Profile of Board of Directors

Dr. