NARCL: Natarajan Sundar likely to become CEO of NARCL

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Mumbai: Natarajan Sundar, deputy managing director of the State Bank of India (SBI), will likely be the first full-time CEO of the newly formed National Asset Reconstruction Co Ltd (NARCL) after the final rounds of interviews for the job were held late last week, four people familiar with the process said.

Sundar was chosen from a shortlist of six people after interviews with a three-member panel. The members of the committee were IDBI CEO Rakesh Sharma, Union Bank of India CEO Rajkiran Rai, and SBI managing director in charge of stressed asset resolution group (SARG), J Swaminathan, these people said.

Sundar’s name will now be proposed to the NARCL board that will meet later this month. After his name is ratified by the board, it will be forwarded to the central bank for approval.

“Sundar is the top choice for the panel and will most likely make the cut, though approvals are still pending. The RBI will have to do a fit and proper assessment too. He has one year to go in the SBI and will most probably take voluntary retirement from the bank to take this full-time position,” said one of the four people cited above.

Current CEO Padma Kumar Nair, who is on deputation from SBI, is likely to go back to the bank after his interim one-year term ends in May. Executive search firm Aon was mandated to find suitable candidates and had shortlisted six names after receiving about 40 applications since the process began on March 8.

“Interviews were completed last week and Sundar was unanimously selected because of his experience, understanding of regulations and interpersonal skills because this job will need a lot of coordination between banks,” a second person aware of the developments told ET. “This is a sensitive position and banks have worked hard to get it up and running and we need someone who can drive the ship, bring value and also ensure that we do not fall foul with the RBI. He brings all this to the table.”

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