Here’s all you need to know about ICICI Bank’s new COO Sandeep Bakshi


On 18 June, ICICI Bank, one of India’s largest private sector lenders, named Sandeep Bakhshi at its new Chief Operating Officer (COO) and full-time director for a period of five years - pending regulatory approval. The COO post was created especially for him.

Bakhshi’s appointment comes as the bank places Chanda Kochhar, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), on temporary leave pending the conclusion of an independent inquiry into a possible conflict-of-interest issue regarding the bank’s dealings with Videocon. Bakshi will take over her responsibilities in the interim period, and report to ICICI’s board of directors.

Here is all you need to know about him:

He oversaw India’s first insurance IPO

Bakhshi was appointed as the CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co, the bank’s joint venture with UK insurer Prudential, in August 2010. Over the course of his tenure, he successfully spearheaded the business’s ₹60.6 billion initial public offering (IPO) in September 2016 - the first such offering by an Indian insurer at the time. Despite his promotion, he will also be continuing as the Executive Director of ICICI Prudential.

He’s been with ICICI since 1986

Bakshi has been with ICICI Bank for 32 years, starting out as an operations officer in Delhi. Prior to his appointment as the head of the life insurance business, Bakhshi held a variety of roles at ICICI’s other businesses. He was the Deputy Managing Director and head of retail operations at ICICI Bank between 2009 and 2010 and CEO of the bank’s non-life insurance business - ICICI Lombard General Insurance - between 2007 and 2009. Before joining ICICI Lombard in 2002, he looked after corporate lending operations at ICICI Bank’s Northern and Eastern divisions.

He has an engineering background

Bakshi received a mechanical engineering degree from Chandigarh’s Punjab Engineering College before going on to complete a masters degree in Management from Xavier Labour Relations Institute in Jamshedpur. His first job was for ORG Systems, a computer manufacturer, where he started working in 1983.

Investors seem to be happy with his appointment

As a company veteran who knows the ins and outs of ICICI’s business, investors seem confident about Bakhshi’s promotion. ICICI Bank’s share price on the NSE has risen nearly 4% since the announcement.

Bakshi has his work cut out for him in the near term. He needs to rebuild ICICI’s image and improve corporate governance while weathering the fallout of the Videocon case. If he is able to do so successfully, he could just take over the CEO role when Chanda Kochhar’s term concludes in March 2019.
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