Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 113

The Best Management Lesson I Learnt
PHOTOGRAPH BY NISHIKANT GAMRE
BY RAJIV LALL
Founder MD and CEO , IDFC Bank

‘ It ’ s All About People ’

Culture is vital to institution building . It requires relentless communication to ensure that purpose , vision and values of the firm are internalised . vividly recall an opportunity that came my way 12 years ago . I was in New York with Warburg Pincus when I got a call from Deepak Parekh , then Chairman of IDFC . Back in 2005 , the Indian economy was in the ascendant . For me , while the pace of corporate life overseas held its appeal , my yearning to return and work for my country was compelling and I accepted the offer to head IDFC . This was the beginning of an amazing journey that opened new vistas , presented new challenges , and taught me many lessons .

When I was entrusted the task of leading IDFC , it was going through a difficult and uncertain phase . Although it had impeccable lineage with a mandate to develop private infrastructure , it was struggling to build business momentum in competition with much larger banks . The need of the hour was to galvanise the organisation to take on the challenge of unprecedented growth opportunity in a new and emerging segment of the financial services market . There was much to do and little time within which to get it done . It became a turning point in my life .
I started my professional career in academia and then moved to the world of public policy . Armed with a doctorate in economics , I spent over a decade-and-a-half teaching , researching , analysing and advising on economic policy issues around the world . During my years with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank , I had occasion to work with a wide range of governments from war-ravaged Chad in Sub-Saharan Africa to a rapidly transforming China . While I gained a broad perspective on the world at large , I was mostly a consultant with no practical experience of public administration and no real sense of ownership or accountability for
January 14 I 2018 I BUSINESS TODAY I 113
The Best Management Lesson I Learnt vividly recall an opportunity that came BY RAJIV LALL Founder MD and CEO, IDFC Bank ‘It’s All About People’ Culture is vital to institution building. It requires relentless communication to ensure that purpose, vision and values of the fi rm are internalised. my way 12 years ago. I was in New York with Warburg Pincus when I got a call from Deep- ak Parekh, then Chairman of IDFC. Back in 2005, the Indian economy was in the ascen- dant. For me, while the pace of corporate life overseas held its appeal, my yearning to re- turn and work for my country was compelling and I accepted the offer to head IDFC. This was the beginning of an amazing journey that opened new vistas, presented new challenges, and taught me many lessons. When I was entrusted the task of leading IDFC, it was going through a difficult and un- certain phase. Although it had impeccable lin- eage with a mandate to develop private infra- structure, it was struggling to build business momentum in competition with much larger banks. The need of the hour was to galvanise the organisation to take on the challenge of unprecedented growth opportunity in a new and emerging segment of the financial ser- vices market. There was much to do and little time within which to get it done. It became a turning point in my life. I started my professional career in aca- demia and then moved to the world of public policy. Armed with a doctorate in economics, I spent over a decade-and-a-half teaching, researching, analysing and advising on eco- nomic policy issues around the world. Dur- ing my years with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, I had occasion to work with a wide range of governments from war-ravaged Chad in Sub-Saharan Africa to a rapidly transforming China. While I gain YHY\X]HۈHܛ]\KB\[HHۜ[[]XX[^\Y[HوXXYZ[\][ۈ[œX[[Hوۙ\\܈X[X[]H܂[X\H MH NHTSTVHH LL