In the first of this two-part interview, Professor Rajesh Chakrabarti talks to M D Mallya, Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of Baroda about the developments in the bank since he took over in May 2008 and the change the public sector banks have gone through in the last five years.
You joined Bank of Baroda as chairman of the bank. That is very interesting from a leadership-management-change point of view, especially since you were an outsider at that time and coming from banks that had different business models from the Bank of Baroda. Can you talk about your experiences coming into and taking over this bank, the challenges faced and how things have worked out since then?
In the last five years, the Indian public sector banks have transformed themselves. They were losing market share to the private sector and therefore, it was a question of survival. Banking sector should change to capture emerging market share. The best part is that we have been able to change seamlessly, without really disturbing the system. Today, I think the public sector as a group is competing strongly with the private sector despite the constraints and difficulties normally associated with the public sector. As a group, I think we have done exceedingly well, proving to the country that public sector banks can perform, provided they have a passion and strategy to excel. Three and half years ago, when I joined the bank, I found that it had a great legacy and value system that could be harnessed. Therefore, we took the journey of transformation forward. Two or three important things had happened before I joined. First, the implementation of a robust technology platform was created and there had been a migration to the core banking platform. Second, a brand-building exercise had begun and taken roots very strongly. The visibility, strength and the image of the bank was slowly taking a much better shape than in the recent past.