Mr. Jayakar Shetty K – An Inpirational Banker!

This banker is an inspiration for the way he has served, brought revolutions in the banking sector and achieved laurels all the way.

Excelling in one’s chosen job and leading by example are some of the traits that highlight the kind of personality that Mr. Jayakar Shetty K, former General Manager HR, Vijaya Bank. We come across many inspiring leaders at the workplace who through the way they have worked and led the team, are looked up to as legends today. As someone who has served Vijaya Bank, for 39 years dedicatedly and climbed the ladder of success, it displays the magnitude of the personality that he is. His work speaks for him, and his staff hold high regard for him even today. He has been featured in many leading national newspapers and magazines for the dramatic changes and revolutions in the banking process he brought in the Vijaya Bank while he was heading the bank’s branch.

We had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jayakar Shetty K and it turned out to be great learning on the personal front as well.

Here are the excerpts of the interview.

Leading by example:

As Ralph Waldo Emerson had once said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”, Mr. Shetty’s work and life resonate this to the core. His out of the box thinking and innovative ways to better the banking services has seen Vijaya Bank soar to the greater heights that it is today. Having started working as a clerical staff in Vijaya Bank, Mr. Shetty way back in 1973, he rose up to the level of top management and demitted the office as General Manager HR, Vijaya Bank (The Government of India Undertaking) in the year 2012. His story is inspiring for the youngsters and executives of today looking to make it big at the workplace. While climbing up the ladder, he took on many challenges head on and looked for innovative ways to better the services voluntarily.

Mr. Shetty made a humble beginning and progressed and succeeded through sheer hard work and honest efforts to better himself at work while taking others along with him. He always considered his subordinates as his co-workers. He believes that the trait of a leader is to take everyone along with self, when asked how a leader should be. His positivity and ability to motivate self is evident when he says, “doing the work assigned with complete heart and soul will lead you to success rather than questioning why a particular work is assigned to me”.

He is known to be the pioneer of many firsts in the bank. Be it, displaying a big permanent printed board(10FT X6FT ) outside the bank premises, promising to deliver demand draft within 5 minutes back then, taking the initiative of starting the queue from the red line in banks, from getting the door removed to make himself accessible to the customers, he has been extremely daring in taking calculative risks. He indeed always put customers first and worked dedicatedly for them. His interview has been aired by CNBC TV in those days as well. Under his able leadership, one of the branches of the bank(Indiranagar, Bangalore) did a business of nearly 1000 crores which was a record back then, that too within a short span of 4 years. The 19-year-old branch had the total business of 43 crores when he took over and reached the whopping height.

On crisis management and money management skills:

When sought his suggestions for crisis management, Mr. Shetty says, every time he has dealt with a problem, the solution to it too came along with it. If there is a crisis, there is a solution to it to deal with it, in his own words. He opines that there is no such thing as crisis management. No book can teach one to deal with a particular problem at any given point. One has to work at it sincerely to solve a problem to succeed, he says.

When Mr. Shetty was made the branch manager at Vijaya Bank, he was constantly thinking how to improve the services. For this he designed a survey which with the help of his staff and an outside agency he sought the feedback from some regular customers in different age groups, who enter the branch for the banking services. That feedback mechanism was a great success as it helped him know if he was on the right track. Like this, there were many things that he did voluntarily to improvise the services in the bank. Mr. Shetty truly lived up to what T.S. Elliot once said on taking risks, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go,” which is evident in his work.

Seeking contentment and finding inspiration:

Mr. Shetty nursed the dream of becoming an advocate but took up banking since his father made him join the bank. Since the moment he joined the bank, he excelled in everything through hard work. He draws inspiration from the Ramayana and Mahabharata which he reads regularly. Every time he reads it, he finds something inspiring and eye opening that helps him deal with life and situations. He highly looks up to the teachings of these holy books for the valuable teachings they impart like living a life of virtues. One should be true to oneself and work sincerely and the rest will follow, he says when asked about the secret to excelling at work.

He is of the opinion that keeping life simple and the wants small helps lead a fulfilled and peaceful life. He fondly recalls the days when he used to earn a mere one hundred and fifty rupees and used to enjoy life and feel so happy then. The present trend of people possessing multiple credit cards has added to the woes of life, he feels. He rightly puts it when he says that people are struggling today because they are not satisfied with what they have and there is no contentment.

Things to look forward to in him:

There are many valuable lessons to learn for the present generation from Mr. Shetty for the kind of outlook he has towards life. When asked to advise on money management, he feels that the art of saving is absent in the present generation and an urge to spend on things that one doesn’t need is rampant today. The practice of saving when taught early in life and preferably seen being done in the family plays a major role in managing finances later in life, he says.

An active person even at the age of 66, Mr. Shetty has been physically active in many ways being an inspiration to the youngsters in this aspect too. He used to jog for 12 km a day until the age of 58, also swim regularly and do pranayama every day to Keeping himself going and mentally strong which helped him to go on in life, as it comes. He admires and idolizes the late Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former PM of India for the qualities that he is known for.

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