Sunday, December 2, 2012

Looking Back – 53

During 1998 the AGM of RI was entrusted with the investigation of a large cash credit account that had gone bad at one of the branches in Kolkata. BGR was asked by the AGM to accompany and assist him. It was a delicate and confidential job of fixing the responsibility on the officials who were responsible for the account to go bad. It was a new exposure for BGR. The investigation took nearly one week.
The Concurrent Audit of Cantonment Branch – The Final Frontier for BGR
BGR had completed five years as Section-Head in RI. He was posted to work in Cantonment branch as a full-time concurrent auditor in June 1999. Actually the Cantonment branch on the MG Road was just two buildings away from the Spencer Building. The branch was headed by an AGM assisted by a Senior Manager, three Managers, six Accountants and around 20 clerks. By then transition from Manual to ALPM had already taken place. The branch had many Corporate Accounts. There was enough work and BGR had to submit monthly reports. It took much time for him to verify all the mortgage papers. Certain papers were found missing but could ultimately be traced. There were more than 30 open cash credit accounts and submission of monthly stock statements was found to be irregular in some cases.
Some of the corporate borrowers had consortium finance earlier. Subsequently Multiple Bank Finance concept was introduced.  One Corporate Account which started with a small cash credit limit of Rs.5,000/- some 40 years ago, made fantastic progress and  enjoyed limit of over Rs.100 crores under different heads including imports during 2000.  This company also switched over to Multiple Bank Finance and borrowed from about a dozen banks, which included nationalised, private and foreign Banks.  Despite BGR’s repeated observations in his reports it was not possible to find out what was the total borrowing of the Company on any particular date except what was shown in the annual balance sheet of the Company. Incidentally this account became sticky at a later stage.
There was a large amount of income leakage at the branch. BGR could detect short collection of interest and commission to the tune of Rs1.5 crore during his stay of 18 months at the branch. He received a special appreciation letter from the General Manager.
The branch had the salary accounts of employees of Wipro Ltd. The employees used to maintain fat balances in their SB accounts. With the credit of monthly salaries the SB deposits of the branch grew fast. The branch also had a large number of NRI accounts with huge remittances to their credit. The branch also maintained the accounts of a leading local newspaper (Kannada and English) with large transactions. Cash transactions were huge as ATMs had not yet become popular.
While BGR was conducting the concurrent audit, the regular inspection of the branch was taken up. As BGR had comprehensively covered all the required areas, the team could complete the regular inspection in four weeks.
Shri Gururaja Murthy was the Senior Manager of the branch at that time.  He was managing the branch very well. With his all-round knowledge, he was able to handle any situation.  He had very good credit knowledge.  He had a pleasant personality and had the ability to maintain good rapport with CO/HO.  He was motivating Managers and Officers  very well.  Staff members also used to like him. Because of his ability, he got quick promotions and ultimately retired  as GM of Chandigarh Circle in 2011.  Another Officer whom BGR admired was Shri M E Prakash.  He was hard working and was giving fullest co-operation to SM/AGM.  He was very good at customer service.  He was handling Advances other than Corporate Credit with lot of work on his shoulders.  He used to plan and meticulously work to keep his area of operation in good shape.  Currently he is working at Corporate Credit Section in Credit Wing HO as Manager.
The Retirement
The Cantonment branch turned out to be the last work station for Bailakare Govinda Rao. The countdown had already begun. Eventually he was relieved on 31 December 2000 and his journey in Canara Bank came to an end. BGR remembered on the occasion the late Shri M R Pai who recommended his name to the Bank for employment, late Shri Somanath Narayan who welcomed him warmly on the date of joining the Bank and all those who guided and trained him to shoulder higher responsibilities.  The journey had started way back on 6th February 1959 and he had come a long way. What an eventful journey it had been! Actually BGR was unable to believe that he had completed almost 42 years service in the prestigious nationalised bank (including 10 years when it was in private Sector). But true it was! He had the immense satisfaction of having served the great institution to the best of his ability.
-----(To be continued)------
A V Krishnamurthy
2nd December 2012
(Next Episode: The woman Behind the Successful Man (BGR) – Arundhathi Rao

1 comment:

Narain said...

What a great journey! Very few can enjoy the satisfaction that this great man has got out of his career. We are very fortunate to have met through this serial a man who has established without doubt that great things can be achieved by dutiful and honest attitude. He is in my prayers.