Kids Corner

Below, second from bottom - Ajay, visiting a children's nursery in Hong Kong.


Ajay Singh Banga,
MasterCard's New President?



MasterCard Incorporated announced - in a town appropriately named Purchase (New York, U.S.A.) - on Friday, June 19, 2009, that it has appointed Ajay Singh Banga President and Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Robert W. Selander, currently President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Selander will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer after Mr. Banga joins MasterCard on August 31, 2009. Furthermore, the latter is scheduled to take over as CEO of MasterCard Incorporated upon the expiry of Mr. Selander's term.

Ajay Banga is currently Citigroup's Chief Executive Officer of Citi Asia Pacific, responsible for all of Citi's business lines in the region, including credit cards and consumer banking, institutional banking, wealth management and alternative investments. He is also a member of the company's Senior Leadership and Executive Committees.

At MasterCard, Ajay, 49, will be responsible for key business operations, including customer relationships globally in international and U.S. markets, products, services, marketing, technology and operations. The company's finance, human resources, and law and franchise integrity functions will continue to report to Selander.

"I am very pleased to have Ajay join our senior executive team and partner with me to grow MasterCard's value to our customers, merchants, consumers and investors," said Selander. "Ajay's experience in diverse industries and diverse geographies will reinforce and strengthen our global competencies, as electronic payments continue to accelerate worldwide. With his expertise and leadership," Selander said, "we hope to capture even more of the significant global payments opportunity."

"This is clearly a wonderful opportunity to join a company at the forefront of advancing global commerce," said Ajay Banga. "From its strong technology base to its local market expertise, MasterCard has many important resources in place to make life easier for consumers and payment systems more efficient for businesses and governments around the world. I look forward to joining my new colleagues and continuing the success they have so well architected over the years," he stated.

Ajay Banga, who joined Citi in 1996 as Head of Marketing and Sales in India, quickly rose through the ranks to Head of Sales, Marketing and Business Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in Brussels, and was then appointed Division Executive, Consumer Bank for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in London.

In 2000 he was appointed Business Head, CitiFinancial and U.S. Consumer Assets, and in 2002 became Executive Vice President, Global Consumer Group and President, Retail Banking North America.

He was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citi's Global Consumer Group International in 2005, which included all credit card and consumer banking operations outside North America. He was appointed to his current position in 2008.

Prior to joining Citigroup, he spent 13 years with Nestle India and two years with PepsiCo.

He serves on the Board of Directors of Kraft Foods Inc. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society, has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New York Hall of Science and was a Board member of the National Urban League.

He graduated with a BA in Economics Honors from Delhi University and is also a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.


June 22, 2009

Conversation about this article

1: Harinder (Jalandhar, Punjab), June 22, 2009, 7:07 AM.

Congratulations to Sardar Ajay Singh Banga. He has done us all proud. With his influence and connections, I hope he will help open up a world-class MBA school in Punjab to, among other things, help pull a generation of idle and drug-infected Punjabi youth out of the mire. The next step, I feel, for the Sikh quom is to shine in all fields the way it has already done in farming, soldiering, business, sports, music, movies, etc. Let Sikhs deliver world-class companies in a variety of fields, including hospitals, space industry, science, building and construction, animal rights, philosophy, etc... you name it! Let us shine together as a beautful and excelling quom on this wonderful planet ... the very mandate given to us by our Gurus!

2: Gobind Singh (Richmond Hill, New York, U.S.A.), June 22, 2009, 7:28 PM.

All that I can say is that Singh is King. This portrays the financial success of Sikhs and hopefully maybe some affluent Sikhs can come together to have Sikh and Punjabi studies programs in every school and college. I would pray to Waheguru that all the Sikhs in the world would use their money wisely to promote Sikhi and to educate our fellow humans, regardless of what country they live in, about Sikhi.

3: Pritam Singh Grewal (Canada), June 22, 2009, 11:45 PM.

Another shining star among the Sikh cluster of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh, Sant Singh Chhatwal, Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany and others. Congratulations, Ajay!

4: Kanwaldeep Singh (London, U.K.), June 23, 2009, 12:52 PM.

Fantastic news. Congratulations to Ajay Singh ... Keep the Khanda flying high!

5: Gurjender Singh (Maryland, U.S.A.), June 23, 2009, 2:09 PM.

