Kollam, formerly known as Desinganadu, is an old seaport and a thriving city in the Indian state of Kerala. It is a port city along the Laccadive Sea coast. Mar Sabor, an East Syriac bishop, had founded the Kollam Port. The city is situated on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake. In ancient times, Kollam had a strong commercial relationship with the Chinese. Kollam city ranks 5th in the country and 3rd in Kerala in terms of per capita income and economic performance. The port city has an excellent export background. Fishing and dairy farming largely contribute to the citys economy. The government is about to establish a fishing harbor in the vicinity of the city in order to increase the fish production. Fisheries, hatcheries, turkey and poultry farms are also plentiful in the city. The city also has a rich mineral base. The sands on the beaches and the entire area has a good amount of heavy minerals such as Ilmenite, Monosite, Rutile and Zircon, which can be used for industrial purposes. There are limestone deposits and bauxite in and around the city. Kollam is often called the "Cashew Capital of the World", as the city is noted for its traditional cashew business. This city is a microcosm of Kerala and its residents are from various religious, ethnic and linguistic groups.
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.