From Jammu & Kashmir Bank’s managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) Baldev Prakash to JK Shivan, MD and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank, and PVSLN Murty, North Eastern Development Finance Corporation’s chairman and MD — SBI executives are occupying the corner office across the length and breadth of the country. Some of them are also with global bodies.
At least three public sector banks (PSBs) have former SBI executives as MD & CEO at present — Sanjiv Chadha of Bank of Baroda, Partha Pratim Sengupta of Indian Overseas Bank and Soma Sankara Prasad of UCO Bank.
Apart from Prakash and Shivan, there are a clutch of private sector banks which are headed by ex-SBI officers. Rakesh Sharma, MD & CEO of IDBI Bank, who earlier was MD & CEO of Lakshmi Vilas Bank, was a deputy managing director with SBI.
Prashant Kumar, another former deputy managing director of SBI is at the helm of YES Bank. He is credited with stabilising the private lender after a change in ownership two years ago.
B Ramesh Babu, a former SBI deputy MD, is the MD & CEO of Tamil Nadu’s Karur Vysya Bank. There was a time when ICICI Bank was seen as a factory that produces CEOs.
Chanda Kochhar, Shikha Sharma, Renuka Ramnath, Vishakha Mulye, Sonjoy Chatterjee and V. Vaidyanathan are all from ICICI Bank.
But the trend changed when the government allowed SBI deputy managing directors to become MD & CEO of PSBs, a few years back. The move saw a lot of SBI executives getting appointed as CEOs in other PSBs.
Interestingly, after allowing SBI deputy MDs at other PSBs, the government also planned to make executive directors of PSBs eligible for SBI MD post. However, that proposal did not see light of the day.
There are many former SBI executives, who are heading non-banking entities also. Padmaja Chunduru was also deputy MD of SBI before she became the MD & CEO of Indian Bank. Chunduru is now MD & CEO of National Securities Depository Limited.
What makes SBI officers leaders?
The size and spread of the institution, said Karnam Sekar, who was also a deputy MD of SBI and then became CEO of Dena Bank and Indian Overseas Bank.
“The training is very rigorous and they get exposed to different locations and functions. If you take my example, I have worked in the South, North East and …North. They rotate people to various geographies. And, we get various business exposures,” said Sekar, independent director and non-executive chairman, NARCL. Two other former SBI managing directors are non-executive chairmen of two institutions.
PK Gupta is with Utkarsh Small Finance Bank and Arijit Basu is with HDB Financial, an HDFC Bank subsidiary. Then, there is Arundhati Bhattacharya, former SBI chairperson, who is chairperson and CEO of Salesforce India. Rajnish Kumar, former SBI chairman, is now the chairman of Bharat Pe.
Anshula Kant, who was the chief financial officer (CFO) of SBI, is now with the World Bank Group as managing director and CFO.
Another managing director of SBI, Ashwini Bhatia, is now a whole-time member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).