Sunday Monitor

BOOK REVIEW: Banker who made a difference

Banker Shiv B. Singh’s journey as a banker is more than just a success story. In Albert Einstein’s words, Singh strived “not to be a success, but rather to be a value”. From a junior officer at a public sector bank to becoming the head of a PSB, he has come a long way steering through the critical courses of the Indian banking system. Singh’s new book — Banker by Chance, Leader by Choice — is the chronicle of that journey that started in a village in Uttar Pradesh.

Singh grew up in Shankarpur village in Lucknow among grandparents, uncles and aunts. Growing up in a humble background helped Singh stay rooted to the ground and serve the public with utmost sincerity. He completed his education in government institutions. He completed his post-graduation in Economics in 1987 and specialised in labour economics. Later, he enrolled for PhD in Economics.


Singh left college at a time when the unemployment rate in the country was substantially high and getting a decent job in the government and public sectors, which were the only coveted options, was a challenge. Though he started his career journey with uncertainty and trepidation, his high education and merit made the sailing smooth. He started as a lecturer in a college in Barabanki district However, this did not deter Singh from dreaming of a future where better opportunities could be explored. His first job in the public sector was as a supervisory cadre in the Income Tax Department.

“From 1987 to 1991, my life was basically exploratory in nature when it came to employment and livelihood, where I went in search of greener pastures with the objective of joining well-paid, respectable jobs, as defined by the then socially acceptable norms,” writes Singh in his autobiography.

Singh found his calling in the banking sector and continued to serve in various capacities. He also served overseas.

During his tenure as a banker, the sector underwent critical changes, including the introduction of automation in several crucial functions of banks. Singh had to face upheavals in his career, which took a toll on his mental and physical health, but as a seasoned banker, he sailed through the storm with aplomb.

As Singh narrates his journey from Shankarpur to the vast banking sector in India, he also chronicles the evolution in the sector over the years and post-liberalisation. Singh’s journey is inspirational. Though his autobiography is written humbly, one cannot miss the dedication and persuasion with which Singh served as a banker.

Book: Banker by Chance, Leader by Choice; Author: Shiv B. Singh; Publisher: Rupa; Page: 216; Price: Rs 595

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