1. What is the size and nature of the existing staff of Exim Bank?
In comparison with other organisations with similar asset levels, Exim Bank's staff strength is lean. As of March, 2005, total personnel in the Bank numbered 193. Highly automated office systems ensure that personnel are equipped with timely and complete information and streamlined work processes. The human resources of the Bank include 139 professionals who are drawn from a variety of backgrounds embodying various disciplines which are required for the Bank's functions. They include bankers, business school graduates, chartered accountants, economists, engineers and computer specialists.
Right from its inception, Exim Bank has attached a great deal of importance to a congenial and challenging work environment. The objective has been to achieve excellence in its area of operations, not only in comparison with national organisations but also in a global context. The bank has a private sector work ethic, while drawing upon the advantages thrown up by way of its public sector ownership. An important reason for this has been the relatively young age of the organisation which enabled the Bank to cast itself in a different mould right from inception without being saddled with a legacy of outmoded work practices. Some salient features of the work environment are the emphasis on office automation, an open office system, an independent "doer's" work culture, minimisation of hierarchical constraints in organisational functioning, and multi-disciplinary inputs in decision making. Exim Bank is an officer oriented organisation. Officers work independently and self-sufficiently in all the activities that their job entails. A sense of togetherness and common purpose is sought to be fostered by the Bank's in-house publication Eximius, and the annual staff get-together. The Eminent Persons Lecture Series brings persons who have achieved eminence in diverse fields to interact and share their experience with officers.
Exim Bank operates at the frontier of available office automation and technology. The Bank believes that human resources should primarily be utilised for activities that require knowledge, skills, analysis and discretionary choices. An array of state-of-the-art computer hardware, software, and telecommunications are available to the Bank's personnel. Members of the staff make use of these facilities to the fullest extent feasible not only for non-discretionary activities but also as necessary tools for optimising their work output both in terms of quantity and quality. The lean staff strength makes it possible for the Bank to provide each officer with his/her own personal computer as well as unlimited access to office automation and technology.
While the Bank does have a variety of designations for its professionals, these are meant more for the purpose of establishing accountability and do not have much relation to the work content. Externally, the titles serve a purpose akin to protocol in fielding queries. Internally, the Bank functions more like a horizontal organisational structure minimising the hierarchical levels to quicken decision making. Consequently, internal communication is free and fast flowing.
The complexity of the Bank's functions requires cross-disciplinary inputs for effective and correct decision-making. Thus, all important decisions are taken with the aid of inputs from relevant specialists within the Bank. This enables a comprehensive micro and macro level assessment of risks and rewards. Through this process of collegiate decision making, team work and inter personal skills are deployed to the fullest extent so as to make optimum use of the Bank's diverse human resources.
The Young Professionals Programme is the entry-point for a career with Exim Bank. The Bank requires skills relating to various disciplines e.g. business management, banking, economics, accountancy and engineering. Prior work experience is neither expected, nor considered necessary. Right from the very first year, young professionals will be working independently on challenging assignments. The Young Professionals Programme offers an exciting and challenging career to those with the capability and desire to operate at the cutting edge of India's globalisation process.
Except for those positions where highly specialised skills are needed, the Bank does not normally recruit directly to higher professional positions. Thus, young professionals who are committed to a long-term career in the Bank, can expect to rise to the upper echelons of the Bank's management in due course of time. Career growth is determined by performance and merit, based on an objective and structured system of evaluation. The Bank anticipates a major expansion and diversification of its activities in the medium and long run, largely because of the opportunities arising from India's ongoing globalisation efforts. Therefore, young professionals can look forward to a fruitful career with the Bank.
Given the complexity of the Bank's operations, as reflected by the many specialised groups and work-skills, young professionals need to spend time gaining exposure and knowledge of the various activities and skills utilised in the Bank. This is especially necessary because efficient decision making in the Bank requires knowledge of a variety of skills and practices. Working with various groups, young professionals become fully conversant with all the critical functions and activities. They are also actively involved in appropriate assignments entailing individual responsibility.
The Bank is unique in its global and national network of institutional and professional linkages. The five overseas offices - at Washington D.C., Singapore, Budapest, London and Johannesburg - have helped forge strategic institutional linkages for the Bank with multilateral agencies such as Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, Export Credit Agencies, Trade and Investment Promotion Agencies abroad. The Bank's extensive global network, supported by the Indian Missions abroad facilitates interaction with such agencies and opens up new opportunities for knowledge building and upgradation of skills.
Learning opportunities are created for officers by way of participation in seminars and exhibitions (in India and abroad) sponsored by the Bank, with a view to preparing them to perform roles / jobs which they may be required to take up in the future as they go up in the organisational hierarchy, or if the Bank is venturing into new areas through joint ventures or expansion. State-of-the-art training in highly specialised areas is furthered by the new initiatives of the Bank, establishing links with multilateral agencies such as MIGA, IFC Washington and the World Bank. Special programmes organised in coordination with these agencies are customised to meet the specific requirements of the Bank.
After successful completion of the training period, young professionals are designated as "Managers" and are posted in one of the Groups or domestic offices. The Group in which the young professional is posted, after completion of the training programme, is decided on the basis of his/her skills, preference and aptitude as well as the Bank's requirements for staff in different groups. During their careers, professionals are periodically transferred to different groups or to other offices of the Bank. Such transfers provide valuable opportunities for professionals to widen their skills and exposure, which are important for career progression within the Bank. Since the Bank believes in constant upgradation of skills, there are opportunities for overseas travel and training for professionals at all levels, related to their current assignments.
Overseas offices of the Bank are manned by individual officers, assisted by local staff, where necessary. To be posted at an overseas office, an officer must acquire an in-depth understanding of and command over the various functions of the Bank. He/She must also be capable of representing the Bank in interaction with the external world. Young professionals will need to spend time on absorbing the Bank's functions and must demonstrate their capabilities before being considered for overseas postings.
During the training period, young professionals are paid a monthly stipend of Rs. 15,000/-. Thereafter, upon absorption as Manager, salaries would correspond to the scale for this cadre. Currently, gross emoluments at the minimum of the scale amount to about Rs. 17,900/-. "Dearness Allowance," which constitutes a component of salaries, changes at quarterly intervals to reflect movements in the price index. Therefore, actual salaries in the scales alter periodically.
Apart from the salary, the Bank provides attractive perquisites, the monetary equivalent of which is considerable, in relation to the salary. A major perquisite which the Bank endeavours to provide to young professionals is furnished bachelor accommodation, based on need and subject to availability. Individual rooms in the Bank's furnished flats with common kitchen and lounge are allotted to young professionals wherever possible. Until now, all young professionals joining the Bank have been provided with accommodation. As regards family accommodation, the Bank can consider the same subject to availability. Another valuable perquisite is the scheme for reimbursement of fees for the purpose of acquisition of skills considered useful to the Bank - for instance, computer skills, foreign languages.
Candidates interested in joining Exim Bank as Young Professionals may send in their applications in Structured Format to the HRM Group marked Attn.: MS. MEHER (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) . Eligible candidates will be called for the selection process as and when the Bank has openings for such positions.