What it does: NDB provides commercial and retail banking services under the supervision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
Best known for: The company is the first and to date the only corporate in Sri Lanka to acquire gender-equality certification.
Staff stats: 5000 employees
The good bits: NDB’s Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) Certification means that employees, especially women, receive fair treatment for promotion and equal pay for equivalent work. Social activities also include staff members’ families.
The not so good bits: Career progression may take a while because of the company’s size. NDB’s traditional management style stems from being a hierarchical organisation. Its dynamic environment, despite the company culture, may intimidate candidates who prefer routine work conditions.
Hiring grads with top marks in: IT, science, engineering, accounting, banking and finance.
The National Development Bank (NDB) was a state-owned development lender when it began its operations in 1979. The company changed its structure in 1993, following its privatisation and subsequent listing on the Colombo Stock Exchange. NDB marked its 40th anniversary in 2019 by celebrating a company milestone: a banking and financial services provider with 111 branches and more than 150 ATM/CRMs islandwide. The bank has also won several awards, some of which it has earned for six consecutive years. NDB belongs to the NDB Group, which is one of the largest financial services conglomerates in Sri Lanka.
The bank takes pride in modernising its operations. NDB uses digital channels for 28 per cent of deposits, 69 per cent of transactions and 92 per cent of withdrawals. A recent effort to expand its digital resources involves the Robotic Process Automation system. The company aims to be the first bank to use the automation system for mainstream banking in the country. Annual savings from the system’s implementation could reach around LKR 11 million, according to NDB.
These efforts align with the company’s mission to pursue innovative changes in the banking and financial services industry, while enhancing value for its shareholders at the same time. The bank plans to hire more people due to higher demand for talent arising from its corporate reforms.
In 2018, the bank began to assess its talent management and leadership structure in cooperation with third-party consultants. The organisation has taken an evidence-based approach to review its strategies for the same year.
Prospective employees can apply for vacancies on the corporate website. The bank doesn’t discriminate on a candidate’s gender, as evidenced by its EDGE Certification. Women account for 39 per cent of its employees and 41 per cent of its senior management group.
Some entry-level positions, such as banking associates, don’t require a bachelor’s degree, however, at least two passes for the General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level) exam is required.
On the other hand, a financial junior executive at NDB must have at least three years of banking or finance-related experience. Financial junior executives should have a bachelor’s degree in banking, accounting or finance. A professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) or Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) can be a substitute for a bachelor’s degree. Experienced employees can also become an associate manager. The position requires around eight years of banking experience, including four years of being a portfolio manager.
While NDB’s operations largely focus on banking and financial services, there are career opportunities for employees in other fields. For instance, an IT junior executive must also meet the minimum of three years of related experience. The bank accepts a diploma in IT as an alternative to a bachelor’s degree. If you’re targeting a leadership role, an assistant vice president for network and IT operations at NDB must have at least 15 years of relevant experience.
The average salary for an employee in the banking sector is LKR 825,000 per year. You should expect to earn a lower figure as an entry-level employee. NDB’s compensation package includes welfare programmes that focus on employees’ intellectual, physical and social growth.
They enjoy free movie nights and sports game screenings as well as annual company-sponsored trips and hotel gatherings. They can also use an exclusive gym facility for fitness and sports activities. The Toastmasters Club and Brain Quiz Program comprise some of the initiatives for intellectual development.
The organisation continues to improve its corporate agenda through initiatives such as the Transformation 2020 strategy, which includes changes to ‘employee mindset and culture’. NDB also maintains its status as an equal opportunity employer by complying with global standards for the EDGE Certification.
NDB’s biggest competitors are the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Nations Trust Bank and HNB.
One of NDB’s ongoing sustainability initiatives involves the NDB English for Teaching Plus (EfT+) Project that began in 2009. It has trained more than 800 teachers in 630 state schools from 2012 to date. The bank believes that fluency in English will be important for the current and next generation of students in the country. The partnership with British Council Sri Lanka has benefited more than 140,000 students. NDB has also promoted the importance of addressing environmental issues through 45 Nature Clubs, established in 400 schools since 2014.
NDB supports the empowerment of women through its SME and microfinance initiatives, including the NDB Araliya savings account designed for female entrepreneurs. The bank has invested in four projects in Colombo, Balangoda, Matale and Minuwangoda where small business owners gain valuable skills and lessons about business prosperity.
Mobile screening clinics for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is another sustainable health project. Since 2014, the programme has screened more than 9,000 people from over 50 villages. NDB hopes that the mobile clinics will further reduce the recorded cases of CKD, which has become a national health concern in Sri Lanka.
NDB’s innovative pursuits in the financial services industry mean that employees should be flexible to cope with change. Graduates who prefer evolving duties and responsibilities will fit in well with the company’s work environment. A career at NDB can be lucrative if you’re willing to be patient with landing a promotion, although some roles may have no job security because of the contractual arrangement. A lack of available salary information may also affect your chances of negotiating a favourable compensation package.