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Humans of finance: Romesh Sobti

It was a decade ago that IndusInd Bank was unrecognised but thanks to Mr. Romesh Sobti, IndusInd bank is one of the leading banks in India.

Mr. Romesh Sobti served as a Managing Director and CEO of IndusInd Bank from February 1, 2008 to March 23, 2020. He has 46 years of experience in all the 3 sectors of banking including Public, Private and Foreign. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering (Honours). As a young man, he worked for State Bank of India, Standard Chartered Bank, and then for 17 years in ABN Amro, where he was the CEO for 12 years before assuming the CEO role of IndusInd Bank in 2008.

Among the stock analysts, there wasn’t a single one who thought Hindujas' IndusInd Bank was worth covering when Romesh Sobti took over as CEO. The Indian financial system had been hunched over by dark clouds of crisis since bad loans had piled up on banks' books at that time. When Mr.Sobti took charge of the bank, the bank's profits had grown from Rs 75 crore in 2007-2008 to Rs 2,286 crore in 2015-2016. The task of repairing a bank with four-month average liabilities against four-year assets was, of course, an enormous challenge for Mr. Sobti.

The first step Mr. Romesh Sobti took was to bring in fresh capital and deal with the problem of bad loans. No new branches were opened by the bank for two years and the efforts paid off. A huge loan granted to a conglomerate with interests in oil & gas, steel, shipping, and information technology was recovered within 10 months. With him as the CEO, the IndusInd bank was restructured, profitability increased, and the business mix was improved, which ultimately led to the growth of current account-savings accounts and acquisitions. After more than a decade of lending to SMEs, IndusInd has also expanded its reach to large companies.

Mr. Sobti has truly been an inspirational personality in the world of finance.

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