Congratulations to Ajay Singh as a turbaned Sikh for becoming President and Chief Operating Officer of MasterCard. Hope it will give him an apportunity to bring in turbaned Sikhs to advertise their product, just as Kenneth Cole had done!

6: Bhupinder Singh Ghai (New Delhi, India), June 23, 2009, 10:57 PM.

Congratulations to Ajay Singh Banga. Not mnay people are aware that he has an equally illustruous brother in M.S.(Vindi) Banga. He is the President of Food and HPC divisions of Uniliver, the world's largest FMCG company. Unfortunately, he does not wear the turban. But still, these brothers make us proud. Way to go ...

7: Joginder Singh (Minneapolis, U.S.A.), June 23, 2009, 11:04 PM.

Heartiest congratulations to Ajay. It is a matter of pride for the entire Sikh community that such a fine and handsome Gursikh is doing so well. But, I have one small question for Ajay, "What happened to the SINGH in your name?"

8: Nirmaljit Kaur (London, U.K.), June 24, 2009, 11:36 AM.

It is excellent news for the entire Sikh community. Well done, Ajay Singh ... You are representing the Sikhs, as they are the very best in every field of life. Let's keep this wonderful gift given by our Gurus.

9: Mandip Kaur Sandher (Morriston, Canada), June 26, 2009, 1:18 PM.

Congratulations to Ajay Singh Banga on his new position. It will be very interesting to see how Ajay connects the dots to this new role, factoring in his previous adventures at Pepsi, Kraft and Nestle. Protecting the young seeds of tomorrow is the real "Sikh global call to action". 'Singh is King' only if we recognize this. Period. The photo with the children is the real "message" for humanity. Let's see how Ajay's new dynamic role unravels with the "MasterCard" purse strings!

10: Amarjit Singh Basra (Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.), June 27, 2009, 5:11 PM.

A great achievement for all Sikhs to celebrate worldwide - this is like a "Vaisakhi" and a huge leap not only for S. Ajay Singh Banga and his family but for the global diaspora and the celebration of diversity of human talent! Human progress has always depended on a few outstanding people of Ajay's vision, calibre, and dedication. What a great contribution Ajay's parents and his family have made to the global society and I am hoping that the financial world will see a positive change from Ajay's leadership based on his Sikh values. I can't translate well, but a renowned Punjabi poet, Dr Surjit Singh Patar, aptly captures in his poem what Ajay has done: "I don't tread the common path/ I walk and a new path is created ..."

11: D.S. Kapoor (Chandigarh, Punjab), June 28, 2009, 1:57 AM.

Sardar Ajay Singh ji: This is your great achievement indeed for all Sikhs to celebrate. With dint of hardwork and devotion, you have achieved this honour for yourself and for all the Sikhs worldwide. Waheguru blessed you with the Spirit to win your aims and your goals. You are our Pride.

12: Charan J. Chanana (Redding, Connecticut, U.S.A.), June 28, 2009, 4:08 PM.

Congratulations to Ajay and his family and the entire Sikh community. You are an example and a role model for all young Sikh professionals. We are proud of your accomplishments. We hope, with your inspiration, others will follow in your footsteps.

13: Amarjit Singh Bagga (Mumbai, India), January 27, 2010, 4:56 AM.

He is too good and one should be proud of his achievements. Although I am a CA & CS qualified and working with TATA as CFO, would love to learn a few things from him. May Waheguru give him the strength to achieve more success and wisdom.

14: Prabhjot Singh (Chandigarh, Punjab), April 13, 2010, 9:43 PM.

A great achievement for all Sikhs to celebrate worldwide. Well done, Ajay Singh ... Keep the SARDARI on the top of the sky ... Congratulations!

15: Tapan Kumar Lahiri (Kolkata, Bengal, India), April 21, 2011, 2:16 PM.

I had worked under Ajay Singh for a short time when he was the Branch Manager of Nestle India at the Calcutta Branch. While in Nestle, where I worked for 37 yrs and under 6 different Branch Managers, Ajay was the best. These are not only my words but any staff who worked under him would confirm this.

16: Jasbir Singh Aujla  (Bathinda, Punjab ), February 07, 2016, 5:11 AM.

Your elevation makes the entire Sikhdom proud of you. Waheguru aap nu chardi kalaa ch rukhun.

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MasterCard's New President?

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