The two neighboring cities of Hubli (or Hubballi in the local language) and Dharwad in the South Indian state of Karnataka were merged in 1961 to form the twin city of Hubli-Dharwad. The name "Hubballi" literally translates to "flowering creeper" in Kannada. The word "Dharwad" refers to a place of rest during long travel or a small habitation. While Hubli acts as the commercial center and business hub, Dharwad situated around 20 kilometers away is the administrative headquarter of the twin city. This city is the second largest in the state after the capital city of Bangalore. As history reveals, the area had been ruled by the famous Vijayanagara dynasty and later by the Mughals, the Nawabs, the Marathas as well as the Peshwas. Hubli, being the commercial hub, houses numerous of small and medium industries. The area is known for mining manganese ore and granite as well as for the agricultural production of cotton, groundnut and oilseeds. The twin cities are also adept at manufacture of textiles from the cultivated cotton. The green and scenic city of Dharwad, apart from housing the citys administrative departments, is also a seat of learning. Prestigious and renowned educational institutions like Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Karnataka State Law University, The District Institute of Education and Training, University of Agricultural Sciences, etc. An IIT has also been recently established at Dharwad.
In 1943, Rai Bahadur Lala Sohan Lal Ji, the first Chairman of OBC, founded it in Lahore. Within four years of its existence, the Oriental Bank of Commerce had to face Partition between India and Pakistan. The bank had to shut its branches in the newly formed Pakistan and move its registered office to Amritsar. The period of 1970-76 had been the most challenging phase in the history of the Bank. The OBC merged with Global Trust Bank (GTB) on 14 August 2004. The acquisition brought 103 branches with it, which increased OBCs branch number total to 1092. The bank presents a wide range of banking products and financial services such as deposit accounts, credit cards with a tie-up with SBI, Insurance products, ATMs, loans, debit cards, Internet banking, Self-banking halls, call center, mobile banking, etc. The Bank has introduced another peoples participation in the planning process at grass root level fundamentally to tackle the maladies of poverty. The Grameen Projects venture aimed to alleviate poverty while identifying the reasons responsible for the failure or success. The OBC has already introduced a GRAMEEN PROJECT in Dehradun District (UK) and Hanumangarh District in Rajasthan.