Ajaypal Singh Banga is the CEO and President of Mastercard. He has served as CEO since 2010, which is when he was promoted from his previous COO role. Since its promotion, Banga has had a huge impact on Mastercard and beyond. Here are 10 things you may or may not have known about Ajaypal Singh Banga:
1. He is Sikh
Banga is Sikh, which should come as no surprise to people familiar with Sikhism. First, his full name includes Singh, which is not unique to Sikhs, but is nevertheless very common among them due to the 10th Sikh Guru. Additionally, Banga wears the turban that is supposed to protect uncut hair while keeping a trimmed beard. This latter practice is not traditional, but has nevertheless begun to find widespread use due to convenience and other reasons.
2. Born in Khadki in Maharashtra
In 1960, Banga was born in a town called Khadki, which is located very close to the city of Pune in the state of Maharashtra. He was born there because his father was an army officer who was stationed there at the time.
3. You have some quite illustrious people in your family
It is interesting to note that Banga’s father became a general in the Indian army. In addition, his older brother, Manvinder Singh Banga, also became CEO, although he is now Senior Partner at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
4. He went to Hyderabad public school
Banga was a student at a private school called Hyderabad Public School, which was established in 1923 for the purpose of educating the children of the elite. Interestingly, not one, not two, but three CEOs of famous companies have turned out, the other two being Shantanu Narayen and Satya Nadella at the head of Adobe and Microsoft respectively.
5. Has an interest in social development
Banga has been said to have a keen interest in social development issues. As a result, when he was with Citibank from 2005 to mid-2009, he played an important role in their approach to microfinance. For those unfamiliar with the term, microfinance focuses on providing financial products and services to people who do not have the services of banks and other financial institutions. Because of this, small loans to the very poor can be counted as microfinance, but also checking accounts and savings accounts for the same clientele.
6. Has suffered prejudice
Having money helps, but at the end of the day, it’s not a perfect insulator of prejudice. In Banga’s case, he has related a story about four men in a vehicle who called him a member of the Taliban and others made other bigoted comments while crossing the street in Turkey.
7. Believe in taking these incidents in stride
Banga has stated that he believes in taking these incidents in stride rather than letting them affect him. Ultimately, you prefer to think that the vast majority of people do not intend to be prejudiced towards others. Furthermore, he prefers to think that the overwhelming majority of people would sympathize with those who are receiving such poor treatment.
8. Believe in the importance of diversity
On a semi-related note, Banga has expressed his belief in the importance of diversity in the workplace. Even ignoring ethical reasoning, this makes a lot of practical sense, as evidenced by Banga’s follow-up statement that having people with the same backgrounds, experiences, and mindsets can cause companies to miss out on opportunities as other people with other people Circumstances could have seen it coming.
9. Visit countries where Mastercard operates
The Mastercard CEO’s stance on diversity makes particular sense due to the global nature of the corporation’s operations. To become better able to lead such operations, Banga often visits countries where Mastercard operates in order to familiarize himself with the Mastercard employees who work there.
10. It’s called cryptocurrency junk
Banga has directly called cryptocurrency junk on one occasion. As far as he is concerned, cryptocurrencies are not real currencies because they are not suitable for use as a medium of exchange. Partly this is because they have to be mined by people and partly because their value can fluctuate so wildly.