KATHMANDU: Success comes through disciplined work, patience and relentless effort, believes Krishna Raj Lamichhane, CEO of Kailash Bikas Bank. Until recently Annapurna Finance Company Ltd (AFCL), it evolved into a nationwide development bank after acquiring licence from the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).
Armed with an MBA from Tribhuvan University, Lamichhane started his career in 1986 as an officer at Nepal Bank, Pokhara. In 21 years with the bank, he ascended to the position of a chief manager. He then joined AFCL as its CEO in 2009.
Under Lamichhane’s leadership, the company grew in terms of deposits and branch expansion by two folds and has ultimately assumed the status of a development bank. Based in Pokhara, AFCL made a stronghold in the capital in a matter of few years.
Lamichhane likens role of a CEO to that of a constable, who is responsible for entire operation of the institution besides closely studying and observing developing trends on deposits, lending and the market scenario.
Elaborating on the challenges of his job, Lamichhane shares that a CEO needs to work towards satisfying the demands of promoters who seek profits and dividends, depositors who demand high interest, borrowers who insist on low interest and the state that is concerned with the taxes.
Sharing his bitter exp-erience in career life, Lamichhane says the undue pressure by unions forced him to quit a government undertaking to assume the role of senior position at a private institution. “I joined AFCL for its good governance,” reveals Lamichhane. He is happy that he could utilise his skills and talent to the optimum at AFCL and it paid well with tangible results.
“It feels good to be the CEO of a bank but you are also dealing with some new financial activities like issuing guarantees, personal drafts and dealing with foreign exchange,” he says. Further elaborating on AFCL’s journey to Kailash Bikas Bank, Lamichhane says it was quite a feat to beat the competition of around a dozen finance institutions that had applied to NRB to be upgraded. “There are cases of finance companies assuming the form of a bank through merger but AFCL rose solely,” he says proudly.
Lamichhane prefers a holistic approach in management. By holding reg-ular meetings with the department heads to review performance, discuss agendas and plan for the future, he also prioritises taking feedback before making a decision. He also briefs the board every month on overall aspects of the institution.
He claims his door is always open for his employees. “As my staff can walk into my office and share their happiness or grievances, they have developed a sense of ownership towards the company and are committed to their jobs,” he says. He opines that know-ledge and skills are crucial for a sound performance.
The bank reportedly focuses on the service and delivery components and lavishes attention to the behavioural pattern of its employees in dealing with clients. Aptly, it is coming up with the slogan ‘Feel the change’, reveals Lamichhane.
“Corporate governance is the secret behind our success and we strictly abide by rules set by the regulatory body,” says Lamichhane. He informs AFCL’s performance was recognised by several awards like ‘2009 National Best Presented Accounts Award’ by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal and ‘2011 Business Excellence Award’ by Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The bank plans to gradually expand its services across the country by opening three to four branches a year.