Managing Director & CEO
With over two decades in financial services in India, V. Vaidyanathan has seen India through many lenses – first as a banker (1990-2010, Citibank and ICICI Bank), then as an entrepreneur (2010-2019, Capital First) and a professional banker again (2019- date, after merging Capital First with IDFC Bank). He worked with Citibank Consumer Banking from 1990-2000, then set up ICICI Group's retail banking from 2000-2009 since its inception, built ICICI Bank's branch network to 1411 branches and 28 million customers, built a large CASA and retail deposits franchise, and built the retail lending businesses including mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and personal credit businesses to Rs. 1.35 trillion ($30 bn). He was appointed at the Board of ICICI Bank in 2006 at age 38. In 2009, he became the MD and CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company in India.
In 2010, he quit ICICI Group for an entrepreneurial opportunity to acquire an NBFC with an idea to convert it to a bank, focused on consumer and MSME lending. On acquiring equity stake, he shut down all non-core businesses like broking and real estate financing, and instead used the NBFC platform to build MSME and Consumer Financing businesses, based on new technologies and algorithms. Between 2010 to 2018, he grew the loan book from start-up stage to Rs. 29,600 crores (US$4.05 bn), grew the equity capital from Rs. 691 crores (US$118 mn) to Rs. 3,993 crores (US$600 mn), reduced Gross NPA from 5.28% to 1.94%, reduced Net NPA from 3.6% to 1%, acquired 7 million customers, got the long-term credit rating upgraded from A+ to AAA, turned around the company from losses of US$5 mn (2010) to profit of US$50 mn (2018), increased ROE from -6% to +15%, and increased the market cap 10 times from Rs. 780 crores (US$120 mn) to Rs. 8,200 crores (US$1.2 bn) in 8 years. Capital First was growing at a 5-year CAGR of loan growth of 30%, and 55% in PAT between 2013-2018.
Then, in order to secure a commercial banking license, he agreed to merge Capital First with IDFC Bank in December 2018 and took over as the MD and CEO of the merged entity. Since then, in seven quarters, between December 2019 to September 2020, he has increased retail loan book from 13.16% pre-merger to over 60% (Rs. 59,860 crores, US$8.14 bn) of the total funded assets, increased Net Interest margin from 1.68% pre-merger to 4.57%, increased CASA from 8.68% to 40.37%, turned the bank into profitability, and is currently busy converting the bank into a world-class retail bank in India. The bank now has over 10 million customers and loan book of more than Rs. 1 lac crores (~US$14 bn). He believes India provides unlimited opportunity in financial services.
During his career, he and his organization have received a number of domestic and international awards including the prestigious CNBC Awaaz Entrepreneur of the year 2020, CNBC Asia’s "Innovative company of the year" India Business Leader Awards-2017, "Most Inspirational Leveraged Management Buyout, India 2018" by CFI Awards, "Entrepreneur of the Year" Award at Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2017, "Transformational Leader 2018" by CFI Awards UK, "Financial Services Company of the Year, 2018 - VC Circle", "Outstanding contribution to Financial Inclusion, India, 2017" from Capital Finance International, London, "Most Promising Business Leaders of Asia" 2016 by Economic Times, 'Outstanding Entrepreneur Award' in Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2016, Greatest Corporate Leaders of India- 2014, Business Today - India's Most Valuable Companies 2016 & 2015, Economic Times 500 India's Future Ready Companies 2016, Fortune India's Next 500 Companies 2016, Dun & Bradstreet India's Top 500 Companies & Corporates 2016 & 2015. During his prior stint, awards included "Best Retail bank in Asia 2001", "Excellence in Retail Banking Award" 2002, "Best Retail Bank in India 2003, 2004, and 2005" from the Asian Banker, "Most Innovative Bank" 2007, "Leaders under 40" from Business Today in 2009, and was nominated "Retail Banker of the Year" by EFMA Europe for 2008.
He is an alumnus of Birla Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School. He has ran 23 half-marathons and 8 full marathons.