Escalate

Lead by example, provide opportunities

strictly business

Suman Sharma started his career from Nepal SBI Bank in 1997 after earning his master’s degree in Economics from Tribhuvan University. Having worked at the bank for eight years, in 2005 he went on to pursue another master’s degree from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. Once he returned to Nepal, Sharma worked for banks such as NMB and Global IME, in various positions such as the head of business marketing, the head of credit risk management and the deputy chief executive officer. In June 2018, Sharma was eventually appointed as the CEO of Machhapuchchhre Bank Limited (MBL). In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, Sharma talks about coping with everyday obstacles as a CEO and the kinds of strategies he applies while motivating employees. Excerpts:

Banking is a challenging sector. What is your secret to managing the responsibilities on your shoulders? How do you cope with and overcome everyday obstacles that come your way?

Being a CEO of a leading commercial bank comes with various responsibilities and challenges. I am responsible for day-to-day management and decision-making. I have to make sure that my decisions align with both short and long term goals and visions of the bank. I cope with everyday obstacles with timely measures. Team work also plays a very important role. 

Customer service is vital in the banking industry. What measures has MBL taken to ensure customer satisfaction? What sorts of trainings and advices are given to the employees to make the service effective and efficient?

I make sure that MBLis always on its way towards being the first choice of customers and to achieve the objective, I along with my whole team pay special attention to customer care and customer satisfaction. The major challenge in today’s competitive banking scenario is building a new customer base and retaining existing customers. In order to overcome this challenge, customer satisfaction can play a major role. Realising the importance of customer satisfaction, our team is dedicated towards providing excellent service to every customer. In order to provide excellent service, employees are well equipped with various trainings and knowledge enhancement programmes.  Furthermore, the bank is also taking innovative measure and is invest in technology.

All departments are continually providing service improvement trainings to every single staff so that they can provide excellent customer service. In addition to that, employees are given extensive knowledge enhancement trainings on both the product and service aspects.

What kinds of attributes, in your opinion, define a good leader?

The key to success is team spirit. As a leader, we have to set examples of how things can be done and constantly groom and guide the team to reach that destination. Keeping the team spirit intact is one of the greatest attributes that one should have. A leader should also have the knowledge of banking sector’s best practices, only then can he guide his team to reach the organisational objectives.

What sort of strategies do you apply to motivate your employees?

Lead by example and provide opportunities which will motivate employees. Skillsets are more important than financial benefits; hence we invest in opportunities where our employees can learn and build their careers upon. We are also creating a positive and healthy work environment that encourages our employees to take up new challenges and perform. We ensure that the employees are given good financial benefits and performance rewards as per the market trend. Transparency in evaluating performance is vital.

What does your bank do to maintain its brand image?

Ever since the bank’s inception, we have always believed in delivering reliable banking services to our valued customers. We believe in progress. We adapt to the ever-changing environment and hence do not hesitate to adopt state-of-art technologies and provide services to our valued customers. Since ‘service’ is one of the most crucial elements to leave a mark in the market, we have a ‘service excellence’ department to address all the shortcomings we have had in the past. We want to live up to the expectations of our patrons and provide the best possible service at a competitive price.

Can you share your top tips for getting better at a job?

Hard work, integrity, valuing team work, positive attitude, drive to learn, and readiness to accept change, among others, are the most important attributes to keep getting better at what you do. Once you embrace these traits, you can easily overcome any obstacle.

What advice do you have for young graduates who are eager to join the banking industry?

As lucrative as it might be, the banking industry is very challenging. The industry is transparent and practices highest level of corporate governance which intimidates the new entrant in the banking industry. The market is highly competitive and requires top-notch performance. I want young aspiring graduates to have at least a basic idea about banking industry before jumping into it. With preparedness and passion anyone can love their job in the industry. One will succeed despite the barriers.

Published: 2018-08-20 08:45:58