Delhi CM says BJP frittering away mandate & that voters see no hope in GOP
Rohini Singh & Akshay Deshmane
New Delhi: Congress is becoming redundant in national politics and is being only kept alive thanks to the many mistakes of the Bharatiya Janata Party government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told ET in an exclusive interview where he was severely critical of the Narendra Modi-led saffron party and almost dismissive of the Sonia-Rahul Gandhi-led Congress.
“People don’t see hope in Congress…whatever votes they will get will be from blunders by BJP…maybe BJP can provide a future to Congress…otherwise I don’t see a future,” Kejriwal said.
In a candid and exhaustive interaction with ET, Kejriwal strongly critiqued both the national parties — BJP and Congress — but insisted he has no bigger political ambitions now. He said BJP was never serious about economic progress and that “promoting divisiveness” is its biggest agenda.
“Vikas was a jumla,” Kejriwal said, referring to BJP’s general elections campaign that was centred around the message of development.
The development again underscores a growing trend of highprofile Indian-origin global bankers returning to their roots after long overseas stints to back homegrown financial service companies as investors or to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. Vikram Pandit, former CEO of the world’s biggest bank, Citi, teamed up with ace rainmaker Nimesh Kampani of JM Financial in 2013 after reaching the pinnacle of professional success in Wall Street.
The negotiations between Bindra, former executive director and head of Standard Chartered’s Asian operations, and the founders of Centrum Group are in the final stages and an official announcement could be expected shortly, even as early as by the end of this week, sources said. Bindra may end up owning between 20% and 26% in Centrum’s holding company. However, the exact quantum of his investment could not be independently verified. Some of Bindra’s former colleagues at Standard Chartered are also expected to join him in leadership positions.
“Talks with Bindra are at a very advanced stage. Both sides are currently engaged in getting various approvals,” said one of the sources mentioned above on condition of anonymity as the talks are in private domain. When contacted, Bindra declined to comment. An email sent to Centrum Group remained unanswered till the time of going to press.
Launched from a 1,000 square feet space at the Bombay Mutual Building in Fort in 1995 by Chandir Gidwani and Khushrooh Byramjee, Centrum is an integrated financial services firm, with presence in corporate finance, foreign exchange, wealth management, equity capital markets, debt execution, institutional broking and investment banking services. Centrum has over 100 outlets spread across the country and more than one million retail customers with strong relationships in the mid-market corporates space. The group also has an NBFC for retail lending and has applied to National Housing Board (NHB) for a licence to foray into housing finance.
It recorded a net profit of .₹ 53 crore in the last financial year and a total revenue of .₹ 4,485 crore. Currently, founding chairman Chandir Gidwani and the By- aramjee family are the principal shareholders in the company. The investment banking, equities, commodity and currency trading arm of the group, Centrum Capital Limited, is listed in the local exchanges with a current market cap of .₹ 467 crore. The promoters own 57.57% in the listed entity.
Bindra, an alumni of St Xavier’s College, Kolkata, is among a handful of Indian-born executives who have reached the highest echelons of the global financial industry. His peers include Anshu Jain, co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank; Ajit Jain, a key lieutenant of legendary investor Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway; and Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of MasterCard, besides Pandit.
After spending 16 years with the emerging markets-focused British lender, Bindra stepped down from his position as an executive director and chief executive officer for Asia last April following a major board room clearout in the wake of massive losses in its Indian operations and ballooning bad debts as declining economic growth in its Asian heartland combined with record regulatory fines forced the board to succumb to investor pressure for change in the top brass.
Bindra previously was the global head of client relationships for Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore, where he was responsible for all large corporate relationships. After growing up in Communist-ruled Kolkata, then Calcutta, in the 70’s, Bindra joined Bank of America after his MBA from Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur, in 1984. He subsequently joined UBS before moving to Standard Chartered in 1998 as the chief executive for India, where he was credited for making its India unit among the largest franchises among all global peers by assets.
With 100 branches in 43 cities, India is the third-largest profit and revenue driver for the Londonheadquartered Standard Chartered Bank. In January, 2010, Bindra was promoted as group executive director of the bank’s global board and was instrumental in the lender’s merger with ANZ Grindlays in 2001-02, which further cemented its position in India.
With 100 branches in 43 cities, India is the third-largest profit and revenue driver for Standard Chartered Bank