Escalate

‘Learn together, grow together and perform together’

Aug 7, 2017-

Govinda Gurung, the recently appointed CEO of Civil Bank, joined the institution six years ago as its deputy CEO.

A man of many talents, Gurung has  previously worked as a procurement assistant, a teacher, a salesperson and even a newsreader at Radio Nepal, before joining the banking sector.

While in the sector, he has worked for different organisations including the Himalayan Bank, Global Bank and Mega Bank.

In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, he talks about the traits good leaders must have, the importance of customer service and his corporate journey thus far. Excerpts:

Initially, you worked as a teacher, a newsreader and a procurement assistant in a factory. What prompted you to join the banking sector? 

After the 10th grade, I left my hometown to pursue my higher education. When I came to Kathmandu, most of the jobs I did then was to sustain myself and support my studies.

Because I didn’t want to burden my family, I knew I had to make money even it was by working part-time.  

Working was never my topmost priority—my education mattered more.   Although, all the jobs I worked in gave me valuable experience, I had to learn the hard way.

I always aspired for something more challenging and fulfilling. Teaching was something I enjoyed but it wasn’t lucrative and because I had a management degree, I knew I wanted to get into the management field. 

You have been working in the banking sector for over 20 years now and have held many positions along the way. What traits must all good leaders have?

To grow your career in the banking industry, you should be able to accept challenges and be able to fulfill them.

Your interpersonal and management skills need to be on point all the time and this will make you more competent.

 In an industry as large as ours, one cannot be rigid and work just by themselves. Working in a team helps—you grow and develop your interpersonal skills. A leader always has to be accommodating to different aspirations and opinions of their employees.

There is diversity at the workplace and a leader must be able to manage it properly. Leaders should always make an effort to try and understand their workers.

A leader must be accountable and fulfill his or her responsibilities and always be willing to take risks. 

As a newly appointed CEO of Civil Bank, what kind of roles and responsibilities are on your plate? What objectives do you have in mind as you assume the position?

My objectives and goals are to give visionary benefits to all my stakeholders. The first stakeholders are the promoters and investors who have invested their capital in the bank.

I am accountable to them. I have to live up to their expectations, and ensure that their investment is beneficial.

The second stakeholders are my customers—Civil Bank has more than 140,000 customers.

Our customers expect efficiency and great service.  Customers are our bread and butter.

If we do not cater to their needs, we will fail as an organisation and I will have failed as a leader.

Hence, whatever we do, we do it for the goodwill of our customers. The third stakeholders are my employees and colleagues.

As an employer, I need to ensure that they are provided with proper training and that they are well-versed in their roles.

Apart from these three stakeholders, the fourth stakeholder are  the regulators—if the bank makes a profit and is doing fair job in the market, it’ll help stabilise the finances of the country.

The fifth stakeholder to whom I am accountable to is the society. It is through the society that we get employment and it is through their businesses that our business runs smoothly. 

In this sector, customer service is paramount. What are Civil Bank’s customer service values? And how is it instilled in employees?

To provide top-notch services to our customers, the employees need to know and understand the products and schemes that are being offered.

These employees need to be well-versed and trained. Keeping this in mind, our employees go through rigorous trainings that help them shape up their attitude and behaviour during interactions.

Leveling up customer service is done not only by adding emotional touch to interactions but also by focusing on efficiency and accuracy through technology.  

Currently, retention is a big challenge in many organisations, particularly in the banking sector. How is your bank dealing with this issue?

Communication is the most critical part of any organisation. It is a deal breaker or maker.  

Communicating with one another helps you come up with informed decisions. Better the communication, fewer the chances of misunderstandings.

To ensure retention, it is important to create a healthy environment at the workplace.

This motivates employees and helps create a positive, dynamic relation with every single person at work.

At Civil Bank, we do not judge according to caste, colour or gender—the only thing that we value is performance.

It is a fair system. Those who work hard they will excel and it’ll show. Those who don’t perform well will be trained further. Obviously, if that does not work then we have to take harsh decisions.

Rewards and recognitions are always a big part of motivation. Civil Bank truly believes in three things—learn together, grow together and perform together. 

What are your management mantras?

My management mantra is: Grit. Grit includes hard work and perseverance. Not everything comes on a plate.

You need to work hard to create your own opportunities. It takes a lot of time, knowledge and competence.

I don’t expect anything overnight. Good things happen to do those who do good consistently.

You need to have grit and you need to have the ability to work hard. Failure doesn’t mean you give up. You need to stand up and work again. 

What advice do you have for young graduates who want a career in the banking industry?

Banking industry is one of the best industries to work in. It definitely offers a secured well-paying job that comes with good benefits.

Young fresh talents need to prepare to work and learn endlessly. Just because you complete your MBA, doesn’t make you competent.

You need to have the passion and zeal to work hard. Banking sector may look glamourous from the outside but it has its own challenges.

If you are ready to face these challenges, it could be a great career decision. There are no short cuts to success. You need to work diligently. 

Published: 07-08-2017 08:44

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