Taking Exim bank on an upward growth trajectory, Harsha Bangari, who joined the bank in 1995 and was Deputy Managing Director before her elevation to MD this March, has driven the bank's resource mobilisation plan. Under her leadership, the bank maintained its enviable track record in the international debt capital markets, raising $1 billion through 10-year bonds in January 2020 and $1 billion through 10-year bonds in January 2021. Importantly, both deals were at the lowest coupon for any Indian 10-year issuer. The bank also became the first entity to list on the AFRINEX (a pan-African exchange with global reach and local presence located in Mauritius) with its $1 billion Exim 2031 bond.
Her leadership is built around the core tenet of reaching all enterprises, large, medium or small, and partnering them in their globalisation efforts. "India's exports are concentrated in a few products and not many companies venture into the exports market, focussing rather on the domestic market," she says. Through initiatives such as the Ubharte Sitaare programme, she hopes that the latent export potential of Indian firms will be effectively tapped, and export orientation increased. And under the Grassroots Initiatives and Development programme, the bank is supporting SMEs in rural areas.
Bangari is also focussing on changing the medium-to-long term export financing landscape for the better, with an increasing emphasis on promoting sustainable financing. As a provider of countercyclical support, she ensured that the bank upped its efforts in providing need-based support to companies—by offering the moratorium package to borrowers under its commercial loan portfolio. She also shaped policies for implementing a resolution framework to address Covid-19-related stress for eligible commercial loan borrowers and a one-time restructuring of existing loans to MSMEs. Intense work, this.
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