IDFC ropes in Ravi Shankar from Fullerton to head rural lending in upcoming bank

Financial services firm Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd (IDFC), which holds an in-principle approval to start a commercial bank, has named Ravi Shankar as head of Bharat Banking, the company said in a release. He will be based out of IDFC’s corporate office in Mumbai.

Shankar, who joined the proposed bank from Temasek-owned non-banking finance company Fullerton India Credit Co Ltd, has almost three decades of experience across sectors including retail finance, business consulting, advertising, automotive, aviation, etc.

In his new role at IDFC, he will be responsible for conceptualising and building the rural and financial inclusion business in the tentatively christened IDFC Bank.

“Ravi brings with him an in-depth understanding of the business in rural India. He has managed large teams across geographies and has been instrumental in running a rural finance business profitably. His rich and varied experience would be a great value-add to IDFC, in building the organisation that we aspire to, and in fulfilling our financial inclusion mandate," said Rajiv Lall, executive chairman of IDFC.

At Fullerton, he was responsible for both urban and rural businesses and CSR. In his previous job he helped in building a profitable and robust rural finance network of over 185 branches for Fullerton across India, called Gramshakti.

In the past he has worked with TNS India Pvt Ltd. as senior vice-president & head stakeholder management research and strategic consulting for clients across B2B, automotive, finance & technology sectors.

Starting as an infrastructure finance company, IDFC has diversified over the years and has presence across various financial services segments, including mutual fund, private equity advisory and broking. It has recently bagged the licence to start a retail bank.

Last month IDFC appointed Pavan Pal Kaushal as chief risk officer and prior to that roped in Avtar Monga from Bank of America as its new chief operating officer to build the operating architecture for the new businesses the company is planning to launch.

Although the firm did not specify the new businesses, it is understood to be the banking business.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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