ICICI’s Sandeep Bakhshi is clearing cobwebs as the bank CEO


The 11th floor executive dining arena at the ICICI Bank Towers in Mumbai’s financial district had an unwritten rule on who sits where on the table. That was mostly driven by hierarchy.

  • That has changed since Sandeep Bakhshi occupied the corner office in October 2018.
  • As Bakhshi sets out to reinvent the institution that has played a role for over six decades in different avatars, the job on hand is to remove the cobwebs that have grown over the years, project an image that’s compliant and friendly, and also lay out a path that would be less bumpy in the future.
  • Biggest task ahead with Bakshi is to junk prioritires and direct staff to think and act differently.
  • The bank says We won’t do things that we don’t understand. We have become very particular about where we would be lending.The intentions are right and the strategy is clear. But the more difficult part is to junk past priorities and direct staff to think and act differently.

The 3 main strategies;

1) No project funding:

In what could well be the most significant statement of his stewardship, Bakhshi has said no to project funding — the seed which was sown in 1994 as Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India that evolved into ICICI Bank.

The aversion to project funding is understandable. The banks’ stressed assets bad loans plus the restructured loans is at 8.54% of total loans. The chunk of bad loans is because of lending to power projects and other infrastructurerelated ones.

2) No more adventures:

  The bank believes while you have good CASA its important to be have risk adjusted profitability.

3)Freedom with caution

 Cutting the clutter in the process is the priority for Bakhshi.

 There is a lot of delegation that’s going on at the front end. An insider says , if a job took two days, now it happens in less than half a day. Processes that have accumulated over the years are getting weeded out.

Our management team is very stable. We are determined to behave prudently, not to make reckless decisions and put our employees, shareholders or clients in any financial danger.

Important Terms:

  • Cobwebs: mess
  • Hierarchy: an arrangement or classification of things according to relative importance or inclusiveness.
  • Bumpy: uneven
  • stewardship: the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organization or property.
  • Aversion: Strong dislike
  • delegation: a body of delegates
  • prudently: acting with or showing care and thought for the future

Details of Article

  • Govt eyes about $1 billion from Air India sale.
  • The government is eyeing around USD 1 billion (about Rs 7,000 crore) from the sale of national carrier Air India in the next financial year.
  • The government will initiate the process of strategic disinvestment of Air India in the second half of 201920 and in between it would work towards selling some of its subsidiaries and monetise assets.
  • Air India has a debt burden of Rs 55,000 crore.
  • In August 2018, the government had received Parliament nod for Rs 980 crore equity infusion in Air India under a “turn around plan”. Earlier this month, Parliament approved a further Rs 2,345 crore equity infusion into the airline.
  • The government had initially planned to offload 76 per cent equity share capital of the national carrier as well as transfer the management control to private players. The buyer was required to take over Rs 24,000 crore debt of the carrier along with over Rs 8,000 crore of liabilities.
  • The ministerial panel has already cleared strategic sale of Air India’s ground handling subsidiary, Air India Air Transport Services. Plans are afoot for selling another subsidiary, Air India Engineering Service
  • The proceeds from sale of subsidiaries and land and building assets would go to the SPV and will be utilised towards lowering the debt burden of the airline.

Important Terms:

  • Disinvestment: withdraw or reduce an investment.
  • Turn around plan : an abrupt or unexpected change, especially one that results in a more favourable situation.
  • offload: Release

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