Kanti Kumar Saha: Accelerating Financial Growth Through Visionary Strategies & Sustainable Solutions

Kanti Kumar Saha: Accelerating Financial Growth Through Visionary Strategies & Sustainable Solutions

Kanti Kumar Saha , CEO

Kanti Kumar Saha


Leaders in the financial industry play a criti­cal role in shaping the global economy and influencing the trajectory of financial mar­kets. Kanti Kumar Saha is a highly accom­plished and dynamic banking professional with extensive experience in the financial industry. With a solid foundation in both local and multinational banks, Kanti has showcased his exceptional leader­ship abilities and strategic insights. He has excelled in various roles, from managing cross-border transactions to handling corporate banking relationships with finesse. Throughout his career, Kanti has consistently achieved remarkable success and received accolades for his contributions to the banking sector. Known for his innovative thinking and dedication to excellence, Kanti Kumar Saha continues to be a driving force in shaping the future of the financial landscape, both corporate and investment banking. Engaging in an idiosyncrating interaction with CEO Insights Asia magazine, Kanti shares his professional milestones, his leadership guidelines and much more. Let’s hear it from him.

Tell us about the unique experiences University of Dhaka Bangladesh offers and what did you learn from the campus beyond academics?

The University of Dhaka holds a special place in the hearts of countless aspiring minds, including mine. As a distinguished banking professional, I am privi­leged to have been a part of this esteemed institu­tion that fostered my intellectual growth and pro­vided a solid academic foundation. The department encouraged holistic learning, offering diverse references and journals. CGPA held no excessive significance, as the emphasis lay in preparing for the future beyond conventional boundaries. The university's intellectual ambiance enriched my mind, fostering freedom of thought, while interacting with esteemed visiting professors including the notable Nobel laureates further augmented my learning experience.

What are some of the professional milestones that you have achieved in your journey so far?

I started my career as a banker, working as a proba­tionary officer at AB Bank, a joint venture between Dubai Bank and Bangladeshi sponsors. After four years, I transitioned to Standard Chartered Bank, where I held roles in institutional banking and later as a senior relationship manager in corporate bank­ing. In 2002, I joined Citibank as a senior relation­ship manager and eventually became the head of corporate banking, handling government and mul­tinational relationships and engaging in investment banking transactions.

Later, I assumed the position of Deputy CEO (Deputy Managing Director) at Prime Bank, overseeing corporate banking, regional offices, and the Hong Kong operations. During my time there, we achieved record profits and streamlined operations with enhanced risk management practices. Subsequently, I took on the role of CEO and Managing Director at NDB Capital, an investment bank owned by Sri Lankan NDB Bank, receiving accolades for its outstanding performance in Bangladesh.

How would you define Alliance Finance as an organization and its current position in the market?

Alliance Finance, a late entrant in a crowded mar­ket of 35 financial institutions, encountered its fair share of challenges. To set ourselves apart and attain our goals, we at Alliance Finance focused on structured finance, raising substantial funds through syndication for corporate and private sec­tor infrastructure projects. Our customer-centric approach led to the development of digital solu­tions, enabling smaller income groups to access loans easily. Rather than merely selling products, we emphasized providing tailored solutions, dif­ferentiating ourselves in the market. With a clear vision and commitment to innovation, we aim to es­tablish Alliance Finance as a brand, offering unique and valuable services in the financial landscape of sustainable and green finance. Alliance Finance has also been assigned Sustainability Rating for 2022 by the banking sector regulator, Bangladesh Bank.

How do you keep yourself up to date with ongoing industry trends?

The financial sector in our country is going through a lot of changes, especially post Covid-19. The regu­lators keep coming up with new rules to improve the financial sector, which is facing problems with high levels of toxic assets. However, I am working hard, along with my team at Alliance Finance to maintain compliance and good governance in consultation with regulators, as part of the Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association, to cope with the new guidelines, though Alliance Finance main­tains a very sound loan book.

Alliance Finance sets the standard for excellence, forging a path towards prosperity & growth for our clients & the entire industry

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the methodologies that you follow as a leader?

My leadership style revolves around bringing out the best in my human resources. Unlike typical work culture in our peers, I believe in flexibility and work life balance, ofcourse complying with the reg­ulations, recognizing the diverse needs of younger generations and thought processes. I have learned from past experiences that efficiency doesn't solely depend on long hours but rather on acquiring knowl­edge and the quality work. As a result, I promote a flexible work environment to ensure optimal produc­tivity. I avoid micromanagement because it stifles creativity and discourages open communication. In­stead, I focus on motivating my team, especially in a challenging market as a new entrant, to get best out of them.

Kanti Kumar Saha, CEO, Alliance Finance

Kanti Kumar Saha is the CEO of Alliance Finance, a distinguished banking professional with a Bachelor's and Master’s in Economics from University of Dhaka and Master's in Management from Nottingham Trent University, UK. His career started as a probationary officer at AB Bank, followed by roles at Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank, where he excelled in institutional and corporate banking. As Deputy CEO at Prime Bank, he drove exceptional profit growth and streamlined operations. He then took over as CEO and MD of NDB Capital. Now, as the CEO of Alliance Finance, Kanti's visionary strategies emphasize digital transformation and customer-centric solutions, making a significant impact in the financial sector. He is also the current Vice Chairman of Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association (BLFCA).

Favorite Hobbies: Going for a walk, Spending time with Friends, Reading, Watching movies

Favorite Book: The Big Short by Michael Lewis

Favorite Travel Destination: Thailand

Favorite Cuisine: Thai, Mexican

Awards and Recognition: Chairman’s Award from Standard Chartered Bank, Best Investment Banker from Euromoney.

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