Personification of a Visionary! CEO Roshan Kumar Neupane
Banking sector has, for long, relied on traditional TVC ads for branding and marketing. While the digital revolution has made a successful landing in Nepal, thanks to advances in the telecommunication industry, some brands like NICA have become pioneers in terms of utilizing this new but growing marketing sector. Also, breaking the traditional model for brand building, NICA has revolutionized marketing, especially for banking and financial sectors. Recognizing this contribution, Mr. Roshan Kumar Neupane, CEO of NIC Asia Bank has been awarded with the prestigious ‘Prawal Jana Sewa Shree’ award by the honorable president Bidhya Devi Bhandari on the occasion of Constitution Day. Mr. Neupane’s felicitation is due to the invaluable contribution he has provided to the banking and financial sector writ large. Here, we will discuss how an individual has himself become a personal brand. Moreover, we will discuss the impact Mr. Neupane has had on NICA, banking sector and marketing industry.
NICA, under the guidance of Mr. Neupane, has quickly risen as one of the most premium banks in Nepal. NICA and its CEO have one important parallel. Both are relatively young, but have against the critiques and naysayers outperformed so-called ‘veteran’ CEOs and banks. Within a few decades of its establishment, and especially in the last 3-4 years, NICA has managed to become one of the most valuable Nepalese brands in the banking sector. So, what gives?
First, NICA, in the last few years under its young CEO, has brought a groundbreaking revolution in terms of branding and marketing. While traditional corporations still heavily rely on TVC ads with some yesteryear celebrity, NICA brought a paradigm shift in the Nepalese marketing industry. From investing heavily on CSR projects to producing creative ads, NICA has successfully broken out from the marketing rot that conventional brands still navigate within. Just take a look at few of its impressive TVC ads:
‘Soch Badalau’ campaign, in particular, has become NICA’s anthem of sorts. Unlike traditional TVC campaigns that rely on a celebrity’s agency alone, ‘Soch Badalau’ slogan itself carried agency, which celebrity endorsements only bolstered. NICA, thus, was able to leverage its celebrity endorsement rather than vice versa. Ergo, as a recognition for its outstanding creative marketing ‘Soch Badalau’, NICA was awarded ‘Best Copywriter Award’, ‘Best Financial Sector Campaign’ and ‘ Best Integrated Campaign’ during 11th Crity Awards!
Second, under Neupane, NICA also broke out from the conventional wisdom that states, “Go where there is big money”. Instead, NICA invested heavily in order to penetrate markets (including remote regions) throughout the country. Currently, NICA has around 358 branches (one of the highest numbers for a commercial bank in Nepal). Their model of providing service to everyone, irrespective of their net worth access to banking and financial services has led them to acquire customers at a breakneck speed. While traditional bankers still rely on ‘big whales’ for loan disbursement, NICA has managed to become the largest lending commercial bank (NICA lent 273.86 Arba to its customers until Poush 2078) by making small loans accessible across a larger population. Similarly, NICA also ranks number 1 in terms of deposits. With a deposit of over 299.34 Arba, the numbers speak for itself. It is self-evident that NICA has managed to earn the trust of its customers’ hard-earned money. Additionally, NICA ranks above the industry’s average on all the major financial indicators.
Third, is the internal branding success that NICA has cracked. While brands invest vast amounts of resources in external branding and advertising, very little goes towards internal branding. For any company to succeed, it is vital that each and every one of their employees believe in the vision with the same passion that the executive does. This way, the employees become the best brand ambassadors. Most of the internal departments are keenly observed and headed by Neupane himself. Unlike most brands, NICA does not automatically assume that their HR department single handedly handles all internal issues. Due to the synergy between the HR department and NICA’s executives, their brand’s positioning is standardized across their employee base.
General ‘chiya guff’ that we need increased youth engagement in various Nepalese sectors, be it business, politics, bureaucracy, has become a cliché. The top executive positions today are still occupied by our tried, tested and spectacularly failed gerontocracy. Young blood like Mr. Neupane comes with passion and vision that outpaces the elderly generation. While their experience cannot be discounted completely, it is pertinent that for new Nepal to bloom, the elderly must hand over the responsibility to the newer generation.
There is one convergence in the above mentioned factors, and that is NICA’s CEO, Mr. Roshan Kumar Neupane. Having become the youngest Nepalese CEO of a commercial bank and delivering exponentially in his capacity has made Neupane a personal brand, and will thus be a highly sought-after commodity for brand building for any brands in banking and financial sectors.
With academic experience as a CA, Mr. Neupane has far exceeded MBA degree holder counterparts. Add to that the fact that Neupane hails from a remote village in Rasuwa. Any brand needs proper guidance and leadership and towards that Mr. Neupane has set an exemplary standard. BrandGuff, thus, extends heartily congratulations to NICA’s CEO for the felicitation, and wishes him a successful stint during his tenure. The constraints and challenges COVID pandemic had on all financial sectors in Nepal and elsewhere has equally impacted NICA too, and towards that NICA is at an important crossroads yet again! That said, taking cognizance of his past records and achievements, we remain confident that Mr. Neupane will take NICA to new highs!