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Our mindsets to be changed in a bid to render quality services to the valued clients: Says the new MD of Sonali Bank in an interview

Mr. Prodip Kumar spent thirty years out of thirty five years of his professional life at Sonali Bank, one of the largest state owned bank of the country and for this why he knows the pros and cons of this bank very well. The weakness of this bank is known to him. He expressed his firm determination to resolve those problems gradually after taking over as the Managing Director of this bank. On June 17, this highly experienced banker took over the responsibilities as the top brass of Sonali Bank and expressed his various plans in an interview recently. Mr. Prodip Kumar expressed his views on contemporary economy, agricultural management and other related issues in the conversation. The excerpts of the interview are as follows:

REFLECTIONNEWS: As the chief executive of the largest commercial bank in the country what is your plan with Sonali Bank?

Mr. Prodip Kumar: In true sense I am a man of Sonali Bank. I initiated my banking career with Sonali Bank and I joined with this bank in 1977 as a probationary officer. Since then I have been carrying out my responsibilities for thirty years out of thirty five years of my career. So I know the ins and out of it very well. I will do my best to resolve the problems phase by phase with utmost sincerity. After detecting the problems I will take initiative to resolve those and I think my colleagues will co-operate me to do that.

REFLECTIONNEWS: People say that there is dissatisfaction with state owned banks and in this context how will you carry out your duties?

Mr. Prodip Kumar: Well but here I would like to say that the clients as well as the officials of this bank is known to me. My first duty will be to enhance the quality of services of this bank and at the same time I will do my best to ensure its transparency, honesty and accountability. Also thinking over the necessary things on which I have to give the priority. I hope I will be able to bring the quality of services in a better position than past.

REFLECTIONNEWS: It is said that loan default and operating cost is so high in state owned banks and regarding this will be your initiative?

Mr. Prodip Kumar: It is right but I am yet to know all about this. At first I have to know the financial report of this bank and then I will do in accordance with the direction of the central bank. I will give the equal importance on how to reduce the classified loan and how to increase deposits. And besides this we have memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement with Bangladesh Bank.

REFLECTIONNEWS: What do you think about agricultural loan?

Mr. Prodip Kumar: Agriculture is the life of Bangladesh and this country is depending on to a great extend. As you know I before joining with this bank I was the Managing Director of Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB). I joined there on July 18, 2010. As the chief executive of RAKUB I have huge experience regarding this sector and I know the way how to expedite loan to agriculture, small and medium size industry by utilizing that experience.

REFLECTIONNEWS: What is your plan regarding the officials of the bank?

Mr. Prodip Kumar: In this regards nobody will disagree that the officials will operate the bank. So I have to consider giving incentive that they could give more attention to carry out their duties. But they have to change their mentality s the government officials and will pay more attention to provide services to the clients and I will do everything for their welfare.

REFLECTIONNEWS: There was a pressure from the government part to take loan from banks in the outgoing fiscal year and experts fear that it will also continue in the running fiscal. As the largest one the huge pressure goes on to Sonali Bank. What is your comment regarding this?

Mr. Prodip Kumar: I do not see it in negative sense. As a state owned bank we have responsibility to help the government but at the same time we have to be careful so that it should not go beyond tolerance.

A brief credential

Mr. Prodip Kumar was born on November 26 of 1953 in Mymensingh. He stood first class first in Applied Chemistry of Dhaka University in 1974 and then he started his career with Sonali Bank. After getting promotion he joined in Bangladesh Krishi Bank and in 2005 he came back to Sonali Bank. He was promoted to Deputy Managing Director in 2008 and worked there for two years. Later on in 2010 he took over as the chief executive of Rajshahi Krishi Unnyan Bank and again came back to Sonali Bank as the Managing Director and CEO on June 17, 2012.

Translated by Mh Khan Dulal

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