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04 Aug

04 August 2016

Spotlight on … Ravinder Bagri: FirstPro Banking Professional 2016

Business Development Director at Santander Corporate & Commercial, Ravinder Bagri has worked tirelessly to promote the bank’s commercial business offering, engaging with ambitious SME’s across Coventry & Warwickshire to help fuel their domestic and international growth aspirations.

Well-known, liked and respected within the West Midlands’ business networks, he was a natural winner of FirstPro Banking Professional.

We asked him how it felt to be named the winner of his category.

It was a mix of emotions – shock, surprise, excitement – but the overwhelming feeling was of being privileged and honoured, first to be nominated and then to have won.

What did your friends, family and colleagues say?

It’s been phenomenal.  My friends and family were very proud and within Santander I was called and congratulated by members of the senior management team.

I posted the win on LinkedIn and Twitter and had a really positive response – there were lots of Likes and comments.

I was also really pleased with the profile the bank and our Corporate Business Centre in Coventry received from the win.  It was good news for everyone!

Tell us a little about your career to date.

I’ve been in banking for over 27 years; first with the Nationwide Building Society for 25 years and Santander for the past 2½ years.

I joined Santander as Business Development Director covering Coventry and Warwickshire.  My patch is now the Central Midlands, which includes Birmingham.  I’ve loved developing my patch, constructing my own networks and moving into new markets.

Which are your proudest achievements?

I’m incredibly proud of winning FirstPro Banking Professional of the Year.  It’s a high profile award and I feel honoured to have been nominated and then selected.

I’m also very proud of some of the things I’ve achieved in my day-to-day role.  While at the Nationwide I set up a new business area, putting together the marketing strategy and building the team.  Within 18 months we’d exceeded our targets and then won the Nationwide Building Society team of the year!

In Santander I was really pleased when they asked me to take on an extended geography.  It was a testament of their confidence in me.

Where are you going from here?

I would like to develop an international role next, capitalizing on Santander’s European and global presence.  The role doesn’t actually exist but I’m working on persuading my senior managers!

I don’t believe you should be put off by something as simple as the job not existing!  If you’ve got a good idea you should develop it and put together a compelling business case.

And what’s your opinion of the regional economy?

We might be dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now but it’s important to remember the region itself has always been pretty robust.

We have some strong growing sectors, for example manufacturing, automotive, and advanced engineering and there has been a lot of Chinese investment coming into Coventry and Warwickshire in the past 12 months, which shows others are interested in our capabilities.   I believe we will adapt to the new world outside the European Union and so am cautiously optimistic.

Do you have other roles in the region?

As a Sikh, making a contribution to the local community is very important to me so I get involved in a number of different things, including mentoring students at the Grace Academy and at the University.

How do you unwind?

I play golf, travel and of course love socialising with my family and friends.