Founded by Rana Kapoor, Yes Bank is now the fifth-largest private bank in the nation after experiencing exponential growth. They stand out for their unwavering dedication to and initiatives for a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable India. The financial institution has won numerous prestigious awards for its outstanding contributions to sustainability, climate change, biodiversity, and the environment, including the Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Award, the Asia Sustainability Reporting Award, Golden Peacock Awards, and the QualTech Prize for Sustainability. The more recent ‘Most Responsible Tourism Project/Initiative’ award it got at the National Tourism Awards presented by the Indian Ministry of Tourism was another feather in its cap. Mahesh Sharma, a former minister of state for tourism and culture, and Sumitra Mahajan, the Lok Sabha Speaker at the time, presented the prize.
Rana Kapoor, the founder and CEO of Yes Bank said, “Tourism is a $ 4.7 trillion industry globally, which unfortunately accounts for more than 5% of greenhouse gas emissions, 1% of water consumption, 5 million tonnes of waste generation, increased carbon, along with destruction of local flora and fauna and the sanctity of the place.” He suggested that the only way to stop the tremendous global calamity that tourism is causing is through responsible and sustainable tourism. In essence, he developed, introduced, and carried out the groundbreaking Edge of India project.
A network of active, cooperative Destination Management Organizations is in charge of overseeing and managing this award-winning Edge of India project, which was initiated by Yes Bank (cMDO). Its main objective is to instil a positive sense of sustainable socioeconomic growth and to construct rural communities that can support and welcome responsible tourism. cDMOs are hired to ensure the plan runs well; they provide information and ease access to rural India’s lesser-known scenic hamlets, heritage sites, and communities. Through these, tourists and travellers can get a real sense of the local culture through homestays and specially crafted itineraries provided by the cDMOs.
The Edge of India programme quickly gathered enormous pace and received a great deal of attention from around the world. Reputable organisations like the Edinburgh-based Queen Margaret University, Dunira Strategy, and eZone came forward to work with Yes Bank on this groundbreaking project. The effort has currently reached villages in the Uttarakhand districts of Bageshwar, Ranikhet, and Pithoragarh as well as Purulia in West Bengal. Its goal is to provide the necessary exposure to these historic sites’ enormous potential in order to establish viable tourism enterprises. It focuses on managing tourism through an active cooperative approach, which not only ensures that the hosts’ native community enjoys the advantages but also supports a cleaner and more respectful tourism model. Additionally, Yes Bank has provided a variety of training programmes to empower and support local communities in starting and operating self-sufficient tourist businesses.
After winning the award, Rana Kapoor expressed, “This recognition means a lot to us and our unwavering efforts, but it is also an inspiration to keep on with this journey. We still have a long way to go, but we won’t give up until sustainable tourism is the main source of income for local businesses and communities throughout all of India.” Strategic sunrise industries like tourism, food and agro-based businesses, healthcare, life sciences, media & entertainment, and others have all been identified and promoted by Yes Bank. They are largely focused on identifying environmentally friendly solutions that both benefit communities and final consumers.
Since its foundation, Yes Bank, the only greenfield bank in India, has actively participated in green projects, climate change, and sustainable rural development through activities that increase employability. They have helped safeguard a number of India’s endangered species, planted thousands of trees, and made significant strides toward promoting responsible travel. The bank has been recognized for its outstanding efforts, and Assocham has given them the ‘Best Bank for Promoting Tourism’ Award at their 9th International Conference-cum-Awards on Civil Aviation & Tourism.