A BANKER WHO ROSE THROUGH THE RANKS FROM MAN­AGER TO CEO

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Htbusiness - Shayan Ghosh shayan.g@livemint.com

With the Re­serve Bank of In­dia (RBI) clear­ing his ap­point­ment as the next chief ex­ec­u­tive of HDFC Bank, Sashid­har Jagdishan, has reached the pin­na­cle of his ca­reer.

As some­one who has risen up the ranks, Sashi, as he is known, is well grounded. He joined the bank in 1996 as a man­ager in the fi­nance di­vi­sion, and went on to be­come the fi­nance head in 1999. Sub­se­quently, he was ap­pointed as the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of HDFC Bank in 2008.

Ex­perts seem to take so­lace in the fact that an in­ter­nal can­di­date will main­tain the con­ti­nu­ity in the bank’s ap­proach, driven by tar­gets and a con­stant en­deav­our to out­per­form peers. A se­nior con­sul­tant who did not wish to be named said that this ap­point­ment gives the in­sti­tu­tion a much bet­ter chance to con­tinue do­ing well, de­spite ex­ter­nal chal­lenges.

At the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing last month, the bank’s CEO Aditya Puri had said that his suc­ces­sor was with the bank for 25 years. In­ter­est­ingly, both Jagdishan and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Kaizad Bharucha worked with the bank for close to 25 years, hav­ing joined in Fe­bru­ary 1996 and Oc­to­ber 1995, re­spec­tively.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing in physics, Jagdishan pur­sued his mas­ter’s de­gree in eco­nomics, be­fore be­com­ing a char­tered ac­coun­tant by pro­fes­sion.

In­dus­try watch­ers said the new chief ex­ec­u­tive’s task is cut out for him, as he joins at a time when the covid-19 pan­demic has wreaked havoc on the econ­omy. Es­ti­mates by the cen­tral bank pegs the rise in bad loans at 400 ba­sis points (bps) in FY21. In such an en­vi­ron­ment, it re­mains to be seen how Jagdishan steers the bank’s mas­sive loan book of over ₹10 tril­lion.

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