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7 Questions on Leadership with Rajeev

Name: Rajeev

Title: Senior Consultant and Business Adviser

Organisation: S2T

Rajeev is a career banker, avid business transformation driver and a turnaround specialist. Currently in UAE, as a Senior Consultant and Business Adviser, he continues to passionately mentor and enable strategic business development / transformation, digitalization, growth and delivery in the BFSI and Fintech space.

He started his banking career with HSBC in year 1996 where he was awarded as the

1st Super Star of India for his customer service & initiatives. Ever since then, he has never looked back and has achieved greater accolades and recognitions across his more than 25 years of successful & progressive experience in India, Oman, UAE and DRCongo (Africa) across Retail / Business / Corporate banking, Cards, Products, Payments, Wealth management, Service Quaity, Consulting & Insurance domains.

Rajeev’s forte of execution, people management, entrepeneurial approach and engagement style across internal and external stakeholders including regulators, coupled with his functional skills in strategic planning & execution, business delivery & growth, product / project / program management, service delivery, data analytics and process / quality improvements, has catapulted large scale digital and business transformation in associated organizations across geographies and industries.

Prior to moving to UAE he was in Oman as the Head – Business (Corporate, SME & Retail), Transformation and Strategy with Muscat Finance leading the organization to extensive quality and high yielding business delivery along with creating considerable digital footprints for the bank, basis his strong strategy execution and result orientation.

Former Head for Retail Banking & Strategic Initiatives with Bank Sohar in Oman, he

was not only instrumental in spearheading the progressive business transformation,

launching Wealth management, Cards (Issuing and Acquiring), Bancassurance, Segmentation, Process-reengineering, and Digitization within a short period of 2 years, but was also responsible for turning around the loss-making division into a highly profitable one leading to highest P&L growth amongst all conventional banks in Oman.

Earlier, he was responsible for the Retail and Branch / Business Banking, Corporate B-B-C program, and driving quality new business leading to a superlative market growth of Yes Bank, making it one of the most respected retail banking franchisees in India today.

His innings with Max New York Life Insurance, HDFC and ICICI Bank in India, just after his stint with Rawbank in DRC Africa, where he not only associated with IFC & IDI but also launched Retail Banking & Cards, saw multiple successes in market growth, business delivery, and human capital development initatives, partnership & alliances, making these organizations one of the strongest pillars of the industry in respective countries.

Rajeev has obtained his MBA in Finance & Marketing, CAIIB 1 & AMFI from India. Certified in Digital Banking, he has also done his Digital Marketing, Projects, Strategy & Business Development accreditions from Google, PMI & IDI (Ireland / UK) respectively.

Rajeev is known for his core strength of 5 Es – Execution, Engagement, Entrepreneurial, Ethics, & Energy. He has well recognized enabling behaviours of proactive attitude, excellent interpersonal & organizational skills, proven abilities in building successful businesses,and is adept at leading multi-cultural teams/projects across geographies.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Rajiv's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

The challenge for me or for any other leader has to be to Gain acceptability and respect"from your team.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

My first team leader role was in HSBC as a stepping stone in my 1st promotion from a Banking assistant to the Officer role after a grilling selection process.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I wake up early to take my dog out for a walk and even otherwise to enable a good start of the day, well begun is half done. The sleep time is though not fixed.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Be grateful for what you have, çherish and value it, since you don't know till when it will remain. Don't take anything for granted.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Eat that frog!

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

EQ is equally, or probably more important than IQ.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

When I was asked by one of my former CEO to get any team member from outside and remove anyone in the team to get the delivery going, my only comment to that was then what would be my credit. I believe everyone is capable of creating magic....and magic is what we did !

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