Himalaya post team recently held a special talk with the CEO of Nabil Bank Anil Keshary Shah
You are in the leadership of Nabil Bank. How have you been taking ahead the ‘spirit’ and ‘speed’ of the bank?
I think it is not the leadership or the brand that increases the’ spirit’ and ‘speed’ of any institution, but the team. In both my previous and current tenures in the bank, the strength I have found in the team is incomparable. We have employees working here for the past 25-30 years whereas some have merely been 2-3 years old in this organization. Hence, we have both experience and the youth’s invigoration.
Currently, branch expansion is in progress. We are also working on digitization and other new works. This way, Nabil is now becoming a brand.
What is the priority of the bank at present? What are the things you are looking after?
First thing is our network expansion itself. We are proud that we have not merged with any institution and that we took the capital of 2 billion upto 8 billion, without shareholders adding a single penny. Others merged, and their network also expanded. Now, for that, we are trying to make a big jump through network expansion. We are planning to reach majority of the places in Nepal. Along with that, if you see our balance sheet, big corporate houses have taken loans from us in ‘lending site’. Now, our focus is on SME- Small and Middle-scale Enterprises, as it is the backbone of Nepal’s economy. Following the constitution promulgation, the country has restructured into seven provinces. There might be big corporate houses in few of the provinces, whereas majority of the economy is sustaining on SME. There should be capital on SME, if we want to make the country prosperous. Since Nabil is a prime bank, we are focusing on making the way ourselves. We will work on deposit account after network expansion.
let’s talk about your personal life. Anil Shah is not only known as a banker, but also as a celebrity. What is the mystery behind this success?
One gets successful if he chooses the path where he can excel. We need to give opportunity and encouragement. There are many bankers, more successful than me. However, my skill is to recognize people’s skill and to invest the same in the right platform. Whatever I have learnt, I never hesitate to share. Because, if my team gets strong, I will be strong too. Today, people are awed, when we talk about Britain’s queen or Japan’s king. It is because their countries are prosperous, people are happy. Economy is growing rapidly. Likewise, for any CEO to get the same attention, the institute must be strong.
My ideology is we should work in united manner. When I entered Mega bank, it had not even taken operating license and I heard, it was recently entitled ‘bank of the year’. It is not because of Anil Shah alone, but also because of the team. I was at Nabil before Mega. We made Nabil no.1 in six years, because, we all worked very hard. Today as well, we are no.1 towards private banks. And we will continue the same in the future as well.
You look successful in your journey till date. What is your upcoming banking destination?
You only talked about success, but there have also been several failures in my personal and professional life. I have fallen many times, and been hurt. However, the lesson I learnt from such days is ‘why did it happen? What should be done to avoid it in coming days? Contemplating such thing speeds up the process. And Anil shah is here today because of luck as I have got opportunity to work with decent people. From Greendale to Standard Chartered, Nabil, Mega and again back to Nabil, I have had good people to work with. It has been 2 years since I have joined Nabil again. During this time, our team has worked its best. Thus, I am of the belief that we will be even better in the coming days.
What is your opinion on the recent approach on merger put forth by the Rastra Bank?
Like every individual has his/her own call to get married, it is the same with banks too. Merging with any other institution is a laudable step, as the institution will succeed and bloom. However, it happens with one’s choice. I also feel there are more than required financial institutions in Nepal. Rather than quantity, it is better for an institution to improve its quality. For that, only merger will not be effective.
It is imperative to see customers and manpower. Given it will strengthen the institution, every institution will merge. We are ready too. If there is an institution that is similar to us and shares the concept of encouraging vision, Nabil is ready for merger. Nevertheless, we are not entirely running after the same.
At this time, the government is working with the slogan of’ Happy Nepali, Prosperous Nepal’. How have you been observing this campaign as a banker?
The political pace is like the politician’s test. I never scored cent percent in my exams. But, I have scored 90 or more and I’m fine with it as well. Let’s see the past 15 years, how was the political condition? How is it now? Is it better than before? Let’s question. Perhaps you see it worse, but I see it is still better than the time when people carried guns on their shoulders to bring change whereas many wanted to kill them. The time when executive heads used to change every six months has ended.
So, this is only what people are expecting?
Yes, the pace could have increased. But I feel it is at least running. The economy is going up. Hence, the path we have chosen is right. When the path is right, it is certain, we will reach the destination one day. There is no point in how fast we are running if the path we have chosen is the wrong one. We are moving ahead at better speed as compared to the previous year.
Do you sometimes think of joining politics?
Honestly speaking, I do not think of seeking something which I think can never be achieved. Obviously, I wish my country to prosper more rapidly. But what happens if I join politics, leaving the works I am good at? I am a banker and I want to contribute to the development process in my own individual way.
Lastly, what would you like to say?
One thing that petrifies me is immense negative thoughts on Nepal. Whoever tries to do something new, he/she is made fun at. This kind of mentality can seldom develop the nation. Nobody ever thought anyone could scale Mt Everest unless Tenzing Norgay made it happen. What I meant is if we move ahead with a positive spirit, our institutions, society and our country can develop not in 20 years but in the next 5 years. The political structure of the country at present is local, provincial and the central government: with the same vision and 2/3rd majority. In this set-up, everyone must wake up and work towards materializing the slogan of “Happy Nepalese, Prosperous Nepal”. Once the country prospers, all the Nepalese will get prosperous.