Industrial and Mining Development Bank of Iran (2)

Narrated by Ali Zirak Nejad

Mehdi Amani Yamin
Translated by: Natalie Haghverdian

2016-1-31


*Does Kheradjou’s family live in Washington? What do you know about his origin? It is said that he wasn’t from a middle class and capitalist family but from a poor family?

I don’t know where his family is. I think he was originally from Isfahan and from a religious family. He had studied all religious teachings however he wouldn’t reflect it in his profession but he was righteous person. I can give an example: He was the only one in the whole country who would prepare his tax return statement for his income and submit it to Ministry of Finance. Back then I used to prepare his tax return since I knew all about his salary and income and bonds and shares and current income; he would provide all that information and we would calculate his total income and pay his tax accordingly. I believe that Mr. Taghinejad, in charge of tax department in Ministry of Finance stated this very fact in a conference. I want to say that he had a pure, honest and organized mentality. I state these facts in his respect to honor what I’ve learned from him. I want to say that not only Kheradjou but the team working with him were professional and we had a healthy working environment which was very productive and professional.

 

*What are your memories of Kheradjou?

When I started working in the bank I was an intern and working half day which was in 1967and there were 75 to 85 employees. This number was almost 250 during revolution.

Despite his appearance that would make everyone fear him because they believe he is a tough person, in fact he wasn’t. He was very shy. He wouldn’t socialize easily. He wouldn’t relate to every employee starting with the guard at the door like many other managers. He was a different type. However, in his professional dealings he was very flexible and humble. I’ve never experienced any tough approach in my professional relation with him. When I got my Masters degree I went to England and worked as an intern in Barclays Bank for a year and when I returned I had an official post and close relation with him. I would report to him every morning and never experienced any tempered approach. He would criticize sometimes when some departments in the bank wouldn’t follow up properly. When a project is accepted in the bank it is like a new born infant who shall be fed and visit doctor. Lack of documents is not a justification to suspend payments. When a project would start, a credit line had to be opened for it and in case of delay in payments then the project wouldn’t finish on time. Sometimes we had to pay on account and sometimes the payment was delayed and proper follow ups were not made. I was in finance department and had issued with auditors all the time and they would inform us that there are a lot of pending payments. I would report to him that there are many pending payments and he would order me to take action. He was a signatory and had the right to order payments. Deputy to the General Director was a signatory as well but generally there were few people with such authority. Then, when the files were submitted for review to monitoring he would ask me to wait for his final approval prior to payment. I mean, we had this organized working relationship away from any chaos. Any payment order coming to me which didn’t have his signature would be sent off to be signed by Kheradjou and he knew that I’ve carefully controlled them. He was very cooperative.

In the bank, the expert was independent and no one could order them to write the reports in a specific way. I was an expert and sometimes would see problems and report them; Kheradjou used to encourage us in this regard. Being an expert was an honor and we were considered Charter Accountants in charge of project review and supervision and we were independent. For instance, when a letter was drafted for a department or organization, we could comment on the content. In case of agreement we would sign it off to be signed by relevant authority but we could as well disagree. In such cases we should explain the reason of our disagreement and our boss would support us but in case of agreement, later we could be held accountable.

Hence our working environment was very professional unlike other organizations where employees were enslaved by managers. We would adhere to all administrative regulations but no one could dictate us how to undertake our task. I sometimes miss it. I worked in that bank for ten years before Revolution and Industry & Mines Bank for twenty three or four years. I have many good memories of that time. When we get together with colleagues of Industry and Mine Development Bank we remember all the good memories we had of that time. It was a golden tie for us that we used to learn and work in the bank.

 

*Was this management and administrative system in Industry and Mine Development Bank inspired by World Bank?

It might have been. This was late Kheradjou’s management system. He used to adhere to every single principle. I believe I should give some examples. He wouldn’t accept any advice from the outside even from Mr. Sharif Imami who was a political figure and Minister and Prime Minister for a while. For instance, Shahnaz, the King’s daughter, had an investment company. This company had a joint venture with Japanese which was Tizro Company which is still active and they would manufacture Honda Motorbikes. Some of the spare parts were manufactured here but the company failed. Mr. Shaif Imami had told Mr. Kheradjou that the King has requested our bank to review the case and find the problem and if possible invest in it. Mr. Kheradjou sent a delegation of experts to report. Eventually he declared that the bank can rectify the problem but all the authorities shall be delegated to the bank by Shahnaz. We will invest and King’s daughter and the Japanese can be shareholders. They shouldn’t intervene. The proposal was accepted and we started our work and I was a member of the board of directors. I want to say that cases were referred to the bank but the final say was with the bank.

The bank was a special island in the professional domain of Iran. It had healthy working environment and staff welfare was taken care of and medical insurance and salary and benefits were good. Then, it was a credible organization and people liked to work there; like Central Bank, Planning Organization and Oil Company. Educated people liked to work in these organizations. They had good salary rate, welfare and staff support was good and it had a proper working environment. It is interesting of all the organizations stated above, I mean, Central Bank, Planning Organization and Oil Company, their staff would join our bank since it was a professional environment and no corruption was tolerated. They would fire corrupt people immediately. We used to say: first mistake is the last mistake.

 

To be continued….

 

Industrial and Mining Development Bank of Iran (1)



 
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