about 2 years ago
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By Ruma Dubey


Take a look at this…

Andhra Bank – No CEO

Dena Bank – No CEO

Punjab & Sind Bank – No CEO

Allahabad Bank – No CEO

IDBI Bank – CEO appointed at RBI Deputy Governor

Bank of Baroda – CEO retires in March

Canara Bank - CEO retires in March

UCO Bank – CEO retires in March

Indian Bank - CEO retires in March

United Bank of India - CEO retires in March

Corporation Bank - CEO retires in March

This is the state of leadership at PSU banks when they are going through their worst times. As regards the second rung of leadership,10 are retiring in 2018, 12 in 2019 and the remaining three will retire in 2020.

This is scary given the state of the banks even with leadership! And all the more scarier when you recollect the amount of time it had taken time around to fill the CEO seats at Andhra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India,  Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank. we are back to the same situation all over again.

The problem in PSU banks is that though seniority is a big criteria, the bank itself does nothing to groom them. Right from the junior level, why aren’t the employees taught to take on higher responsibilities? Only my job – that’s the attitude which is carried onwards as a CEO also, which in turn explains why PSU CEOs are not really bothered about bringing in a change or becoming a legend in that way. We have a Deepak Pareikh or Naina Lal or Chanda Kochhar or KV Kamath but why PSU CEO has made a name like this? It all once again boils down to the attitude; as long as they feel, “ I don’t care what happens once I retire” there will be only chaos. Yes, the blame lay on the Trade Unions too who do not allow freedom in recruitment, placement, transfer and promotions but maybe the education needs to begin from there?

The problem is also the tenure – the CEO of a PSU bank has a tenure of three years and that is really not enough time to bring about any change or transformation. Lateral recruitment should be encouraged where private sector CEOs should become PSU bank CEOs as they will bring in a completely new perspective.

PSU banks need to urgently relook at their organization chart and have a HR in place which is best for the future of the bank. The tenure of CEOs should be increased to five years if any Govt-define milestones are to be met.

Heading a PSU needs truly special talent and brilliance. There is no ad hoc hire and fire here. Dealing with a huge unionized work force is no small joke, while dealing with direct interference from politicians. Seniority alone should not be the norm for appointment of crucial Government institution heads or else the lack of respect for these institutions will only worsen further.

The question is not private sector CEO or public sector CEO. We in India have some brilliant minds which when given the freedom to think and move, can bring about transformational results. And that is the crux – what the PSUs need is not private sector chiefs but the freedom, the complete autonomy to work like a private sector.

What the Govt needs to work on is making the PSU work like a private sector, giving it full freedom and making labor more accountable. Merely bringing in a brilliant CEO will not help.

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