Bhuvan Kumar Dahal, CEO of Sanima Bank, has three decades of experience in the Nepali banking sector. In 1991, he quit a permanent government job to venture into the banking sector to have an illustrious career. Dahal joined Nabil Bank in 1991 as an assistant. His decision reaped rewards as he rose to become the CEO of one of the pre-eminent commercial banks in Nepal at a relatively young age (42).
Bhuvan Kumar Dahal
His banking career began as an assistant in Nabil Bank and rose to the pinnacle when he became CEO of Sanima Bank in 2014. Dahal talks to The HRM Magazine about his career, lessons he has learned throughout the years, and advice to those planning to enter the jobs.
What was your first job? How did you enter the job?
I became a teacher at Kumari English School, Tusal, Kathmandu, at the age of 17. One of my seniors referred my name and I got hired after a short interview by the principal.
What were the major challenges you faced during your first job?
The only challenge I faced was getting leave approved during my exam period as I was a college student then.
What was your educational background? Did you enter the same sector/field that matched your study/degree? Or the first job you did was different from your degree?
I was studying at the intermediate (now higher secondary) level while starting the first job, and I could teach all subjects to the students of a primary school. My educational background matched my second job as wellpermanent government employee at the Parliament Secretariat at the age of 18 through Public Service Commission exam. My third job- banking (I joined Nabil Bank Limited at the age of 20) did not match my educational background as I was studying English and Economics as majors while Commerce/Management would have been the appropriate stream for the bank. Hence, I did an MBA in Finance after joining the bank.
What were the major lessons learned?
The importance of teamwork is the biggest lesson I have learned during all these years.
What were your major achievements in your first job, if any?
I became more disciplined as I had to set an example as a teacher. I had to study more as I had no luxury to make mistakes while teaching.
The young professionals are often impatient. What advice do you have for aspiring professionals planning to enter into jobs?
Almost all of us want to be rich and rise in our careers. But these successes cannot be achieved overnight. This is why it is said ‘Rome was not built in a day.’ If one wants to climb Mt. Everest, they should take rigorous training, acclimatize at various levels, wait for favorable weather, etc. If a summiteer wants to climb Mt Everest without going to Namche, Tengboche, base camp 1, base camp 2, etc, s/ he invites the death.
To achieve success in any field, we should continuously put in hard work with honesty and have perseverance. Success in the first attempt may not be possible all the time. Let’s learn from the life story of Lincoln, Gandhi, Mao, Bill Gates, APJ Abdul Kalam at all.
What are the major areas that young professionals must prepare for?
They should acquire good knowledge of the field they want to join. Their communication skills have to be excellent as they have to deal with seniors, juniors, peers, and outsiders. They should always be honest and punctual. They should always confess mistakes and rectify them going forward instead of seeking excuses. They should learn to work in a team compromising personal interest, benefit, etc.
Is it easier for the ones entering into jobs as they will have mentors and a structured environment to work in compared to your time?
Yes, but competition is also getting stiffer day by day.