HSBC's India retail head Bharadhwaj quits, successor yet to be named

Exact reasons behind Gannesh Bhardwaj's resignation were not immediately known

Gannesh Bharadhwaj, India retail head of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), has resigned, according to two people familiar with the development. The reasons behind his exit were not known. “He resigned yesterday,” said a source, requesting anonymity.

HSBC confirmed Bharadhwaj had left the bank. “He has resigned for personal reasons,” a spokesperson of HSBC India said, adding the bank would announce the new business head for retail banking operations in India in due course.

Bharadhwaj was not available for comment.

Sources indicate the bank is likely to replace Bharadhwaj with a senior executive from its India operations and an announcement will be made soon. “It will be an in-house replacement,” said a person in the know.

The retail banking operations had five per cent share in the bank’s India profit in 2012. The foreign lender’s profit before tax in retail banking operations was $41 million in 2012, compared to a loss of $14 million a year earlier. It had reduced unsecured lending in the past few years, which helped it cut credit losses and improve profitability of retail banking business in 2012, bankers said. HSBC’s India profit in 2012 was $809 million, compared to $813 million a year ago.

Bharadhwaj is a mechanical engineer from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science. He did his masters from the University of South Florida and an MBA in marketing and finance from the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago.

He started his career with Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm, in 1994, according to his LinkedIn profile. Bharadhwaj became the chief executive of Infostrands before joining HSBC as group director for marketing and business development – auto finance in 2002.

Bharadhwaj then became managing director of prime cards at HSBC Card Services in 2005. Four years later, he took charge as HSBC’s head of consumer assets for the Asia-Pacific region. He was appointed as head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC in India in July 2010. He was one of the key executives overseeing HSBC’s proposed acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland’s retail and commercial banking assets in India. The deal was called off on November 30, 2012, as the long-stop date was reached without all conditions required to be closed.