The Indian banking sector is growing rapidly, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.7% from 2022-2026.
The increasing complexity of regulations, financial markets, and emerging startups in India is creating a demand for Corporate Bankers.
But what does it take to be a successful Corporate Banker? Do you have to be very stylish, well-dressed, and exceptional at handling numbers?
We talked to CA Harvansh Grover, Regional Head at HDFC Bank’s Conglomerates & Large Corporate division, South India, to learn what we truly need to succeed in this dynamic profession.
1. Good with Client Interaction
A significant portion of a Corporate Banker’s success is attributed to maintaining extensive client interactions.
While office work, including underwriting, is important, Corporate Bankers should spend at least two-thirds of their time engaging with clients and the remaining one-third in the office.
This balance ensures that you are staying involved in their business affairs.
“I studied in a Hindi-medium school and was quite a shy kid. By no stretch of the imagination could I have called myself an extrovert. You need not be flamboyant, exceptionally good-looking, or dress extraordinarily to become a Corporate Banker. If you are genuinely comfortable being in front of clients and enjoy solving problems that’s all you need.” says Harvansh.
2. Continuous Learning and Industry Knowledge
Corporate Bankers must stay up-to-date on the latest financial regulations and market trends.
Enhancing your industry knowledge not only helps build your credibility but also enables you to have more insightful conversations with clients. This will assist you in building relationships with clients. (One of the most essential steps of being a Corporate Banker)
To stay updated with market shifts, regularly keep up with reliable sources such as CNBC and other news channels.
3. Good with financials
Corporate bankers must understand financial statements. Clients might expect you to know more about their balance sheets and business than they do.
Good knowledge of balance sheets, P&L, and financial ratios is crucial for this role.
4. Be trustworthy
Corporate Banking is not about doing one deal, making extra profits, and moving on.
You should prioritize building strong client relationships, which requires earning their trust over time.
Establishing this trust paves the way for future opportunities, as they will readily consider you when new prospects arise.
5. Provide creative solutions
Over 140 banks are operating in India with more than 200,000 Corporate Bankers. What will set you apart in attracting clients?
If you understand your clients well and provide quick solutions to their needs, they will not mind paying you 10 or 20 basis points extra in coupon or advisory fees.
Your ability to offer creative solutions while adhering to regulations is vital.
6. Ask the right questions:
If you want to succeed as a Corporate Banker, asking the right questions is of vital importance. That is how you can provide the best possible solutions.
By asking questions, you can get a better understanding of the client’s needs, so that you can help them achieve their goals. It will also help you assess the client’s risk, and most importantly build client relationships.
Bankers often need to be mobile, either domestically or internationally, or at times expect a transfer.
That’s why banks often seek candidates who are open to travel and are flexible.
Harvansh adds, “People close to me often describe me as having ‘wheels in my heels’ since I have a habit of not staying in one location for long. Mobility is a significant factor in my growth as a Corporate Banker.”
The salary of Corporate Bankers in India ranges between INR 17 Lacs to INR 54 Lacs, with an average salary of INR 23 Lacs per annum.
In most cases, it goes way beyond the abovementioned range.
But no matter what role you choose, make sure that you enjoy it.
Corporate Banking jobs may pay higher than transaction banking, but if you don’t enjoy the work, you won’t be able to dedicate time to it.