Jigar Shah

Finance professional, Chartered Accountant academically, and a seasoned banker with over 15 years of experience and areas of expertise across various finance functions / levels, investor management and relationship management. Have expertise in building & developing organisation, institutionalize processes and taking up a challenge. Have worked with Banks such as IDFC First Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Audit firms such as Ernst & Young and KPMG with a short stint in UK.

Our Exclusive Interview:

1.  How would you describe yourself in 5 or less sentences?

I am a finance professional, anything with numbers excites me. I have been a banker for 15 years plus, worked for MNC and private sector banks in the past across multiple finance functions. I like to read a lot and continue to invest time in reading materials on finance. I am approachable, flexible, but a task master when it comes to work. I love to travel; life is too short, and I have many travel goals. I like to listen to music and, apart from cricket, I follow football religiously and that is where most of the drama or meltdown happens. 

2. What does work life balance mean to you?

To me, work life is drawing satisfaction from what you do in your daily life, either your professional life or personal life.  Work life is a very subjective term, and it has undergone a change in its definition during the last few years, i.e we have transitioned from the conventional notion of fixed time to an era where, as per individuals’ commitment, everyone plans their day, in line with organisation’s policy, in such a manner that gives him / her enough time and space for professional and personal commitment. I don’t have a fixed cycle / routine, but I plan in a manner wherein I try to balance personal space and work, like going for a run post-work (or after office in the evening), etc, to ensure balance. 

3. What has been one of the biggest challenges as a leader?

The biggest challenge as a leader is to groom the team and ensure there is a constant bench strength during an exceptional or crisis or tight deliverable deadlines. Cross function training is extremely critical and helps both ways but at the same time challenging. Especially post-pandemic outbreak era, recruiting the right talent and retaining them (to align to their aspiration and motivation levels) has become a challenge. 

4. Who do you look up to for inspiration?

While I always admire corporate leaders such as Ratan Tata, who is a great leader & a legend, and I am also inspired by Aswath Damodaran who is exceptional in the world of Finance & Valuation, however these are my benchmarks and lots to learn from these leaders at various levels. However, at micro-level i.e day to day inspiration comes from people who work around me (from the lower end of the value chain) and do their job diligently & with humility, despite limited resources and accessibility.  .

6. What was the last book you read and how did it impact you as an individual

The last book I completed was Liars Poker by Michael Lewis. Having said that, I prefer to read literature on finance, whether it is research paper, analyst reports, annual reports, etc.  

7. What do you do to rejuvenate, to get back in touch with yourself?

Travelling is the best way of rejuvenation for me. Take a short travel break & refill your energy levels and get back to work  

8. What is your suggestion to improving corporate India’s D&I quotient.

Over recent years, D&I has become a pivotal goal and many organisations have taken initiatives and imparted training programs to employees inorder to develop its core values and goals around it.  

I think D&I is and it should be a very important goal for every organisation, and it should be promoted at every level by corporate India (i.e from lower to top management). We should have more D&I champions and coaching across all levels, to inculcate this goal / value horizontally within organisation.

9. What is the next milestone you wish to achieve that keeps you driving forward.

I am extremely focused on building our bank (Payments Bank) and this is central part of everything that I do today.  .

10. Your perspective on sustainability and how do you promote it?

The world is very enlightened today (compared to a decade ago) towards climate change & depleting resources. I would say a bit obsessed, to an extent today, with sustainability however this obsession is eventually helping not just at a global or country level or organisational level, but at an individual level, there is a lot of awareness around ESG – people, planet, and profits. So apart from awareness, next big change seen is even regulators around the world and in India, are focusing on these aspects and are asking companies to ensure adequate reporting and disclosure. Post pandemic, there is more ignition around ESG and it is going to be the future from decision making and reporting perspective with introduction and evolution of new standards.    

I ensure in my regular daily life, whether in personal or professional space, try to reduce environmental footprint by reducing waste, i.e reduce energy consumption, conserve water, use reusable cups etc. Go paperless, wherever possible avoid unnecessary printing of presentation (ppt), review online, keep processes more digital as much as possible.  

11. If not a corporate leader, what would your professional identity be?

Maybe a sports journalist or sports analyst  

Know the Person

1.  Loyalty to you is Trust 

2. Fun and recreation to you is reclaiming mojo

3. Experience vs Education – what would you give higher preference to Education  

4. Mountains or the beach: your ideal vacation spot would be Mountains

5. Horror, Action, Adventure, Romantic, Comedy – your favourite genre Adventure