Ravi Subramanian has spent the last two decades in the world of global banks inIndiaand this is his fifth book. His debut novel, If God was a Banker, has sold over 2 lakh copies and won the Golden Quill Readers Choice Award in 2008.
His experience in banking enlivens his novels with real conversations and exposure of the under-belly of the industry.
The Bankster is about crimes of money laundering for covert and shady operations that has international ramifications. There are parallel stories of arms deals for diamonds, flagging off a new Nuclear plant, protests by Environmentalists and the banking operations of a global bank inIndia. The Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) is at the centre of action where three employees mysteriously meet with fatal accidents or leave a suicide note (that was in his pocket for the last few years!)
The book is racy stuff and it can be a blockbuster movie! Even though such movies are not made yet in India, with people like Anurag Kashyap arriving on the scene, we can have hopes. And when Ravi Subramanian is being called the John Grisham of Banking, we can have international directors in the fray too!
Having worked in the insurance industry, I could really relate to the conversations that happened between the employees of GB2. Here’s one excerpt I could not help sharing. It’s about motivating employees to “chipkao” customers…
I don’t care how you do it, but I need your team to start performing better in the insurance contest. You guys are really lagging. Is it difficult to sell an insurance policy to customers these days?
“We have been trying sir, but it’s taking time.”
‘Chipkao, yaar. Customers ko insurance chipkao. I am yet to meet a customer who knows what he wants. It’s in your hands. You have to make them need what you want to sell. That’s when you become a good salesman. You don’t need me to tell you what to do during the contest. Only results matter, my friend. Do whatever you have to, but your branch has to be amongst the top ten branches on the leagues table.
… Anand called for a meeting of all his branch sales and service officers. By the time they left his room, they were a bunch of transformed people.
….. by evening everyone was tired but Anand was a happy man. It was amazing how a five minute talk with the cluster manager could change the approach of the entire branch.
‘…The best performer of the day is…’ and he paused for effect. ‘….Jasmeet Pahuja, announced Anand. ‘She has managed to close an insurance deal with a premium of Rs 4 lakh. What makes it special that it was sold to a 50 year old widow who has never invested in anything but fixed deposits.
Another day, there was another conversation where the cluster manager advises the branch manager to hire smart, young women – even if they are thick headed. He says, ‘Customers make their own decisions. We bankers only execute those decisions. And if they get a sexy chick to meet them and complete their transactions, they will never move away from you.’
…Anand remembered the day when the boss had said the reverse – that customers will buy whatever one wants them to buy. After all, he’s the boss and had the right to contradict himself.
Ravi Subramanian’s website is at www.ravisubramanian.com and he has a FB page too