Doha Bank CEO Kicks Off Leadership Series
CHESTERTOWN, MD—Influential international banker Raghavan Seetharaman, chief executive officer of Qatar-based Doha Bank, delivered the inaugural address for the new George Washington Leadership Series at Washington College. Seetharaman spoke, February 8, in the Casey Academic Center Forum. His topic was “New World Order and Opportunities: Bilateral Trade, Investment, Banking and Finance between the Gulf and U.S.”
A native of India, Seetharaman is an unconventional leader known for setting a fast pace and embracing globalization and new technologies. He transformed Doha Bank from a small, traditional business into the fastest growing bank in the Middle East, adding new offices around the globe and expanding from basic consumer banking into areas such as financial services, insurance and real estate.
The charismatic executive joined Doha Bank in 2002 and in about five years had increased its market share of retail banking in Qatar from 4 percent to more than 25 percent. As head of one of the largest banks in one of the world’s richest countries—Qatar controls vast reserves of oil and natural gas—he often provides analysis and opinion on world-wide economic issues for major news outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and Al Jazeera.
A 2007 profile in Forbes described him as a devout Hindu and a fitness enthusiast who practices yoga daily. He also is known for wearing a tuxedo to work every day. “I don’t carry any ideological baggage,” he told Forbes. “My only philosophy is that if one works for an institution, then you are obligated to make a success out of it.”
Washington College created the Leadership Series to honor the vision and values of founding patron George Washington, especially his belief in a better future achieved through education, respect for scholarship, and the ideals of leadership, character, and service to others. Under its auspices, leaders from a variety of professions and walks of life are invited to campus to interact with students and faculty and to deliver a public address.