In the lead up to the 16th ABLA, the CNBC Exchange series will explore current topics of interest to business leaders in different countries. Open to a select group of c-level and senior executives, each Exchange features a highly-engaging morning debate with discussion and is followed by a networking session over lunch.
India's demonetization drive was meant to fight corruption, but it also provided a catalyst to push India toward a cashless economy. Millions of new users jumped onto the country's digital grid when the government removed over 80% of its currency from circulation. However, does India have the necessary infrastructure to bring its people into the digital fold? And what else is needed for the world's largest cash economy to go digital? We explore the challenges and the opportunities.
Akiko Fujita is the host of CNBC's pre-market program The Rundown. The Rundown captures the overnight action from Wall Street and equips viewers for the Asia trading day. Based in Singapore, Akiko also covers Asia-Pacific business including the Japanese market and the tech industry, for cnbc.com.
With more than a decade of experience, Akiko has covered some of the biggest stories across Asia and the U.S. Prior to joining CNBC, Akiko was a Tokyo-based correspondent for ABC News, where she led network coverage of the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan. She also traveled across East Asia, reporting on everything from the conflict on the Korean Peninsula to Edward Snowden.
Krish Iyer is the President and CEO, Walmart India since January 2014. A long-term retail professional with global retail experience, he brings significant management and leadership experience to his present role.
Iyer has over three decades of rich experience in varied fields such as finance, marketing, retail & general management. In the field of retail, he has gained significant global experience over the last sixteen years in various countries such as Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and USA in addition to India.
A professional entrepreneur since 2003, Rana Kapoor, Founder & Managing Director & CEO of YES BANK, has been progressively establishing a high quality, state-of-the-art private bank with a vision of ‘India’s Finest Quality Big Bank by 2020’. Under Rana Kapoor’s stewardship, YES BANK has emerged as India’s 4th largest bank in just 13 years, with exemplary business and financial results since inception. He has also championed innovative management frameworks like Knowledge Banking and Responsible Banking.
Beyond being a Banker, Rana Kapoor has been a Change Agent, ushering in positive change across community, society and at National level. As Chairman of YES Global Institute, a practicing think tank established by YES BANK, Rana Kapoor is championing key pillars of national advancement such as Economy & Public Policy, Food & Agribusiness, MSME, Social Entrepreneurship, Microfinance & Impact Investment, Smart Cities and Renewable Energy.
Abhishek Lodha has been associated with the Lodha Group for the last fourteen years, and currently serves as Managing Director of the company. Prior to this, he worked on advising Fortune 500 Companies to Business Strategy as a consultant with McKinsey & Company (in Atlanta, USA).
Lodha has been instrumental in establishing a company that exceeds the expectations of the customer and builds a better life for them. He has a focus on creating a process-oriented organization to enable top professionals to be at the helm of decision-making within the group. Abhishek has been at the helm of this growth and has been Managing Director of the group since 2010. Under his leadership, the company has been India’s largest real estate developer by sales for 4 consecutive years since FY 12-13.
Rajnish Kumar assumed charge as Managing Director of State Bank of India from 26th May, 2015. Kumar was heading SBI Capital Markets Limited (the Merchant Banking arm of State Bank of India) as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, prior to becoming Managing Director in SBI.
Kumar has been with the State Bank of India for over three decades, having joined the Bank as a Probationary Officer in 1980. An M.Sc. in Physics, apart from CAIIB, Kumar has held several key assignments across various business verticals, including two overseas assignments in Canada and U.K. He has vast experience in handling large credit, project finance, foreign exchange and retail banking. Kumar has held such important positions as Regional Head, SBl(UK); Chief General Manager, North East Circle and Chief General Manager, Project Finance. Kumar is an avid traveller and has visited several countries. He loves sports and is a good player of badminton.
Ankit Jain is a Senior Director and Head of Ola’s connected car platform - Ola Play. Ankit is responsible for leading the development and expansion of Ola Play across categories and different parts of the country. This includes product innovation, platform development, strategic alliances, supply chain management and monetisation among other elements that form an integral part of Ola Play.
Ankit started his career at Opera Solutions, a big data firm, where he helped Fortune 500 clients on areas including sales, marketing and procurement. After completing his post-graduation, Ankit joined McKinsey in Palo Alto. At McKinsey, Ankit served high tech companies in the US, Germany, UK and India. Ankit has deep expertise in product development, go-to-market, demand marketing, and competitive strategy.
With more than 25 years experience in Asia Pacific, Shrihari Bhat is a seasoned and highly motivated leader with extensive experience in the financial technology space.
Currently, playing the role of Executive Vice President and Group Managing Director, Asia Pacific at FIS, he has risen within the ranks and has overseen significant growth in the Asia Pacific region over the past several years.
His contribution has not only been at an organizational level, but at a country level, where he created in- country debit infrastructure for APAC emerging countries. He also introduced cheque truncation by digitizing cheque clearance in Asian countries including India. He is also credited with creation of utility banking model technology platform and financial models for DeNovo banks in India on the pay per use model.
Venkatesh Hariharan is Director - Fintech at the Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT), a non-profit think tank focused on building a software product ecosystem in India. At iSPIRT, Hariharan is responsible for the FinTech Leapfrog Council (FTLC) a forum that works with some of India's largest banks to transform the financial sector in India. He is also a member of the Governing Board of the Software Freedom Law Center, a law firm that represents the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) communities.
Hariharan has served as Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs with Google, and as Corporate Affairs Director for Red Hat in the Asia-Pacific region. He has worked on key policy issues like Internet regulations, open standards, software patents, open source in government, and Indian language computing.