Giri Kumar M Nair: A Visionary Leader Powering The Financial Services Landscape | CEOInsights Vendor
Giri Kumar M Nair: A Visionary Leader Powering The Financial Services Landscape

Giri Kumar M Nair: A Visionary Leader Powering The Financial Services Landscape

Giri Kumar M Nair,   MD & CEO

Giri Kumar M Nair


The banking industry plays a pivotal role in the global financial landscape, serving as the backbone of economic transactions and financial stability. In this dynamic sector, Giri Kumar M Nair stands out as a prominent figure in the banking industry, currently serving as the MD & CEO of SBI Payments. With a remarkable career at the State Bank of India, holding various positions, including Chief General Manager, General Manager, and Dy General Manager since September 2012, Giri Kumar has consistently contributed to the industry's growth and transformation.

He has engaged in educational programs at prestigious institutions such as Columbia University, Boston University, and Babson College, focusing on areas like data science, digital leadership, and analytics for decision-making. This diverse educational background and commitment to ongoing learning showcase Giri Kumar M Nair's dedication to driving innovation and empowering digital payments in India. Let’s read more about him.

Can you provide a brief overview of your professional journey? Also, highlight key milestones and achievements that have shaped your current position.

With over three decades of enriching experience at the forefront of India's oldest and largest banking group, the State Bank of India (SBI), I have had the privilege of steering critical assignments across diverse business areas. From Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, and Inter-national Banking to spearheading Digital Transfor-mation, E-commerce, and Technology initiatives, my journey has been a dynamic exploration of the banking landscape. As the head of SBI Payments, a subsidiary and joint venture of SBI, since May 2020, my focus has been on pioneering state-of-the-art digital acceptance infrastructure for merchants nationwide.

In previous roles, I played a pivotal role in propelling the cash-less society and financial inclusion through Digital Payment initiatives, including the launch of NCMC Cards and Metro transit projects. My tenure as the General Manager for Digital Banking was marked by driving the vision of building YONO as an Omnichannel Lifestyle &
Banking Digital platform. Beyond the boardrooms, I have delved into diverse roles, from Regional Business Head to Branch Manager, shaping my under-standing of banking intricacies across varied locations.

My educational journey includes an MBA, and as an associate member of the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance, I have contributed as a faculty in Behavioral Science, HR Management, and Marketing. Holding certifications in Digital Banking, Cyber Security, and Risk Management, my commitment to learning and leadership has been a constant thread throughout my extensive banking career. I take pride in setting up IT infrastructure in the Maldives, a testament to the collaborative efforts of a dedicated team.

This diverse educational background & commit-ment to ongoing learning showcase Giri Kumar M Nair's dedication to driving innovation & empowering digital pay-ments in India

What is the motivation which guides you in your daily endeavours?

Each day, I strive for personal and professional improvement, guided by gratitude and the belief that everything happens for a reason. I promote positivity, inclusiveness, and open communication, aiming to elevate the organization through shared vision and collaboration. As a CEO, I am not just a leader but a mentor, guide, philosopher, and friend to my team.

In recommending solutions to customers, how do you initially comprehend their needs before proposing appropriate remedies?

In addressing customer needs, our company, deeply engaged in merchant acquisition, emphasizes a thorough understanding before proposing solutions. We've witnessed a substantial rise in digital payments in India, driven by government initiatives and increased smartphone usage. Driven by bank’s vision of being part of transforming India and adapting strategically, we've transformed payment systems to meet evolving merchant expectations, expanding beyond basic solutions like POS machines and QR codes. Remaining attuned to evolving merchant needs, we leverage technology to offer diverse solutions, such as dynamic currency conversion for seamless foreign currency card transactions. Additionally, we cater to specific needs like EMI options at electronics shows.

Our customer-centric and merchant-centric approach aligns with the government's digital initiatives, actively supporting programs like eRUPI, PM Svanidhi Europe and the upcoming CBDC. Drawing on over three decades of experience with SBI, we prioritize staying ahead in the evolving digital landscape, anticipating and meeting the dynamic needs of merchants and customers alike.

Can you elaborate on the guidelines or methodologies you adhere to in leading within the banking sector today?

My leadership approach revolves around the idea of inspiring and leading my team effectively. I prioritize empowering each team member to enhance their capabilities, fostering both individual growth and collective achievement towards our shared goals.

Open communication is funda-mental in my leadership strategy, as I encourage feedback from all levels. Being approachable to anyone at any time is something I value, and it creates an environment where people feel comfortable approaching me with their thoughts or concerns. I actively promote a learning culture within the company, urging continuous improvement and skill development.

In navigating the inevitable highs and lows of a career and life, resilience is crucial. I understand that success is not always a linear path, and dealing with challenges requires a commitment to hard work. Ultimately, my leadership philosophy revolves around the core idea of giving the team reasons to follow, and I consistently keep this principle at the forefront of my mind.

What are your future aspirations, and goals, and how do you plan to allocate your time in the coming five years?

In terms of the company's future, I perceive it as an ongoing journey rather than a fixed destination. Given the advent of open network digital commerce and the State Bank of India's extensive global presence across approximately 130 countries, including Singapore, Maldives, and Mauritius, my goal is to capitalize on these opportunities. I aim to expand the company internationally, leveraging the support of State Bank branches in those countries. This expansion includes introducing new products, enhancing our QR capabilities, and delving deeper into various sectors. Therefore, my forward-looking plan for the next five years involves not only strengthening and diversifying our offerings in the existing market but also venturing into new terri-tories with an exploratory approach.

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