अशोक शेरचन : बैंकिङ यात्रा

अशोक शेरचन : बैंकिङ यात्रा

From moving to Kathmandu from Baglung, to becoming CEO of Prabhu Bank, Ashok Sherchan has had an eventful career. Sherchan who began his career at Nepal Bangladesh Bank has held a series of leadership positions in various banks during his 24-year association with the banking sector. In between, he also went to London, but returned back to Nepal and went on to become CEO.

In his 24-year banking career, Sherchan has had many ups and downs, but his hard work and perseverance helped him to attain great success. Ashim Neupane of New Business Age sat down with Sherchan to talk about his banking journey over the years.

Initial Stage     
It was in 1995, when Sherchan started his banking journey with Nepal Bangladesh Bank as a junior assistant. In 2000, Sherchan moved to Bank of Ceylon (now NCC Bank) as a junior officer. During his tenure at Bank of Ceylon, he rose through the ranks to become branch manager and served two branches -Narayanghat and Pokhara. He was already working as senior officer when he left the bank in 2005.

Hard Work
Born and raised in Baglung, Sherchan came to Kathmandu for his higher education after completing his school level education. Sherchan joined Nepal Bangladesh Bank after he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies. It was his friends who pushed Sherchan to make a career in the banking sector.

As he had to travel to various places, balancing study and work was difficult for him. It however did not stop him from pursuing a higher degree as he managed to enrol in a Master’s Degree. He eventually gained a Master’s in Business Administration from Shanker Dev Campus.

Migrating to London
During the mid 90s, like his family members and friends, Sherchan also dreamed of migrating to a foreign country to earn a better living. Sherchan also wanted to experience the business environment and lifestyle of a foreign land. In 2005, he the quit banking sector and moved to London to study Chartered Accountancy and work there simultaneously. During his stay, Sherchan also registered a remittance company in London. After he registered his own venture, Sherchan had to change his student visa to either a business or working visa to operate the business in the United Kingdom. As Sherchan didn’t get a work visa, he couldn’t run the business in the UK. So he returned to Nepal after about 15 months in the UK.

Making it to the top
After returning to Nepal, Sherchan joined Prabhu Finance as general manager. In 2011, Prabhu Finance merged with two development banks and became a B class development bank.  That same year, Sherchan was appointed the CEO of Prabhu Development Bank. In 2014, Prabhu Development Bank acquired Kist Bank Ltd, Gaurishanker Development Bank and Zenith Finance, transforming itself to an A class commercial Bank as Prabhu Bank. In 2014, Sherchan served in the bank as deputy CEO. In 2015, Sherchan was appointed the CEO of Prabhu Bank Ltd. His term ended in early 2019, and he was reappointed for a second term.

Seize the opportunity
Sherchan says his decision to join Prabhu Finance as general manager was not an easy one. However, his belief in accepting new challenges motivated him to jump into a finance company. Since he already had 10-years of experience in working in commercial banks, he found managing a finance company relatively easy. And it became turning point in his career.

From 2006 to 2010, Prabhu Finance, before becoming a development bank, was engaged in several mergers and acquisitions of financial institutions. As the chief executive, Sherchan led this whole process, which he thinks made him a better banker.

Enjoy your job
Sherchan says every job is hectic but one has to learn to enjoy the work. As professionals in the banking sector need to meet people from different walks of life every day, Sherchan believes that he has learned new things by meeting and talking to people. “Banking is one of the sectors where professionals meet people having different ideas, knowledge and plans. This is a big asset for professionals in the banking sector,” Sherchan shares, adding he tries to meet new people as much as possible.

Free time
Sherchan reads and writes in his free time. Sherchan prefers reading as well as writing articles on economy, banking and policy. He also writes poems in his free time. During the weekends, Sherchan goes for hiking along the outskirts of Kathmandu. Sherchan likes to travel to new places, but the majority of his visits are official.

Suggestion for graduates
Sherchan suggests that fresh graduates wanting to enter the banking sector have to show dedication and passion towards their chosen profession. “Banking is not an easy job, like the way it looks. Everything in the bank goes through a proper system, so graduates may think the banking sector is an easy sector. Professionals need to have patience in the banking sector,” Sherchan says, adding that the sector holds a lot of opportunities for fresh graduates.

Sherchan says fresh graduates can build a strong network by meeting new people and by travelling to different places. Sherchan also advises graduates not to run for money, success and fame. “Hard work and patience will bring money and fame in any sector. Graduates need to be competitive to succeed in the banking sector,” he shares.