Mr. Babu K.A, Deputy General Manager, Retail Business Department, Federal Bank Ltd, was the distinguished speaker at the recently held Industry Institute Interface (III) session at SCMS Cochin School of Business. He is a prominent name in the world of banking today, and at the III on 14th May, 2014, he shared his experiences of the industry. His perspective on being a banker and the challenges faced by professionals in the field offered valuable insights to all in attendance.
Mr. Babu started his talk by stressing the importance of relationships between banking professionals and their clients. Discussing the changing nature of these relationships, he said, “Earlier, it was possible to have decade-long relationships, but that’s not possible any more. Today, the nature of relationships is short term and people are looking for instant solutions. We change our dentists quickly in the hope of pain relief. It’s the same in all walks of life.”
While digging into his own vast business knowledge and banking experience, Mr. Babu made it a point to speak in a language that energized students. He shared valuable wisdom that can guide students to become successful bankers this, of course, was met with great enthusiasm. “If you want to be a successful banker you have to meet the customers’ needs at all times”, he told the audience. "A customer places trust in you with deposits and it should be maintained, come what may.” This piece of advice followed an important theme in Mr Babu’s address: bankers need to pay attention to the overall well-being and satisfaction of customers. While banks might get worked up about security, which is naturally a concern, customer convenience, according to him, is of more importance: “There are many challenges the banking industry faces today but trying to maintain one-on-one relationships is probably the greatest of them all. It is something bankers should focus on."
With the advent of technology, the banking industry has evolved drastically over the last few years. Mr. Babu, who has seen things change over many years, discussed these changes and offered insight into this important transition. "The brick and mortar concept, or branch banking, was the previous trend in banking”, he explained. “But the world has gone digital today and so has the banking industry. ATMs have become the most widely used weapon in banking and things are only going to continue to change in the future.”
When he stated that banking has "gone digital", he was referring to the impact of Mobile Banking, which is gaining ground at a hurried pace. This transition to digital baking has been so quick that Mr. Babu feels that Mobile Banking will become commonplace in a shirt time. "While it’s been acknowledged and accepted already", he told the students, “the depth and width of it will be extended to the core by the renovated banking practices. Mobile banking is the most convenient form of banking and is the future.”
After listening to Mr. Babu speak, and absorbing all he had to share about his banking experience, the students in attendance gained a wealth of knowledge and left the talk in high spirits, ready to take on the banking world.