The Incredible Banker by Ravi Subramanian

The Incredible banker

When a renowned foreign bank in India is pulled up by the Governor of RBI, it spells trouble. Not only for Greater Global Boston Bank (GB2) but also for all foreign banks in India. Mind boggling competition and top of the line incentives drive the sales force to use radical measures to attain monthly targets and this can be used as a weapon by someone knowing the system inside out. As for Ravi Subramanian, bank politics is his strong suit and he writes again about the subject that he writes best. The book ‘The Incredible Banker’ reiterates that.

Book starts with a bang (literally!!) in forests of Orissa which lies to the east of India. Terrorist agencies are trying to prove their point by killing innocent people. Book changes it gear and moves into high paced world of Indian banking.

Narrative sticks to GB2 and its sassy politics. Deepak and Karan are competitors in a fiercely competitive sales world of Indian banking. Deepak is brash, arrogant, political and ambitious while Karan is a trouble-free, soft spoken, down-to-earth but ambitious professional. Deepak Sarup keeps on finding reasons to get even with Karan and he gets a break which can be best described as a ‘blessing in disguise’

RBI sends a notice to GB2 for flouting KYC norms and it is pulled by RBI for being non-compliant in annual audits. This is the golden moment for Deepak. He is called by vice chairman and persuaded to shift to audit & risk controls department of the company for a period of 18 months. Deepak gets going on his job and keeps his evil eye on ways to get back at Karan. He strikes a gold mine while conducting an unplanned surprise audit on Karan’s sales team. Deepak prepares a scathing report on Karan’s controls and his poor leadership skills. This report is sent by Deepak to Karan’s boss with a cc to HR. This infuriates Karan and he decides to quit GB2 and take up a job with Citibank instead.

Deepak has now become the all-powerful, invincible boss of audit. His new girlfriend, Savita, who helped her in getting Karan implicated in audit review, shifts to audit & risk department. Deepak faces teething problems to shift back again to sales team but he manages it internally and gets the credit cards division to handle. Initially, what came across as insurmountable targets for Deepak becomes his source of happiness and proof of his capability after he develops relationships with clients to get more business.

Post 6 months and amid a high flying career Central Bureau of Investigation makes a casual visit to Deepak and ends up arresting him. What starts as a story on office politics is turning out to story about rebels and their never ending thirst for funds to run their organization. In this case, GB2 is held responsible for promoting money laundering for terrorists and effectively, waging a war against the nation. Interesting to see how the management of GB2 manages the media frenzy that follows post Deepak’s arrest. Leading the Media in covering smear campaigns against GB2 and foreign banks in India is none other than a disgruntled ex-employee. Is this on purpose or just how the things should have been? To know the answers you would have read this book J

The last 100 pages makes for an interesting read which I could finish it in under an hour. I am personally not very keen on office politics but I have to agree, it does entertain you. I am thrilled to have read this book and I recommend this to Indian professionals (especially in the banking world!) to have a go at it. I give it a score of 3.75 /5


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