‘We will initially concentrate only on the NRI market,’ says Gupte. ‘The GCC is a huge market for this type of business and there are relatively few banks operating here which really focus on the area.’ In addition to providing consumer finance, the Bahrain branch also plans to extend trade finance facilities to Indian companies doing business in the region. ‘We are planning a sharia-compliant window, concentrating on murabaha transactions,’ says Gupte.

‘Manama was chosen as the centre of operations because of its role as the leading GCC financial centre, and the central bank is very proactive and lets you know very quickly what you can and can’t do,’ she says. ICICI also has a representative office in Dubai.