Dashen Bank on Up-ward Trajectory

For a person who has come to know the Dashen Bank from the early days of its establishment to the present stage, one would notice, particularly, as of recent, tantalizing development despite some ups and downs in its yearly operations, characterized by different determinants which are vital to its success.

The strategic direction of the Government, the guidance of the regulatory body, the dexterity of its Board of Directors and Management Council to level the playing field, and the near to unanimity of its shareholders’ approval of growth and development programs, the undaunting support of its customers, and the inevitable march forward of its warriors, the staff and employees of the organization, to strengthen the desired end objectives of good corporate governance are matters of significant value.

It is with this clear scenario at the foreground that one could understand the real personality of the bank.  Dashen Bank was born with the slogan “the Right Choice for Success.”  Surprisingly a few organizations outside the banking system seemed envious when they copied it to their own advantages.  Today, 20 years after, it has come up with a new and vigorous advertising slogan under its logo: “Always One Step Ahead.” Yes, this bank has been at the forefront of other private commercial banks in its operational outcomes for almost all the time, indeed.  It is thus not surprising if it bears such a qualifying motto at 20.

Be that as it may, however, today the Bank looks robust with Birr 2.8 Billion primary capital, 9 Board Directors, 20 strong management council members and 5630 employees. Its operation through 220 branches spread all over the country distributed under 12 strong districts and supported by state-of-the art facilities and IT system and offering its customers from Savings+ to Interest-free services and varying payment card systems and mobile services, have ranked it among the most viable and prominent private commercial banks with international arm operating under the bright skies of Ethiopia.

How best to continue maintaining such standard and keep up its advancement sustainable is a matter of serious consideration though. And the puzzle lies here.

The old myth that banking system is simple hands on operation that could be managed by some clerks with only some practical and bookkeeping knowledge does not hold water any longer, at least not for those at top positions.  Those at the management level may keep in mind that, in the light of growing difficulties of the world financial system on our biosphere riddled with political crisis, complacency in limited knowledge and experience has no more places with them.  Yes, the old and the new have brought-up the services of the bank to the present high standard through what seems to be relay system, and which all stakeholders have come to appreciate the tremendous structural changes.

Obviously, such a move could not be realized without difficulties and moments of serious challenges that may have tasted the patience and resilience of the leadership and the management members.   Yet a remarkable achievement has been realized at last.  But, should that be the end of the race?  Should complacency be the rule of the game?

The very survival of the advancement of any organization lies in finding the answer to such questions. It is, generally, in the nature of human beings to be satisfied and be arrested emotionally at the first point of success.  When that becomes the case, chances are high to be exceeded by some others.  So the answer to the questions should be always the maintenance of exceeded expectations for any achievement; and such option could only be met by developing the whizz-boy mentality. This is a matrix that applies to any organization all across the board.

Paying attention to high end ethical standards, applying various training schemes, visits to advanced national and international counterparts, exchange programs, formal and informal participatory discussions, adoption of problem-solving and confidence building mechanisms, visit to the internet world, and relevant readings, and opinion surveys should be considered.  Timely revision of organi-grams for more expansion or contraction, realistic job and performance evaluations are within the gambit of clarion call.

Expanded structures could be sometimes as dangerous as narrow ones, because, they prove sometimes un-economical, wasteful and overlapping.  They tend also to open more doors for abuses and corruptions.  However, with the implementation of down-to-earth system of control and mechanism of checks and balances, the Bank’s current expanded structure and the system of devolved responsibility are welcome moves. It has a direct incremental value to the national development effort of the country, too, and, more so, to the finance industry. This mentality underlined, the writer believes strongly that Dashen Bank will always be in the ascent and move on up-ward trajectory. Thank you