This interview was first featured on www.indiaincorporated.com, where I write a column called The Social Capital
The Social Capital with Vikas Pota – What giving really means?
Vikas Pota speaks to Sumit Jamuar from Lloyds Bank…
Sumit Jamuar is a managing director at Lloyds Banking Group. He joined the bank in 2003 and is currently responsible for cash and payments sales, trade finance and agency treasury services and global clients for financial institutions (FI), part of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets.
1. Is giving important? Why?
Yes, it is. Balancing self with contributing positively to society is an important part of my upbringing and personal philosophy. I realise that I am immensely privileged and it is my obligation to give back to society when I am able to.
2. What charities do you personally support?
Personally, I don’t have one dedicated charity, but there are causes that are close to my heart. Being an Indian living in Britain, charities that help bring the two countries together in some way are in my view extremely valuable.
Specifically, charities connected to education, talent-development and sustainable-finance are also hugely important. Some of the initiatives that come to mind are Money for Life, Opportunities International, Pratham, Save the Children, and Sewa Day.
Additionally, my responsibilities as the chairman of the GEM Network within Lloyds are part of my commitment to contribute positively to society and the bank.
3. What was your first ever donation to a charity?
It was in the 1980s when there was a severe drought in India. With around 20 neighbourhood friends we organised and delivered a charity event where we raised about Rs 250 through selling tickets. We ended up meeting the Prime Minister at that time, Shri Rajiv Gandhi, to deliver the cheque for his relief fund.
Looking back, while the amount we raised was relatively small, I am proud that we worked hard and tried to contribute in our own way.
4. Which individuals stand out for their support to charitable causes?
Bill Gates and N.R. Narayana Murthy are both phenomenal individuals who have contributed to society on a huge scale. Their application of their business skills to solve social problems is quite unique.
Within the Lloyds Banking Group I have always been influenced by Truett Tate, our vice-chairman – client coverage, who has been an inspirational leader with his relentless focus on contributing to society through charitable causes.
5. What percentage of our income should we give to good causes?
I don’t think a percentage really matters as long as you do it for the right reasons.
6. What do you, personally, gain from contributing?
When I was young, someone taught me that I should give 10 per cent of my time to something that I am passionate about, to contribute to society without having any expectations in return. I have found that this approach has allowed me to be pleasantly surprised. These experiences have always enriched me, in many situations, in totally unexpected ways.
7. How do you decide whom to donate to? Does your family influence your decision?
It depends on the themes as outlined above, and on the person who is committing time to this cause.
8. What was the last charity fundraiser you attended? How much was raised there?
Recently at a senior leadership event we raised £10,000 for Save the Children, which is Lloyds Banking Group’s charity of the year.
9. Should charitable donations be private?
Yes, they should preferably be anonymous
Through these in-depth interviews with industry leaders, Vikas Pota asks charity-related questions that unearth the driving force behind their philanthropy and social responsibility.