Case Study: Building A Team From Scratch

Tell Us Your Name and What You Currently Do?

Binod Shankar. I am the Managing Director of Genesis Institute

Tell Us About Your Background?

I started my career in an industrial bank in India where I cut my teeth on project appraisal of small and medium enterprises. I then spent six years executing audit, financial due diligence, financial feasibility and valuation assignments with KPMG, Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young in Oman and Dubai. I then joined Nakheel, the Dubai based property developer, in financial analysis and I subsequently rose to become the Director-Finance of their largest project.

I have been teaching advanced finance and accounting courses since 1996. I quit corporate life in 2009 to help set up and run Genesis Institute

What Is Your Specialist Skill?

My focus as a Trainer and Speaker is to deliver conceptual clarity, get to the core issues, speak boldly and honestly, keep things simple (and fun) and talk of practical and effective solutions.

The long experience of working in audit, financial control, consulting and now as a full time entrepreneur enables me to deliver some unique and valuable insights in the classroom.

My other skill (for lack of a better word!), as I have been told repeatedly by many students, is the ability to motivate and inspire them to push themselves to not only pass what is arguably the toughest investment exam globally but also to overcome the obstacles in life.

Perhaps I have missed my real vocation!

What Is The Best Learning and Development Strategy You Have Implemented?

I am a Trainer and not a L &D or HR Manager hence I will reply in a slightly different way.

In my previous life in corporate when I was working as the Director- Finance I had to build a team from scratch on at least three occasions.

My approach each time was to hire young people with a great attitude, set clear goals upfront, be firm on deadlines and deliverables and then get out of the way. I also attempted to make sure that these youngsters got recognized immediately and publicly.

I detest corporate politics and I was also particular that I stood up for them and they didn’t get blamed for no fault of theirs.

That kind of behavior from my side ensured I had absolute loyalty from the group and resulted in a high performance team that was the envy of other business units with the organization. It was one of the best periods of my career.

I am in touch with many from that team and many years later I still get to hear some very nice things from ex-members.

Can You Take Us Step-by-Step Why It Was a Success?

It was nothing fancy. It was a mix of four things.

First, I was fortunate to have hired good people- no strategy will work if that isn’t the case.

Second, the belief of the team that they had a competent and strong leader they could trust.

Third, I had a lot of freedom in recruitment, induction, training, appraisal etc. And fourth, excellent support from my HR team.

What Do You Recommend Our Readers Do With This Strategy?

Spend a lot of time searching for good people. Give them direction and get the heck out of the way. Don’t be a micromanager- good people value autonomy a lot more than you think!

How Does Your Company Help Organizations?

When we set up Genesis in 2008 the goal was simple and it remains the same; to deliver consistently high quality financial training.

We define high quality to mean insightful, practical, interactive and fun. And of course ultimately the training should achieve the goal, whether that goal is to pass the tough CFA or CMA exam or to do better in managing finance at work.

We do this via public courses and also through customized, in house programs.

How Can Our Readers Find Out More About Genesis Institute?

Readers can learn more about Genesis Institute and our full range of programs and service offerings by visiting our website: and exploring the website.

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East