bank can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of ICICI Bank
2. Improving business portfolio management of ICICI Bank
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in India
4. Making a Regional Banks sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of ICICI Bank




Strengths of ICICI Bank | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of ICICI Bank are -

Highly skilled collaborators

– ICICI Bank has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Regional Banks industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of ICICI Bank have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Diverse revenue streams

– ICICI Bank is present in almost all the verticals within the Regional Banks industry. This has provided ICICI Bank a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Regional Banks industry

– ICICI Bank has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled ICICI Bank to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Regional Banks industry. The sustainable margins have also helped ICICI Bank to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Digital Transformation in Regional Banks industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For ICICI Bank digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. ICICI Bank has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that ICICI Bank has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

Analytics focus

– ICICI Bank is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Regional Banks industry. The technology infrastructure of India is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.

Training and development

– ICICI Bank has one of the best training and development program in Financial industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of ICICI Bank in Regional Banks industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Ability to lead change in Regional Banks

– ICICI Bank is one of the leading players in the Regional Banks industry in India. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Regional Banks industry in India but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled ICICI Bank in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of ICICI Bank comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Regional Banks industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– ICICI Bank has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – ICICI Bank staying ahead in the Regional Banks industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Strong track record of project management in the Regional Banks industry

– ICICI Bank is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.






Weaknesses of ICICI Bank | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of ICICI Bank are -

Skills based hiring in Regional Banks industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at ICICI Bank has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.

Employees’ less understanding of ICICI Bank strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of ICICI Bank don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Regional Banks industry, ICICI Bank needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, ICICI Bank has not been able to do capital spending to the tune of the competition. This has resulted into fewer innovations and company facing stiff competition from both existing competitors and new entrants who are disrupting the Regional Banks industry using digital technology.

Products dominated business model

– Even though ICICI Bank has some of the most successful models in the Regional Banks industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. ICICI Bank should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As ICICI Bank is one of the leading players in the Regional Banks industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Regional Banks industry in last five years.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, ICICI Bank has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Regional Banks industry over the last five years. ICICI Bank even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Regional Banks industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in India, ICICI Bank is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Regional Banks industry.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of India, ICICI Bank needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

High dependence on existing supply chain

– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of ICICI Bank supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, ICICI Bank is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left ICICI Bank vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of ICICI Bank is just above the Regional Banks industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.




ICICI Bank Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of ICICI Bank are -

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Regional Banks industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for ICICI Bank in the Regional Banks industry. Now ICICI Bank can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, ICICI Bank can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that ICICI Bank operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Regional Banks sector.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. ICICI Bank can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Buying journey improvements

– ICICI Bank can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Regional Banks industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of ICICI Bank has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Regional Banks industry. This can help ICICI Bank to build a more holistic ecosystem for ICICI Bank products in the Regional Banks industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects ICICI Bank can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Leveraging digital technologies

– ICICI Bank can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at ICICI Bank can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Regional Banks industry.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Regional Banks industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. ICICI Bank can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Regional Banks industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. ICICI Bank can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. ICICI Bank can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– ICICI Bank has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Regional Banks sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled ICICI Bank to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help ICICI Bank to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, ICICI Bank is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. ICICI Bank can utilize new technology in the field of Regional Banks industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for ICICI Bank to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for ICICI Bank to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.




Threats ICICI Bank External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of ICICI Bank are -

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that ICICI Bank is facing in Regional Banks sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. ICICI Bank will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.

Environmental challenges

– ICICI Bank needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. ICICI Bank can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Regional Banks industry.

Regulatory challenges

– ICICI Bank needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Regional Banks industry regulations.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, ICICI Bank can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate ICICI Bank prominent markets.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– ICICI Bank can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Regional Banks industry.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Regional Banks industry are lowering. It can presents ICICI Bank with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Regional Banks sector.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.

Increasing wage structure of ICICI Bank

– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of ICICI Bank.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– ICICI Bank high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for ICICI Bank in the Regional Banks sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of ICICI Bank.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of ICICI Bank Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at ICICI Bank needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of ICICI Bank is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of ICICI Bank is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of ICICI Bank to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that ICICI Bank needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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