Ajaypal Singh Banga

Ajaypal Singh Banga
BornPune, India
Alma materSt. Stephen's College, Delhi, IIM Ahmedabad
OccupationCEO and President, MasterCard
PredecessorRobert W. Selander

Ajaypal Singh Banga or Ajay Banga is the current president and chief executive officer of MasterCard.[1] MasterCard announced on April 12, 2010. that Ajay Banga, previously MasterCard’s president and chief operating officer, had been named by the Board of Directors to serve as the company’s president and chief executive officer, effective July 1, 2010. The company also announced that Banga would become a member of MasterCard’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.

On Thursday, February 5, 2015, President Barack Obama appointed Banga to serve as a Member of the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.[3]

Presently, he is also the chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) representing more than three hundred of the largest international companies investing in India. He is also a member of a board of directors of the Dow Chemical Company, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and member of International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.[4]

The Government of India awarded him the civilian honor of the Padma Shri in 2016.[5] 


Early life

Born into a Saini Sikh family in Khadki, Pune, Maharashtra in India where his father, an army officer, was posted. The family's origin is from Jalandhar in Punjab. His father is retired lieutenant-general Harbhajan Singh Banga who is a decorated army general of Indian Army. He is also the younger brother of another well known CEO M S Banga. Due to army background, he was constantly on move, therefore, grew up and schooled across India, Secunderabad, Jalandhar, Delhi, Hyderabad and in Shimla, where he finished his schooling.[6]


Banga went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University and MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.[7][8]


Ajaypal Singh Banga started his business career with Nestle in 1981, Banga spent the next 13 years working in jobs spanning sales, marketing, and general management. He later joined PepsiCo and was involved in the launch of its international fast food franchises in India as the economy liberalized.

In 1996 he joined Citigroup as the head of marketing in India for the consumer business. In 2000, he was promoted to head CitiFinancial and the U.S. consumer assets division. In 2002 he took over the retail bank in North America – his first stint in the U.S. and in 2005 Ajay Banga was named to head Citigroup's international consumer-banking and finance businesses.

He has a keen interest in social development issues, and over the period from 2005 to mid-2009, he spearheaded Citi's strategy in the microfinance sector across the world.[9]

Ajaypal Banga is a regular speaker at various startup & leadership conferences, he appeared on the Mad Money show hosted by Jim Cramer on Thursday, 6 Nov 2014[10] He was recently the keynote speaker at NYU Stern's 2014 Graduate Convocation on May 22, 2014,  where he spoke about the importance of diversity in driving innovation and leadership. He was also a keynote speaker for his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, during the Class of 2015's convocation.

Joining Mastercard

In early 2008 he moved to Hong Kong after being named to oversee all of the bank's businesses in Asia, including credit cards and consumer banking, institutional banking, wealth management and alternative investments, before returning to the US in 2009 to join MasterCard. On joining MasterCard worldwide, Banga's task was clear i.e. to chase down leader Visa. He worked with one of his best clients to find a way to get more youth to use debit cards. As a result, he redesigned the debit card product with its package of features, connecting it to music, and created a whole new marketing approach with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The results were dramatic. Regarding high-tech innovation one area of development was that could transform driving e-commerce, mobile and transit fares. The other was a group in MasterCard Labs of basically young, trendy, inventive people developing new ideas, and trying to embed them to their clients. It's a way to build, for banks and merchants, new innovative ways to pay for goods and services -- such as being able to read a barcode from your phone and convert that to a purchase.

Current positions

Mastercard Inc (Internet Services)President, Chief Executive Officer & Director2009
MasterCard International, Inc.Chief Executive Officer2009
The Partnership for New York CityCo-Chairman-
American India FoundationCo-Chairman2016
Dow Chemical CoIndependent Director       2013
The American National Red CrossMember-Governors Board2014
Dow Wolff Cellulosics GmbH & Co. KGDirector-
U.S.-India Business CouncilDirector2012
The Business CouncilVice Chairman-
Council on Foreign Relations, Inc.Member-
The Economic Club of New YorkMember-
World Economic ForumMember-International Business Council-
Peter G. Peterson Institute for International EconomicsMember-
Weill Cornell Medical CollegeMember-
US India CEO ForumMember-

See also


External links

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