When Pralay Mondal, the new retail and business banking head at YES Bank, graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C) in 1989, banking was far from his mind. He joined Colgate-Palmolive in Mumbai and was part of the consumer goods major's retail products team.
A couple of years later, he shifted to Wipro and joined the information technology firm's hardware business.
"My first job was in the FMCG sector. But at that time, hardware was a sunrise industry. Hence, when the opportunity came, I joined Wipro. It gave me a perspective on large scale distribution," Mondal said.
He left Wipro after a four-year stint. Som Mittal, who was in charge of Wipro's personal computer business, was moving to Digital Equipment and he took Mondal with him.
An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, Mondal grew up in Kolkata and studied in South Point School, a premier one in the city.
Mondal first entered the banking space almost a decade after he graduated from IIM-C. He returned to his home town and joined Standard Chartered Bank as the national head of liability sales business. From there, he moved to HDFC Bank in 2000 and was responsible for setting up various retail products.
"The transitions have always been smooth. I have been in retail all through my life. I did not see too much of a difference in approach, even though I changed industries," Mondal said.
After successfully leading the retail banking business of India's second largest private bank for over a decade, Mondal joined YES Bank last month.
Mondal says it was not easy to quit HDFC Bank; his family didn’t want him to leave the private sector lender.
"But I have always been a business builder. Here, I will get an opportunity to build the business, as YES Bank has a huge vision for retail banking operations. At HDFC Bank, I reached a stage where out of the 13 retail products, we were market leaders in 10 products. There was not much challenge left," he said.
At YES Bank, Mondal will drive the bank's Version 2.0 goals, and will be responsible for strengthening low-cost deposit base, wealth management and retail assets businesses, by leveraging synergies across branch, business, agri and retail banking. He will also lead the operations and service delivery, as well as the direct banking and savings account product management teams.
When not working, Mondal prefers to spend time with his family. "I am not a party-goer. I don't drink or smoke. My social life is round my family. The advantage of being in retail banking is you don't have to attend too many after-office parties," Mondal says with a smile.