Total Rewards Quarterly

Let the Games Begin

Will Raghuram Rajan be able to do for the Indian masses what Muhammad Yunus achieved in neighboring Bangladesh? Too early to tell. But the seeds seem to have been sown for leveraging financial institutions to drive economic empowerment for the unbanked segments of the country. And this in turn, has certainly provided the shot in the arm that the banking sector was waiting for. It is pretty evident that these new banks have their hands full on all fronts – especially on people-related matters given it is an essential element which can either make or break it for them. Lessons are easier said than learnt and while they have their bigger banking brothers and powerful pioneers to seek experience from, they will have to balance out the temptation of filling up a larger than life banking canvas that is no doubt coveted, and the realities of making the business model work in a punishing market. Money is always pivotal in a bank’s DNA, both as a raw material and as a reward, and it will be critical to see how these new banks manage that sensitive subject. There are many dimensions of HR that will require focus right from the organization design and grading structure to the performance management system and payout mechanism; it is important to divide them into what is required upfront to hit the ground running and what will come in later; and what will eventually help them move from good to great. Passion and perseverance has got these chosen few the coveted license; patience and prudence will make them the preferred pioneers of economic change in the country, as they usher in a regime of sustained financial inclusion for the nation at large. 

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