The former boss of India's largest bank joins a soon-to-be small finance bank — here's why

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The former boss of India's largest bank joins a soon-to-be small finance bank — here's why
BCCL/BI India
  • BharatPe acquired scam-hit PMC bank earlier this year to expand itself into a small finance bank.
  • Rajnish Kumar, who has over four decades of experience in Indian banking, will mentor BharatPe’s team to effectively transition into the new role.
  • He was also the incharge of managing the bailout of Yes Bank and leading SBI’s digital drive with YONO.
Former State Bank of India’s (SBI) chairperson Rajnish Kumar has been appointed as the chairperson of merchant payments platform BharatPe, which acquired scam-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank earlier this year in partnership with Centrum Financial Services.

The three-year-old startup plans to expand itself into a small finance bank, catering to the needs of both merchants as well as consumers. Kumar will mentor BharatPe’s team to effectively transition into the new role.

The company has emphasised that Kumar will be involved in both short- and long-term strategy of the fintech startup.

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Rajnish Kumar brings in over four decades of experience in the Indian banking industry. He had been associated with the State Bank of India for 40 years, where he has also worked in SBI UK and Canada. He was appointed as the chairperson of India’s largest lender in 2017 and retired last year.
YearRevenueProfit
FY2018₹2,59,663 crore₹63,055 crore
FY2019₹2,78,082 crore₹53,130 crore
FY2020₹2,96,329 crore₹51,342 crore
During his tenure, SBI focused on its digital drive with the introduction of the “You Only Need One” platform, which is an automated digital banking platform that enables users to access a range of finance and other services like travel ticketing, online shipping, bill payments and more.

He was also the incharge of managing the bailout of Yes Bank, which needed between ₹10,000 crore to ₹12,000 crore to meet the regulatory requirements and grow the bank further. Under the rescue plan, SBI bought 49% stake in Yes Bank for ₹11,760 crore.

After his retirement, he has taken up several roles. He acts as an economic advisor to the state of Andhra Pradesh since September 2021 and an independent director in Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Asia in August 2021. He was also appointed as a senior advisor Baring Private Equity Partners and an advisor at Kotak Investment Advisors in February 2021.
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“In just 3 years, BharatPe has come a long way in becoming a trusted name in the financial services industry. It has redefined payments… and has also emerged as the largest B2B [business-to-business] lender in the industry. This company has a huge opportunity ahead and it would be great to work closely with its young and talented team to build financial services for the India of tomorrow," Kumar said.

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