Innovation Banker of the Year Gautam Jain
Passion and belief. Those are the two key ingredients that Gautam Jain considers as critical to success in anything he does. As managing director and global head of digitization and client access for transaction banking at Standard Chartered, Jain has been an impassioned force and strong believer in upgrading the bank’s digital infrastructure.
Under his leadership Standard Chartered’s transaction banking business has revamped its client facing modules including Straight2Bank NextGen. Moreover, Jain has forged strong partnerships with the likes of RippleNet and TradeIX focussing heavily on enabling API (application programming interface) connectivity to these platforms.
“We had many achievements in 2017, but if I have to pull out the most significant one, it would have to be bringing digital to the forefront of not only our thinking internally, but making this an integral part of every client conversation, and positioning the bank as one of the leading and forward-thinking institutions in the banking world,” shares Jain.
As major part of client conversations, Jain is heartened to see that his clients too are as passionate and enthusiastic about the prospects of digital innovation to their business.
“Clients are becoming more and more digitally savvy, and have started looking at both their internal and external processes to determine not only how they can optimize their operations using digital, but also how to create new value propositions for their client and other stakeholders,” he says.
Being at the forefront of Standard Chartered’s digital drive, Jain believes in the strength of empowerment and instilling a sense of purpose within his digital team. “By empowering your teams, you create an environment where the best and the brightest talent is attracted, unleashed and most importantly, retained. This is also how you build the next generation of leaders,” highlights Jain. “I believe that one of the most important tasks of a leader is to create other leaders.”
With empowerment comes the responsibility of making key decisions, which according to Jain is something leaders should be aware of. “Some leaders shy away from making tough decisions, do not confront the people who need to be confronted and do not offer differential reward based on differential performance,” he says.
When looking for new hires Jain stresses the importance of passion. “You can teach technical skills but you cannot teach passion. And if you are setting out to change the world, belief and passion are the two things that will help you succeed,” he says.
Despite his digital accomplishments Jain stresses that there is much more work to be done in order to enact real change. “We need to increase the pace of change in the industry, be more bold and imaginative and think revolutionary rather than evolutionary,” he says.
If not a banker, Jain believes he would have been in the performing arts, expressing his creativity in that channel instead. “A poet, writer, actor or a photographer. These things require imagination, boldness, creativity and looking at things from a different perspective. Something that I am very passionate about,” shares Jain.
Having shared his passion and creativity with Standard Chartered’s transaction banking unit, Jain now looks forward to future endeavours. He just joined bank’s SC Ventures unit. He will be in the company of professionals driven in their vision to create digital innovation for the bank.