Ajay Banga

Obama names Indian American Ajay Banga to US trade panel

Many Indians are getting into prominence for their sheer hardwork in the US and the latest to join the ranks of honour is Ajay Banga of Mastercard who has been named by US President Barack Obama  as a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

The White House on Thursday announced Obama’s intent to appoint Banga, who is currently chairman of the US-India Business Council (USIBC).

“The talent and expertise these individuals bring to their roles will serve our nation well. I am grateful for their service, and look forward to working with them,” said Obama, whose administration has more than 20 Indian-Americans serving in key posts.

Banga, a BA from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad, has been President and CEO of MasterCard since 2009. Prior to it, he served in senior management roles with Citigroup between 1996 and 2009, when he served as CEO of Citigroup Asia Pacific.

Ajay Banga

Ajay Banga

Born into an army family in Khadki outside Pune, Maharashtra in 1960, Banga moved with his father who was posted in different places in the India. His father Harbhajan Singh Banga is a retired lieutenant-general and his brother M.S. Banga is also a CEO of known company.

Banga studied successively in Secunderabad, Jalandhar, Delhi, Hyderabad and in Shimla, where he finished his schooling and joined Delhi’s famous St. Stephen’s College for graduation. After his MBA from IIM-A, he began his business career with Nestlé in 1981 and spent the next 13 years working in sales, marketing, and general management.

Later, he joined PepsiCo and was involved in the launch of its international fast food franchises in India at a time when the Indian economy was liberalized.

Later he worked for 13 years at Citigroup from 1996 in the United States and Europe, Middle East, Africa regions before becoming chairman and chief executive officer of Citi’s international global consumer group in 2005. From 2005 to mid-2009, he spearheaded Citi’s strategy in the microfinance sector across the world.

He was also responsible for Citi’s brand and marketing work across the entire company. Most recently, he was chief executive officer of Citi Asia Pacific, responsible for all of the company’s business lines in the region, including institutional banking, alternative investments, wealth management, consumer banking and credit cards. He was also a member of Citi’s senior leadership and executive committees.

Banga is also on the board of Kraft Foods Inc., on the board of trustees of the Asia Society, Chairman of the US-India Business Council, besides being a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Financial Services Roundtable and The Economic Club of New York, and the Foreign Policy Association.

Banga is also a Member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.

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