Banker with a humane touch

Chennai: Not long ago, Bharat Overseas Bank (BOBL) hit the news for all the wrong reasons, as problems between the bank management and the staff assumed gigantic proportions.

G Krishna Murthy, a senior general manager at Vysya Bank, was sent in on deputation to solve the issue. Soon after assuming office as chairman at BOBL, Murthy told domain-b: “I will sort out all the thorny issues with a humane approach.“ He, well, has managed to do just that.

“Today we can breathe easily without any fear of vindictive action,“ says an employee. As an indication of the confidence the staff have in Murthy's leadership, the clerical cadre is even ready to undertake marketing functions.

Murthy is fortunate. He faces no promoter interference in the bank's daily operations, despite heading a bank promoted by seven other banks (Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Rajasthan, Vysya Bank, Federal Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, South Indian Bank and Karnataka Bank).

Murthy, a chartered accountant, has been able to run the bank professionally for the past two years. He details his game plan for the bank in the following interview. Excerpts:

Talk of BOBL, and what comes to mind is the industrial relations problem it faced before you took charge. For the past two years the bank has been running smoothly. How did you gain the employees' confidence?
It was basically a clash of egos between the union and the management. In order to deal with the staff issues, a separate committee has been constituted. This committee of executives, with members drawn from different departments, discusses the human relation issues and fixes accountability. The board has also constituted a committee of directors to look at human relations.