Sethu (A.Sethumadhavan) started his professional career very early, at the age of 19. After taking a degree in Physics, he worked in certain Central Government Departments in North India before joining the India Meterological Depart in Mumbai. After a couple of years in Mumbai he took a transfer to the Met. Office, Thiruvananthapuram and then to the Met. Unit in the Rocket Launching Station, Thumba. It was the initial phase of the evolution of the Rocket Station (then known as TERLS), after the launching of the first rocket in November 1963 and the Met. Unit also had an important role to play in the successful implementation of the project. Sethu joined Thumba in early 1964 and had the privilege of working there for more than two years. Subsequently he was promoted and posted to the newly established Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, with the well known Scientist, Dr. P.R.Pisharody as its Director.

Later, he joined the Railway Board, New Delhi. After spending a couple of years in the Railway Board, Sethu switched over to the banking industry and joined the State Bank of Patiala as a Probationary Officer. After an initial term of a few months in a border town in Punjab, he joined the State Bank of Travancore in the year 1968. He had a long tenure of over 25 years in SBT and held various important positions like the Branch Manager, Development Manager, Chief Manager, Regional Manager, Asst. General Manager and Dy. General Manager. He had the distinction of heading the International Banking operations of the Bank for about 7 years, during which period he was responsible of modernising the functioning of the Foreign Exchange Department. Subsequently, he was deputed to the State Bank of Hyderabad as Dy. General Manager, where also he headed the International Banking operations of the Bank. Later, he worked as the General Manager at the Corporation Bank at its Head Office at Mangalore for more than two years.

Sethumadhavan joined the South Indian Bank as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in June 1999. During his six-year term, SIB had achieved significant growth in business, profitability and expansion of network. He was also responsible for launching a massive and path-breaking technological upgradation plan for the Bank by introducing the core banking solution, way back in the year 2001, in technology partnership with some IT majors in the country.He retired from the bank’s service in June 2005.

Later, he was on the Board of the State Bank of Travancore for three years. Apart from acting as the ex- officio Chairman of the Cochin Local Committee of the Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association of India (FEDAI) for about 6 years, he was also on the Board of the Travancore Cochin Chemicals (TCC), Udyogmandal, for 5 years. He was also the Chairman of the National Book Trust of the Govt. of India in New Delhi from 2012-2015.

His exposure to International Banking and NRI – related issues as head of the IB and Fex departments of two public sector banks has been supplemented and strengthened by his participation in many international conferences on Banking at London, Düsseldorf, Hong Kong and Singapore, to name a few.

Widely travelled, he had visited U.S.A., U.K, Canada, Australia, China,Egypt, Germany, Switzerland, France, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Malayasia, Singapore and certain other European and almost all Gulf countries.