Mr. Ajaypal Singh Banga

Ajaypal Singh Banga Success Story | Biography

Mr. Ajaypal Singh Banga 

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Following above you will read today success story of Mr. Ajaypal Singh Banga :  

An entirely India-educated financial analyst, Mr. Ajaypal Singh Banga, known as Ajay Banga is the current president and CEO of MasterCard Inc, the ubiquitous financial company. He succeeded Robert W. Selander in July, 2010, who had been MasterCard’s chief executive officer since March 1997. Banga, 51 became a member of MasterCard’s Board of Directors with immediate effect.

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Banga was born in 1961 in a Sikh family in Khadki outside Pune, Maharashtra but originally belonged from Jalandhar in Punjab. His father Harbhajan Singh Banga was Lt.General (retd.) in the Indian army. Due to army background Banga was constantly on move and therefore grew up and schooled across India- Secunderabad, Jalandhar, Delhi, Hyderabad and Shimla, where he finished his schooling.

Unlike his father Banga did not opt for a career in Army career and instead went on to graduate from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University with a BA degree in Economics. He is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

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In that sense, Banga stands as an entirely India-minted executive who has climbed the echelons of an international company, while others like Vikram Pandit (CitiGroup) and Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo.) have U.S degrees in addition to the ones they earned in India.

Banga started his career at Nestle India as a management trainee in 1981 and spent the next 13 years of his career holding a variety of assignments spanning sales, marketing and general management. He later joined PepsiCo's Restaurants Division, where he was instrumental in the launch of Pizza Hut and KFC in India due to liberalization of economy.

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He joined Citigroup in 1996 as the head of marketing in India for the consumer business and served in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility. These included chairman and chief executive officer of the International Global Consumer Group; president of Retail Banking North America; business head for CitiFinancial and the U.S. Consumer Assets Division; and, division executive for the consumer bank in Central/Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India.

In 2000, Banga was promoted to head CitiFinancial and the U.S. consumer assets division. In 2002 he took over the retail bank in North America – his first stint in the U.S. -- and in 2005 he was named to head Citigroup's international consumer-banking and finance businesses.

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He moved to Hong Kong in early 2008 after being named to oversee all of the bank's businesses in Asia, including credit cards and consumer banking, institutional banking, wealth management and alternative investments, before returning to the US in 2009 to join MasterCard.

On joining MasterCard worldwide, Banga's task was clear i.e. to chase down leader Visa at a time both networks are said to be benefiting from consumers' increased shift to plastic.

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He worked with one of his best clients to find a way to get more youth to use debit cards. As a result he redesigned the debit card product with its package of features, connecting it to music, and created a whole new marketing approach with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The results were dramatic. Regarding high-tech innovation one area of development was that could transform driving e-commerce, mobile and transit fares. The other was a group in MasterCard Labs of basically young, trendy, inventive people developing new ideas, and trying to embed them to their clients. It's a way to build, for banks and merchants, new innovative ways to pay for goods and services -- such as being able to read a bar code from your phone and convert that to a purchase.

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He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Economic Club of New York, as well as a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association. He is also a member of The Financial Services Roundtable and member of the Business Roundtable, where he chairs the Information and Technology Initiative.

Within the last five years, Mr. Banga has also served on the boards of trustees of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the National Urban League and the New York Hall of Science, and was a director of the Council for Economic Education. Mr. Banga has a keen interest in social development issues and was named by ‘The Economic Times of India’ as the fourth "Most Powerful Indian" in the world.

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Describe his management style Banga says, “I'm very passionate, but I take time to work my passion. I mean I study something and I try to understand both sides of the debate because if you've been a banker and worked around the world long enough, you kind of have to understand both sides of the debate. But you have to have a point of view, and so I believe in having a point of view on an issue and not ducking the issue.”

Though Banga leads a company that is synonymous with plastic, yet he encourages his staff to focus on cash but tries to keep his workplace less intense “I am actually very easy going, I encourage my colleagues to say things to me that they would never have had a chance to say to most bosses. That is because I spend too many hours in an office, and they spend too many hours in the office to be stressed out at each other. It's not the bloody army. It's a company, they choose to be here. They could all go away and join somebody else. So if I behave like a, my father was a general in the army, if I behaved like a general in the army, I will get soldiers,” he adds.


Narayana Murthy

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty

Chetan Bhagat​​​​​​​

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