RBA Member of the Month: Ankur Sharda

After becoming the first Certified Retail Banker down under Ankur is a success story we love to follow, so we caught up with him to find out more!

How do you start your day?

On the way to work I normally read news and tech headlines, to keep up to date with the context for our business. Once I reach work, I normally spend a bit of time reading emails and preparing my To-Do list for the day. I always make sure to spend at least 20 minutes each morning for quick informal catch ups with my team to see if they have any urgent challenges to making progress that day. It’s a good way to keep on top of how everyone is tracking.

Can you tell me more about your job role and what you do day to day?

I head up two large Tech Delivery teams at my workplace, which work on IT system changes for different programs of work. My day to day involves lots of project and stakeholder management to make sure we’re on track and planning ahead. It also includes providing consulting to other teams where required and working with my team to find solutions for any challenges encountered in the execution of the initiatives. Looking ahead is the most important thing to enable teams to make continuous improvements and ensuring they are empowered to be successful.

When it’s a long day and you are tired, what keeps you motivated to work hard?

The team around me helps me going. We work in a collaborative way, and the passion and energy that my team shows is infectious.

As the industry develops and evolves what do you do to stay on stay ahead of your peers?

You always need to keep tabs on what are the emerging trends – something you can do by reading articles, attending seminars, and staying connected with colleagues outside your organisation. You also need to look for new certificates and diplomas that keep your learning and mindset fresh.

What does being the first CRB in Australia mean to you?

It’s a satisfying feeling whenever you complete something, especially when it’s above and beyond your work. Being recognised with this formal certification makes me proud, and excited to have an edge when I look for opportunities in the future.

How do you want to your mark in retail banking?

I want to make sure that everything I build or develop, every system that I improve, is always about keeping customer satisfaction in the middle, and improving the services we offer to them. At work we thrive on customer experience so I want to make sure that I live up to that promise every day.

With a background in solution delivery, what’s your vision for the future of retail banking in Australia?

As technology advances and new entrants like fintechs join the financial ecosystem here in Australia, it’s important that continue to evolve so we can keep saying that we’re meeting our customers’ needs. At work, we collaborate with many fin-techs to ensure the best products and services reach our customers, and we’re positive about the future of retail banking in Australia.

As the first CRB in Australia, you are empowering to bankers all over the country, who empowers you?

My workplace is all about empowering individuals, so I feel very grateful that I work for a business that prioritises its customers, the community, and our colleagues to reach their full potential. I have been very lucky at work to have great mentors and managers who have always provided time to help me grow. I also have a young family and their support for work and after hours study is also always there.

You have quite an international career portfolio, do you have any advice for retail bankers looking to replicate your success? And do you feel the principals of the curriculum are relevant in a variety of markets?

Look for opportunities to learn and grow with the organisation you’re working at. I look for challenges where I’m able to get exposed to different areas and learn new things, which helps me in becoming a better professional.

I enjoyed the curriculum of the CRB as it touched on every part of banking. As someone from an IT background, I felt like I got a good appreciation for how various departments operate and developed a better understanding of the banking business more generally.

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