CFI.co Meets the CEO of State Bank of Mauritius: Jairaj Sonoo
Mr Jairaj Sonoo, Chief Executive Banking (Indian Ocean Islands) of the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM), boasts no less than 35 years of experience in finance. At SBM, Mr Sonoo has enjoyed a fruitful career, spanning 32 years, during which he held various positions, including those of Executive Vice-President (Indian Operations) and Head of Retail Banking.
Since his appointment as Chief Executive Banking (Indian Ocean Islands) in 2012, after a short two-year sojourn at a local commercial bank, Mr Sonoo also became an executive director of the bank. He considers his recent appointment as the highest achievement attained over the course of his professional career.
Mr Sonoo places particular emphasis on dialogue and proximity. He believes these concepts to be the cornerstones of all relationships and expects his collaborators to pursue a similar simple, direct and transparent mode of interaction. Mr Sonoo’s leadership style is more akin to that of a facilitator, especially as he thoroughly understands the day-to-day operations of each and every one at SBM as a result of having himself experienced the various aspects of the banking business. Mr Sonoo is also a people-oriented executive who appreciates the value of participative leadership and trusts that his approach will lead to successful teamwork and collaboration.
The aim of the SBM executive is to offer services that closely match the needs of the bank’s clients. This is of paramount importance to Mr Sonoo. Being part of the service industry, the bank’s team of professionals is continuously called upon to demonstrate the highest standard of services – delivered with a human approach – in all dealings.
Promoting a Sustainable Economy
SBM believes in the promotion of a sustainable economy by facilitating access to banking services to Mauritians at large. It also acts in the interest of its stakeholders by catering to their ever changing needs through its innovative range of products and services – tailored to enable these stakeholders to reach their objectives in life.
SBM Group has registered excellent financial results over the past years despite the challenging global economic conditions the bank faced. Mr Sonoo considers it a personal mandate to contribute in helping the SBM brand shine on both the local and regional banking landscapes. He puts special emphasis on the group’s international operations and the implementation of its expansion plans in the years to come. Much attention is also paid to enhance and further improve customer experience, transformation, innovation and proximity, all of which are believed to be the key drivers and strategies for the enduring success of banks in general and those engaged in retail banking in particular.
SBM is also mindful of its corporate social responsibility and the attendant endeavour for equality and diversity. Both these operational philosophies are moulded in SBM’s cherished corporate tradition.
Mr Sonoo is a strong believer in, and promoter of, corporate social responsibility which he sees as a significant contributor to the development of any country and especially those less fortunate. As such, SBM will continue its endeavour and initiative of providing funds for development projects, focusing on the empowerment of vulnerable social groups through education. Going forward, Mr Sonoo intends to steer the bank yet closer to the surrounding community through the organisation of more proximity events.