Board of Director2

Mr. Karni Singh Arha – Managing Director

Mr. Karni S Arha is the Managing Director of BFHL. He is a seasoned financial services professional with over 22+ years of wide-ranging experience covering Finance, Operations and Distribution. He has significant experience in Financial Management, Corporate Strategy, Business Acquisitions and Investor Relations. Mr. Arha has also been part of several Global Joint-Ventures and has extensive experience of interfacing with Regulators and Statutory Authorities.

He started his career in US with Aetna Inc and Swiss Re in New York between 1999 to 2005.

He moved to India and was amongst the founding members of Reliance Capital between 2006 to 2009, where he led the launch of Life Insurance business, Private Equity business and also Investor Relation responsibilities. Subsequently, he became CFO at IndiaFirst Life with additional responsibility of being Head of Operations, covering various roles of Business Planning & Strategy, Financial Operations & Controls, Branch and Central Operations, Risk Management and Project Management. After IndiaFirst Mr. Arha was the CFO & COO at Aviva India where he led numerous transformation initiatives incorporating new business partners, revamping distribution network, cost efficiency projects and productivity improvement initiatives. Before joining BFHL, Mr. Arha was the CFO at BhartiAxa GI where he was part of core team that successfully completed the marquee transaction of merger with ICICI group.

Mr Arha holds an MBA from Marriott School of Management in US and is an Economics Graduate from Delhi University.

Mr. Ashok Kumar Pradhan – (Chairman) – Non-Executive Independent Director

Mr. Ashok Kumar Pradhan is a seasoned Banker having more than 34 years of experience in the Banking Sector only. He is having Masters of Commerce and also Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Banking & Finance (CAIIB) and has started his career as Probationary Office in the year 1985 with State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur.

Mr. Pradhan was the MD and CEO of the United Bank of India from September 2018 till March 2020 and also was a Director of National Insurance Company Limited from August, 2019 till March 2020.

Mr. Pradhan has worked almost in all areas of Banking especially Credit, Forex and Branch Banking across 4 SBI’s associate banks namely State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore.

Prior to United Bank of India, Mr. Pradhan was Chief General Manager of State Bank of India, Travancore.

Prof. Ashok Banerjee – Non-Executive Independent Director

Prof. Ashok Banerjee joined the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C) as Professor (Finance and Control) in August 2004. Prior to joining IIM-C, he was a professor at IIM-Lucknow. He was the Dean (New Initiatives and external Relations) of IIM Calcutta during 2012-2015.He is a Postgraduate in Commerce from University of Calcutta and a qualified Chartered Accountant. He obtained his Ph.D. for his research on Economic Value Added as a Performance Measure.

Prof. Banerjee teaches Corporate Finance in the first year, and Corporate Restructuring, Trading Strategies and Business Valuation in second year of the Post Graduate Programme at IIM Calcutta.

He also teaches Empirical Finance and Corporate Finance in the fellowship (equivalent to Ph.D) programme. He teaches a unique course in the business analytics programme titled ‘High Frequency Finance and News Analytics’.

Prof. Banerjee was the founder-coordinator of the Financial Research and Trading Laboratory of IIM Calcutta. He was instrumental in starting the International Finance Conference in 2009 at IIM Calcutta. The conference is now rechristened as India Finance Conference and is organized jointly by IIM Calcutta, IIM Bangalore and IIM Ahmedabad.

His current areas of research include high frequency finance and sentiment analysis. Prof. Banerjee studies the behaviour of algorithmic traders in intraday market. He is particularly interested in the role of proprietary algorithmic traders in supporting market quality. In sentiment analysis domain, he uses text from corporate filings and electronic media to estimate default probability of corporate borrowers. He is presently working on directional prediction of inflation using news.

Prof. Banerjee, during his tenure as Dean, was instrumental in setting up an Incubator at IIM Calcutta called IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, which is duly recognized by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) as a Technology Business Incubator.

Prof. Sharmistha Banerjee – Non-Executive Independent Director

Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee is a Professor of Business Management at the University of Calcutta. With a Phd. on small business, her teaching and research areas include HRM, OB and Entrepreneurship. The focus of her current research is microfinance, small business and social entrepreneurship. With large volume of publications and a dozen successful PhD supervision, she has received several Indian, US fellowships and US India and UK India collaborative interdisciplinary research projects.

In the last 15 years she has been visiting faculty in various business schools of different countries and occupied several administrative positions.

Dr. Banerjee is a life-long supporter of the girl scouts and follows Lord Baden Powell’s credo ‘Be Prepared.’ Her husband is Faculty of Mathematics and their passion is travel.

Mr. Ranodeb Roy – Non-Executive Independent Director

Ranodeb Roy is the co-founder and CEO of RV Capital management private Limited, an asset management company based in Singapore, a company he founded in November 2011. Ranodeb was previously, Managing Director, Head of Fixed Income Asia Pacific in Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, and also worked in Merrill Lynch, Hong Kong as Managing Director, Co-Head of Fixed Income Currency and Commodities (FICC) group in 2007 also holding various senior positions in Merrill Lynch across major locations including New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Mr. Roy started his career at Bank of America in Mumbai in 1992.

Mr. Roy received his MBA from Indian Institute of Management at Ahmadabad, India in 1992, received his Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science & Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur in 1990. He also won distinguished awards including being the Gold Medallist, ranked all India first in the 1986 Indian School Certificate Exams and was also a Gold Medallist in the 1984 ISCE exams from La Martiniere College, Kolkata.

Mr. Roy is involved in numerous Philanthropic activities including founding an NGO called Utsarga Charity (, setting up a chair for a professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Ms. Divya Krishnan – Non-Executive Independent Director

Divya Krishnan is a finance and investment banking professional. She is currently visiting faculty at one of India’s leading private universities,Ashoka, where she teaches finance.

She was formerly Chief Investment Officer and Head of Investments at SBI Mutual Fund. She left SBI Mutual Fund to pursue her passion to work in the social impact sector.She has worked primarily in the areas of education and disability, includingadvising educational organisations for the hearing impaired, the blind, and young girl children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. She was a member of the Working Group on Disabilities to help develop the 12thFive Year Plan for the Kerala stategovernment.

Ms Krishnan is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. Before this, she graduated with honours in Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University and completed her schooling from La Martiniere School, Kolkata.

Dr. Jayanta Choudhury – Non-Executive Non-Independent Director

Dr. Jayanta Choudhury has wide experience in teaching and research in Rural Development for last 22 yrs. Dr. Choudhury presently working as Associate Professor, National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, North East Regional Centre, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. Before joining NIRDPR-NERC, Guwahati, he was Assistant Professor, Department of Rural Studies, Tripura University and State Institute of Public Administartion and Rural development (SIPARD), Tripura. He is author of 18 books and numbers of research articles published in National and International journals and in edited volumes.

He has leaded/worked with different research projects in India and Bangladesh funded by World Bank, ILO, UNICEF, IGDC, GTZ, MoTA, MoRD, etc. He is active member of various Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including North Easter Financial Inclusion Trust, India; IFRTD, London; Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), Switzerland; Community of Evaluators, SriLanka etc. He is recognized as Expert, Inclusive Policy Lab, UNESCO. He is also board member of Forum for India Development Cooperation (FIDC), Research and Information System for Developing Countries, New Delhi and Founder, Global Forum for Sustainable Rural Development.

Mr. Pankaj Sood – Nominee Director of GIC

Mr. Pankaj Sood has a Post Graduate Diploma from IIM Calcutta and a B. Tech Degree from IIT Kharagpur. He has more than 20 years of work experience in Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions transactions in India. He has a very strong understanding of financial service sector in India, including banks, through multiple investments in banks and NBFCs. He oversees the direct investments (private equity) business of Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) in India and Africa.

He had earlier worked in the investment banking/advisory businesses of Kotak Investment Bank, Ernst & Young and SBI Capital Markets.

Ms. Hulya Kefeli – Nominee Director of IFC

Hülya Kefeli graduated from Robert College ?stanbul and ?stanbul Technical University, Department of Management Engineering. Kefeli started her career in banking at Akbank in 1983 as International Banking Officer followed by various positions at the Bank. Between 2007 and 2015, she served as Assistant General Manager in charge of International Banking. Having assumed Board Member roles at various Akbank subsidiaries, Hülya Kefeli has been a Member of the Board of Directors at Fibabanka ,?stanbul since May 15, 2017.Mrs.Kefeli joined Board of Bandhan Financial Services Limited, Kolkata in November 2021.