Dr. Walton Ekundayo Gilpin, Managing Director, Rokel Commercial Bank, Freetown, Sierra Leone

The importance of human capital development to the growth and productivity of any organization, cannot be overemphasized. The people that make an organization run are an asset to be invested in, as the productivity of an organization is almost directly linked to the level of human capital development. Additionally, it is sometimes much more cost-effective to develop the people already employed by the organization than it is to recruit and train new people.

The Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Dr. Walton E. Gilpin, reiterated the importance of human capital development in an interview with African Leadership Magazine.

Excerpts;

Question 1: Kindly provide us insight into your background and how you have been able to break barriers to get to the top in your career.

My background has been that of hard work characterized by the need to be innovative, cutting edge, dogmatic and determined.  It has been one which constitutes operating at very high levels in a professional arena characterized by experts from different nationalities and backgrounds.  Consequently, my ethos has been to make a perceptible positive difference in my area of expertise.  Additionally, I have worked in multi-cultural and diverse environments, thereby acquiring the virtues of diversity and diligence along the way.  This has helped to make me who I am today.

Question 2: How do you feel about making it to the ALM’s prestigious list of Top 50 Africa Industry Leaders of the Year 2021?

I feel grossly elated and humbled by this noble honour.

Question 3: Your qualifications cut across vast fields which are relevant in management. Why do you subscribe to such versatility, and of what benefit has it been to your growth and emergence as a key economic leader?

Indeed, my multi-faceted background comprises orientation in economics, finance, banking, leadership, information technology, development economics, and public policy management.  This rear combination of skills, coupled with a dogged determination to grow, has enabled me to manifest significant skill in carrying out my duties.  Over the years, my professional journey has given me rare opportunities to utilize my expertise across many assignments.  To this end, my continued quest for greater intellectual rigor and professional dispensation must have led to my being identified as a key economic leader by ALM.

Question 4: You are credited with turning the fortunes of Rokel Commercial Bank around. What are the sustainable innovations, values, and practices that have to enable such development and growth?

One critical area of growth and development in any organization is human capital development, personal motivation, and recognition of hard work.  Upon assumption of office in 2017, I put in measures to identify and train individuals within the organization to utilize their innate ability to help grow the institution.  This, together with strong managerial leadership, sound marketing, good corporate governance, strong industry posture, backed by the leverage of a solid customer base, acted as the required momentum to kick-start the turnaround process. These, together with resilience and strong leadership by example contributed towards improving the bank.  We could also not forget the specific strategies we deployed to strengthen the IT solutions, improve the digital and online banking experience, upgrade customer service, and re-create a more conducive ambience within the bank which helped rebrand the bank. Together with pristine service delivery, this helped push the bank towards a positive growth and expansion trajectory.

To be continued ……

Access the full interview in the African Leadership magazine October 2021 edition