February 17, 2014 00:00 By Sucheera Pinijparakarn
Kasikornbank's first ever co-presidents Predee Daochai and Teeranun Srihong are focusing on turning the lender into a more dynamic organisation after smoothly steering it to achieve several goals since taking charge almost a year ago.
The men are also the first co-presidents in Thai banking history.
Many people would view having two bosses at any company as more problematic than beneficial, as they may clash.
However, Predee, 55, said that by having co-presidents the bank effectively doubled the productivity of its boss.
"It means the bank can work faster and smoothly," he said.
"It’s better to work as co-presidents because one president might not be enough to effectively handle the increasingly complicated world of the banking industry and the hectic work at the bank."
Teeranun, 48, added: "Banks nowadays do not only do financial services. They have expanded to cover many transactions."
KBank, which employs 20,000 staff, recently launched three new business divisions – World Business, Corporate and the SME Products Division and Customer Service Fulfilment Division – and promoted Predee and Teeranun to fuel growth.
One reason behind their seemingly seamless collaboration is the fact both men launched their careers at KBank more than 20 years ago.
This means they have been cultivated with the same organisational culture, or core values – customer "centricity", professionalism, organisation-wide teamwork, and innovation.
The bank appointed the duo last March, to replace Banthoon Lamsam, who currently serves as chairman of the board.
Prior to their current posts, Predee was senior executive vice-president and the risk domain coordinator in charge of risk management, while Teeranun was senior executive vice-president and the infrastructure domain coordinator overseeing IT and infrastructure development.
They said that they used their different experiences and knowledge to complement each other.
Teeranun said that thanks to the bank’s clear strategies, it was not hard for the co-presidents to jointly make decisions.
But Teeranun said there were many cases when they did not consult each other before making a decision.
"We’ve no problem on this as we almost agree on everything," he said.
"What decision Predee wants to make, he can go ahead and make it."
They admitted that sometimes a solo decision resulted in problems, but it was easier for them to jointly tackle issues.
Both men are happy with the bank’s financial performance since they took over.
In 2013, KBank’s net profit increased 17.2 per cent to Bt41.32 billion and its net interest margin stood at 3.55 per cent.
Its non-interest income rose 18.2 per cent to Bt7.43 million due to continuous growth in net fees and service income.
Predee and Teeranun said that by making the bank a more dynamic organisation, its employees would be able to effectively deal with any business uncertainties and solve problems while at the same time achieve their targets.
In line with being more dynamic, the bank will keep reviewing its business plans so it can adjust to the fast-changing situations, which is especially key now become of the political uncertainty.
KBank will soon examine the cash liquidity of its corporate and SME customers who might be affected by the long payment delays under the rice-pledging scheme.
By doing so, the bank said it could help customers address liquidity problems.