Kumar’s IDFC Bank Exit Raises Eyebrows
Mumbai: Naval Bir Kumar, head of consumer banking at IDFC Bank, has quit the fledgling lender just a few months after the launch of operations due to what the company said were “personal reasons”. The timing, however, has raised speculation in the industry on whether it was over the strategy being adopted by the bank on how it will compete with established lenders, said a person who did not want to be identified.
“This is incorrect and speculative, Naval Bir Kumar has decided to move on for purely personal reasons,” IDFC Bank said in an email response to ET. The bank’s consumer banking business will be managed by its chief executive Rajiv Lall, while Kumar will help with the transition, the bank said. Kumar had spent about 8 years in the group. In addition to his role in consumer banking, he was also vice-chairman of IDFC Asset Management Company, erstwhile ANZ Grindlays AMC which he led since its inception. Kumar was part of the team that worked to help IDFC get the bank licence and prepared the pitch for the regulator. IDFC Bank, which was launched on October 1 last year, opened its consumer banking division for public only in January this year. While it has opened 48 branches, a bulk of them are focused on its rural banking business.
“You can’t run before you walk,” Rajiv Lall had told ET in a recent interview on being asked whether he was happy with the progress in the consumer banking segment.
“So, could we be walking faster; yes, I mean every parent wants their child to be walking by the time they are six months old. So, we are in the same journey. We will try to accelerate that process but beyond a point it’s dangerous to try and accelerate it. You don’t want to cut corners.”
The timing has raised speculation in the industry on whether it was over the strategy being adopted by the bank on how it will compete with established lenders