Arundhati Bhattacharya, the current chairman of the State Bank of India (SBI), is all set to retire on October 6, 2017 following the completion of her extended term. She will be replaced by Rajnish Kumar who is currently serving as the bank’s managing director.
Rajnish Kumar comes with rich banking experience and has held executive posts in various reputed organizations across the country. He took over as SBI’s managing director in May 2015. Prior to that he has held various positions within the organization.
Tackling bad loans and minimizing non-performing assets (NPA) are the two major tasks that lie ahead for Rajnish Kumar. In his first press meet since the announcement, Kumar stated that dealing with bad loans will be one of his top priorities after becoming the chairman. Kumar will take over the role of SBI chief on October 7 or later.
The organization’s bad loans increased significantly ever since the merger of its five associate banks. Another major area of concern is the rising NPAs in public sector banks across the country. For the year ended March 2017, gross NPAs across all public sector banks totaled Rs.6.41 lakh crore, which is a huge increase from Rs.5.02 lakh crore in the previous year. It is worth noting that SBI and its associate banks wrote off more than Rs.27,500 crore NPAs in 2016-17.
Arundhati Bhattacharya was appointed as SBI’s chairperson in the year 2013. She is the first woman chairperson of the organization. During her tenure as the chief of the country’s largest lender, she implemented various reforms and became one of the top executives of India.
In October 2016, the government extended her term by one more year in order to proceed with the planned merger of SBI with its five associate banks. The merger was successful and SBI has now become a singular organization effective April 1, 2017. This is one of the significant achievements of her term.