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Banker Is Also A Teacher
by Hargovind Sachdev, Ex GM, State Bank of India & Head of Central European Credit Desk of SBI, Frankfurt, Germany.

“To teach is to learn twice; when one teaches, two learn”  

India celebrates Teachers Day on 5th September in honour of educators who pull aspirant Indians from vicissitude of ignorance into  attributes of awakeness to success. Led by the traditional Guru,  the entire ecosystem of Educational Institutions, Internet, Google & Banks,  are working to carve out a new India. The result is the emergence of a confident and forward looking Indian,  raring for get-set-go… 

In 1991,  Benin, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and Pakistan were  64  countries that received more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) than India  did. By 2020, India is the fifth largest recipient of FDI in the world.  As per RBI,  FDI increased from $ 97 million (Rs.600 cr) in 1991 to $  81722 million (Rs.60,000 cr) in 2021. Opening of the economy meant all  Indians have access to smart TV sets, latest cars, spunky mobiles and  best medical equipments. Most of this silent revolution in the country has  been carried by Banks through intuitive implementation of Monetary Policy and Fiscal Policy of the government. No doubt, out of every $ 100  invested worldwide, $ 20 is invested in India. 

In India, banking is one profession that creates all other professions. Among the recognised educators of the country's resurgence into the world's fourth largest economy are Indian banks who stand tall. As a fulcrum for growth, banks have been melting hours into minutes in  re-building the nation, by churning the economic facade of the society, many customers at a time. Banks have been customising attractive deposit schemes as per Indian ethos and diverting the corpus so  created, to government and corporates to evolve tangible assets that  bring jobs and quality products. A large number of self employment  schemes in agriculture, small scale industry and large corporate segments are designed and propagated for Indian entrepreneurs to move  forward gainfully. There are no 9-to-5 classes to teach the benefits of banking; instead the entire band-width is spent in catering realtime loan products  to learn while one earns. 

Banks believe that teaching budding entrepreneurs to count is fine,  but teaching what counts is best. Designed on self learning models, multiple employment oriented projects are funded day in and day out  generating pools of millionaires across length and breadth of the country. Bankers operate on the plan that the task of a modern educator is  not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts. Bankers act as wakeners since they realise that without teachers, life would have no class. 

Banking education through hit and trial makes borrowers take leadership  responsibilities and plunge into riverine challenges to perfect the art  of swimming with the tide. Interest friendly loans without collateral are  dished out because nine-tenth of education is encouragement which can  enthuse self reliance. Banking education discloses to the wise and  disguises from the fool, their lack of understanding. Bankers teach  by drawing on their experience of success and failures of Units in their  portfolio. They rotate success stories of startups to inspire. Fully aware  that customers don’t care how much you know, until they know  how much you care, they guide applicants through the loan process to  be prudent businessmen and contribute to GDP through productivity.  Banking gives a glimpse into what makes companies succeed and  what makes companies fail. The insight from bankers has moulded  freshers into stalwarts, making some say that the Indian banking system  manufactures money out of nothing.  

Fortunately for India, the nationalisation has taken banks to all nooks  and corners of the country and there are Nationalised banks, Private banks, Cooperative Banks and Payment banks all numbering around 200,000  of branches.  A total of 20 lac employees manage these branches. Banks  are first to develop leadership deep inside villages through posting  of branch managers in each branch who take multiple crucial financial decisions day in and day out from their 10x10 feet cubicles shaping the future of the vast country. This talent pool has poised India  on the way to $ 5.0 trillion economy through teaching and financing. The  number of job providers is bound to grow faster than Job seekers.  

To a business man today a Banker is as important as a Teacher.  Given a hypothetical scenario where a Teacher, who is revered next to  God, and Banker arrive together to meet a successful Indian entrepreneur, it is possible that the Banker would get equal respect that the  teacher gets. This is because a Banker has assumed the double role  of teacher as well as financier.  

Rightly said, The whole purpose of financial education is to turn the  mirrors into windows.” 

Thank you teacher for creating bankers.


(Mr. Hargovind Sachdev has over 39 years of banking experience having occupied senior positions in UCO Bank, United Bank of India, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore & State Bank of India where he headed the Central European Credit Desk at Frankfurt, Germany from 2006 to 2011 covering 15 countries of Central Europe.)