Board of Director

Mr. Ashok Kumar Pradhan

Non-Executive Independent (Chairman)

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.

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.

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.

Atanu Sen

Non-Executive Independent Director

Mr. Atanu Sen served as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SBILife Insurance Company Ltd and as the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Credit and Risk Officer of State Bank of India. He was overall in charge of the total credit portfolio of SBI and as the presiding officer of the apex Credit Committee oversaw sanction of high value credit proposals. From September 1977 to August 2012 held various management roles with State Bank of India including foreign assignments. He was also the Chief General Manager of the Banks Mumbai Circle.

On superannuation, he was Advisor to the State Bank of India as well as Senior Advisor to Deloitte Touché Tomahatsu (P) Ltd.He had been Non-Official Director of Punjab and Sind Bank Ltd on behalf of Government of India as well as Nominee Director on behalf of SBI in Companies with a stressed balance sheet. Till June 2022 Mr Atanu Sen was the Chairman of the Board of the NPS Trust of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA). He continues to be an Independent Director in various Companies including Bandhan Financial Holdings Ltd and TATA Pension Management Ltd.

Mr Sen is a Post-Graduate in Economics from Calcutta University and a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers.He has also undergone executive training in diverse fields at the Banks training institutes and leading Institutes across the World including Wharton Business School in the USA; Asian Institute of Management, Manila; BPP London, West Deutsche Landesbank Dusseldorf and MDI Gurgaon.

Runa Sarkar

Non-Executive Independent Director

Ms. Runa Sarkar is a Professor with the Economics Group and Coordinator, Centre for Development andEnvironment Policy. She served as a Faculty Member on the Board of Governors at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta till April 2023, and has also been Dean (Academic) and Chairperson (PGPEX) at IIMC. Prior to this, she taught at IIT Kanpur. A chemical engineer from BITS Pilani, Runa pursued her Masters in environmental engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. After spending five years as an environmental consultant in a subsidiary of Tata Steel, Runa completed her doctoral studies from IIM Calcutta.

Her interests lie in sustainable development where business interests are in consonance withenvironmental and social interests. She is on the board of Basix Consulting and Technology Services and Bandhan Financial Holdings Limited. Runa has been a sustainability assessor for CII. In addition to authoring several journal and conference papers, she has been one of the co-editors of the India Infrastructure Report (IIR) 2010 on Infrastructure Development in a Low Carbon Economy and IIR 2009 on Land – A Critical Resource for Infrastructure, published by the 3i network. She has authored and edited several books as well in the area of Business, Environment and Institutions, and is currently engaged with research in the area of energy transitions.

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 Istanbul and Istanbul 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, Istanbul since May 15, 2017 .Mrs .Kefeli joined Board of Bandhan Financial Services Limited, Kolkata in November 2021.