Link copied to clipboard!
Ramu, the group chief executive officer of GXS.

Money is not a privilege

It is your right.

Saving is simple
with GXS
Learn more

Ramaswami Muthukrishnan (or Ramu, as he prefers to be called) has spent more than 35 years within the financial services industry. His experience spanned not just retail and wholesale banking but also exchanges and clearing houses. 

After a fruitful three decades, he hung up his corporate hat for a well-earned retirement (filled with golf, leisurely reads and photography). Then he was asked if he was willing to jump back into the thick of it. He did, and is now the group chief executive officer of GXS, overseeing our regional operations. 

Trading his golf clubs, books and cameras for the corporate life again seems like a lot and so we ask him - 

What made you exchange languorous hours in the sunshine for fluorescent lights?

What brought me out of retirement was the challenge of scaling up. It’s easy to start something but difficult to get it to the level of being a well-running, stable and profitable company. That’s the part that attracted me to this challenge. 

Our ideas around banking and our delivery of services may not be earth shattering. But to consistently deliver banking services well and in a way that provides value for each of our customers is much easier said than done. So what we are working hard on is building muscles in the areas of risk management and customer service so that layered onto our intuitive and easy-to-use interface, we are able to consistently give our customers what they need when (and even before) they want it. 

As a digital bank, GXS is a bank in your pocket so everything has to work seamlessly with zero human interference from the customers’ point-of-view. Only then will we be successful. I measure this on two levels: How often do people call us and why do they call us? In fact, they should never have to call us! That’s the goal. 

The products we deliver have to be extremely simple but powerful. We’ve brought this to fruition in the form of a loan that you can fashion in a way that fits your lifestyle and a deposit account that pays you a good interest and is available for any transaction you need to do. This is the foundation.  We’re focusing on doing this well. The rest will follow. 

If money makes the world go round, what’s our role in it?

The Keynesian definition of money is a means to exchange goods and services. In that sense, the finance industry is an intermediary for everything in life. Ensuring access and getting it to work for everyone is, to me, a prerequisite for today’s world. After food, shelter and clothes, the next most fundamental need is access to a good financial system. Therefore, providing accessible banking services to the underserved is key. 

We tackle this challenge by taking a customer-first and technology-first lens. In the traditional finance industry, the focus is on the money being lent or deposited. It’s more about the bottom line and finding products and solutions that can make money for the bank, and less about how useful it is for the consumer. We’re flipping this way of doing things on its head and looking at what is good for the customer and seeing how we can use technology to make the process better. 

We hear you’re quite the photographer! Are there any similarities between banking and photography?

Getting a good photograph is about being at the right place at the right time to capture a moment that has significance for the viewer and in some cases, the photographer. Being at the right place to capture an emotion - maybe happiness, maybe sadness - or the sheer beauty of a landscape is particularly rewarding when the end result is a photograph that has meaning for both the person taking the photograph and the person who views it, whether or not they are directly related to what is happening at that moment in time. 

Similarly in banking, there are thousands of banks around the world and there are hundreds of ways you could get a loan or make a deposit. Finding that one bank (like that one photograph) that speaks to you - because they are clearly putting you first and looking at how to create solutions that are tailored for you - can make all the difference because you would be able to trust and ultimately fall in love with the bank. That is what we’re trying to do at GXS.

And now, for some photos!

A selection of photos taken by Ramu both overseas and at home. (Photo: Ramaswami Muthukrishnan )