India’s major state-owned banks, including State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of Baroda (BoB), have ramped up their lateral hiring efforts to bolster their digital infrastructure. According to senior bankers, they are accelerating the recruitment of specialized talent from the private sector.
Recently, Punjab National Bank – India’s 2nd largest public sector bank released notification for recruitment of candidates for the post CRO (Chief Risk Officer) and CDO (Chief Digital Officer) under contract basis.
Rajneesh Karnatak, MD & CEO of Bank of India, affirmed that public sector banks are intentionally tapping into private sector talent to enhance their digital capabilities. Recently, Bank of India appointed Yusuf Roopawalla, a former Standard Chartered Bank official, as its new Chief Technology Officer, offering a competitive compensation package.
Karnatak emphasized that the banks are embarking on both an IT-driven transformational journey and a digital transformation journey.
State Bank of India had earlier brought Nitin Chugh, former MD and CEO of Ujjivan Small Finance, on board with a market-linked package. Additionally, the bank is said to have recruited three more officials at the chief general manager (CGM) level to contribute to technology and compliance functions, further strengthening its digital prowess.
The recruitment strategy spans various levels, with a focus on direct hires from the market. Many of these hires will likely be on contract, particularly for technology roles, and include positions such as circle head.
Notably, SBI’s former CFO, CS Singh Attra, commanded an annual package of around Rs 1.5 crore during his tenure. Prior to joining SBI in October 2020, Attra held significant roles at EY India and ICICI Securities.
Bank of Baroda has also successfully brought in top executives from the private sector, including CFO Ian De Souza, Chief Digital Officer Akhil Handa, Chief Risk Officer S. Anantharaman, Chief Collection Officer Girish Patnaik, and Head of Wealth Management subsidiary Virendra Somwanshi.
De Souza boasts over twenty years of experience in prominent banks like HDFC Bank, HSBC, and YES Bank. Handa’s background includes affiliations with JP Morgan and fintech companies. Anantharaman, Patnaik, and Somwanshi previously held positions at HDFC Bank, IDFC First Bank, and Motilal Oswal Financial Services, respectively.
Bank of Baroda’s senior official expressed the intention to acquire individuals from the market who can immediately introduce specialized practices. This approach seeks to expedite progress rather than undergoing a gradual learning curve experienced by the private sector, embracing the advantages of direct hiring.