Climbing the Corporate Ladder with the Right Attitude


A conversation with Talib Rizvi, a senior banker.

Educational and Professional Background

My name is Syed Muhammad Talib Rizvi. I graduated with two master degrees in social sciences and strategic studies respectively fromQuaid-e-AzamUniversity. During my professional career, I also completed an MBA from the same university.

I have the privilege of teaching as a visiting faculty atQuaid-e-AzamUniversityfor two years. I enjoyed that experience and consider it a great privilege. In my spare time, I wrote articles for various newspapers.

My inspiration for being a relationship manager came from my father who was a public servant. I always felt comfortable in public dealing and that’s what made me decide to come into this field.

I started working in 1997 in Faysal Bank as a trainee officer. After a year and a half, I switched to Bank AlFalah and for the past decade, I have been working here.

I started my career  from a  Assistant Credit and Marketing Manager, to a   brand marketing manager,  promoted as a branch manager, a Chief Manager, then Area Manager, and now  I am  one of the Group Heads of Bank AlFalah.


Reasons behind Triumph

In my view, it is the attitude that makes a man perfect. If you have the right kind of attitude to go and perform then you’ll definitely achieve what you aim for. You can make anyone skillful and but you cannot make a person’s attitude. Every person develops his own attitude.

My attitude towards banking was always positive and persistent. This trait has helped me to stand where I am today.  I always felt that I am a born banker, and the field of relationship management is my strength.

I also credit my father for my success. Apart from monetary investment, he has devoted a lot of time and patience on me. Because of him, I have achieved so mush success in my profession.


Interest in banking sector

Banking was my cup of tea. To me, bankers are honest people.  This is one of the corporate industries which give you real value of time. Performance and merit matter greatly in this sector and that is what attracts me towards it.

People who enter banks with a non-banking educational background

Theoretical knowledge is must in banking industry. Even if a person doesn’t have an educational background of banking, he has to do his homework if he wants to make it in this sector.  Theoretical knowledge and practical life are different. Practical life is more enlightening as you can learn things which you might not be able to do from theoretical knowledge. It is a constant learning process. You get trained on daily basis, on daily experiences, and on daily transactions.

Business or Employment:

A good secure job gives you experience. Business gives you more opportunities but there are risks involved in it. Business can make or break your life. Corporate world is smooth and safe. It’s up to you to whether to take risks or not. Nobody teaches you how to do business. It is merely a mind set. In the corporate world you can earn your livelihood every month. In business, however there is no limit, you can do anything in the world. If you have hit the right kind of business at the right time, you can grow much more.

Backup and Reference

References are important to a certain extent. In my case, my father created a situation where I had to go to a gentleman for employment. That was it.  Corporate world is 100% merit based, I hire people on daily basis, let me assure you that we completely pursue the policy of merit. Some linkage, know-how and backing can provide you an opportunity to come to my room and nothing more.  I can assure you that anybody with a strong reference can make a possible visit to my room for a job but nothing more than that. In the corporate world there are limited resources. If we hire the wrong person, it becomes problematic. The only things which count are the merit and talent of the person.

Hard and Smart Work

Hard work has become an old concept. These days we believe in hard and smart work. There is no alternative to hard work but alone hard work cannot give you anything, it should be a mix of both. A laborer works harder than a person sitting in an air conditioned office, but at the end of the day he is paid less. In today’s world both hard and smart work is required. Right timing matters. Luck is always there who can conquer it, but luck only favors the brave.

Opportunities: Home or abroad?

I am an advocate of going anywhere in the world to learn and that’s what our religion teaches us. At the same time I have always felt that this country has abundant opportunities.

The general perception is not as bleak as our media shows. On the contrary, our country is doing very well. The present economic crisis is cyclical in nature and happens to every economy after sometime. Our country needs us. The quality human resource must come back to Pakistanand work for this country. I am not saying that nobody is suppose to go out, please go out and learns as much as you can, but come back and work for your country. Together we can make it prosperous as any of the European countries. I’ve been to every 2nd country of the world and my humble opinion is that the kind of potential our youth has is unmatchable. All we need is the right kind of leadership and path to show us the right direction.

Earning money is not a difficult task. It is important in the world because we cannot survive without finances. Life is not all about making money; at times the attitude is far more superior to money.  We people change our attitude when we go abroad and have a different one here at home. It is common to see that youngsters work hard in gas stations and fast food chains there. If they put the same kind of effort by working here they can make much more money.


Banking industry inPakistanis one of the finest and most matured industries. My advice to young people is that with theory they must make their personality immune to the new challenges of professional life. Life is all about facing challenges; both at theoretical level and practical level, but practical challenges are far more superior to theoretical challenges. If you are well prepared to face these challenges, you will inevitably prosper.

Factors such as hard work, talent and attitude are important for success. Being at the right place at the right time is also essential.

There are plenty of opportunities.  Corporate institutions are beneficial for building a career. If you have the talent, all you need to do is track it. More than 90 % opportunities are merit based. Find the right path and be focused about what you want to do. A firm believe in yourself is very vital. Opportunities knock on everybody’s door, but you should be sure of what you want to do in life.

The problem with ourselves is that we have become pessimists. We have to be optimistic about ourselves and our country. Don’t be discouraged from the environment around you. It is YOU who can make the environment good or bad.


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