The Promise of Value: Building a Personal Brand

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The Promise of Value: Building a Personal Brand

For years we are known for things that we have almost no control over- where we were born, who our parents are, whom we work for. A majority of us reading this article are well over the age of being recognised for these reasons, especially being recognised by our parents’ names, so isn’t it time for us to build our own brand?

On August 20, NEXT Launchpad organised the third edition to The Kathmandu Post Venture Talk, this time with the CEO of Mega Bank, Anil Keshari Shah. Shah, having worked towards building a prominent name in the Nepali banking scene for the last 27 years, gave insights on why building a personal brand is an integral part of the entrepreneurial journey.

It’s an innate human nature to make judgements. Sometimes we don’t have the slightest idea how we come across to other people. Nobody knows your complete story, yet people perceive you in a certain way. It’s a well-known fact that judgements are made based on the impressions we make. But the interesting thing is that we are in control of every impression we make. So, does this mean the perception people have of us is also in our hands?

Similar to how companies use a brand name to distinguish themselves from the plethora of other companies in the market, a personal brand distinguishes an individual from the crowd. You are the most important individual to yourself, so the best thing you can do today is become the head marketer for a brand called You.

What you want people to think of you and what people think of you are two realities that are completely intertwined. Regardless of your area of expertise, you should take steps to make people think of you when they think of your field. Sometimes you might have to go out of your way to convey an image of what you want others to think of when they hear your name. This is not faking authenticity, but rather making efforts in cultivating a persona that will link you to a subject matter you want to be considered adept in.

Oprah Winfrey built her personal brand on the foundations of compassion and empathy, and today, when you think of an inspirational talk show host, you can’t help but form an image of her in your mind. Similarly, Anil Keshari Shah has built his personal brand on excellence in deliverance, and now every time someone says banker, we can’t help but perceive an image of him. The ultimate goal for every individual is to control of their personal brand by making calculated choices because once you are in charge of your personal brand, you have influence over what people think of you.




Personal Brand can be created based on anything. It can be built based on what you believe in, it can be built based on your values, or it can be built out of what you are passionate about. Anil Shah is a banker, that is his profession. He is a photographer, that is his passion. But he is also an individual who has discovered the fruits of personal branding. Whether it be as a professional, or a hobbyist, he has created an image of himself that most people can only think of striving to achieve. His brand name has created a streamline of opportunities for him which he has used to yield the most desirable of results and achieve professional triumph. This is the kind of brand Anil Shah has been building towards for the past 27 years. Building this personal brand was not a sprint, it did not happen overnight. His transition from an assisting position at Nepal Grindlays Bank (now Standard Chartered Bank), to becoming the CEO of Mega Bank was one that called for immense dedication, competence, and reliability- the three things his personal brand thrives on today.

However, wearing the societal crown does not mean things get easier. Building a reputation is difficult, but maintaining one is even more difficult. For someone who has been in the market for as long as Anil Shah, even a single slip in outward behaviour might end up chronically diminishing a well-received reputation. It has taken Shah a lifetime to build his brand, but one spur of the moment, a single slip tomorrow, and his brand might not be what it is today.

Moreover, because the name Anil Keshari Shah not only represents an individual, but also a firm, the importance of his personal brand is pushed much further.




Shah’s personal branding helped him cultivate the branding for his company. He visualised a company with values and characteristics that would resonate well with the public, long before he even started his business. From plough to power- halo to hydro, the inclusiveness of these two extremes and everything in between has been setting Mega Bank apart in the market for the last seven years. By determining its objectives and values in the initial stages, and working towards them even in difficult times has helped the young bank gain its customers’ trusts.  

Today, Mega Bank is a household name. The young bank has risen to prominence in the market not just because it won people’s trusts, but because it delivers on those trusts. Walk the talk, says Anil Shah, all best leaders have understood the need to. As an entrepreneur, you are your company’s leader, so understand the importance of the notion and model a behaviour you ask of your employees. Your efforts don’t have to be perfect, you don’t always have to succeed, sometimes it is also about the acknowledgement and appreciation you will receive.

If you’ve branded yourself as a trustworthy person, deliver on it. Match your day-to-day actions to the goals you want to achieve, because you are you based on what you do, not what you say you will do.




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