In conversation with Monu Jain, Executive Vice President, Business Head – Commercial Banking, India (ex West)
What does a typical work day in your life look like?
I work in the role of a leader who manages a large team to drive revenues for the Region. An average work day is typically hectic for me with back to back customer meetings, deal discussions and team interactions; in between the travel. Being in the management strata of an Indian private sector bank very open to changes, there is often significant time spent on management meets and strategy level formulations. Also being in a performance focused organization, periodic internal reviews are very common.
Over the years, time management through prioritization and delegation has become a critical management tool for me to handle large responsibilities efficiently. With a packed schedule, often you find no time to think and I am now learning to slot structured ‘think time’ on my calendar for new ideas!
What prompted you to choose a career in Finance and what motivates you to go to work every day?
I’ve been good with numbers from student days and hence went into Finance education, thinking it to be a natural choice. For many of us from that era, there were not that many career options besides being a doctor, engineer, CA and MBA. But let me clarify, Corporate banking is much more than just numbers. The job requires a good mix of Relationship skills, EQ, credit understanding and common sense.
What motivates me to go to work every day?
Now that’s a good question. It’s the excitement of starting another day empowered with the ability to correct the wrongs of yesterday and to make this day even better! I strongly believe that to bring out the best in anyone, you have to place your trust in them and just let them go about their work.
What has been your most significant achievement till date and key learning in your career so far?
Success is a journey built on multiple small steps and each of these is an achievement we need to celebrate. These range from education to your first job to your marriage and kids. It’s tough for me to pin point to one biggest achievement. On the whole – I would say that having grown as a mature human being able to handle life’s pressures, deliver under adverse circumstances and remain compassionate about the team members – is a big achievement for me. The various challenges dealt at work place have given me the strength to manage situations to the best of my capability and with the best of my humility.
However, over the years it’s been a key learning for me to value the ‘journey’ as much as the ‘goal’.
Key learning – Born with a competitive spirit and coming from a background of ‘topping’ in whatever I did, life for me has always been about coming first. However, over the years it’s been a key learning for me to value the ‘journey’ as much as the ‘goal’. Those who are solely goal oriented suffer through life – as before acquiring the goal they struggle towards it blindly missing out on life and after the goal has been reached there is an emptiness and inability to retain it. The key is to treat the journey as a goal in itself and enjoy / learn on the way.
Do you think that an MBA is necessary to succeed as a Finance professional?
I believe, success is largely about personal attributes & intellect. The formal education only facilitates in channelizing it appropriately. Therefore, according to me any formal education in finance is good enough to lay the foundation for a career in Finance and you don’t need an MBA necessarily. But what you really need is the drive to succeed, self-motivation to work towards it and acumen to do it smartly!
She has over 18 years of Corporate Banking experience across the breadth of corporates pan India including Large Corporates, PSUs and Mid-market Corporate clients. Currently she is heading the Mid-Market Business of Corporate Banking for IndusInd bank leading the North, South & East regions.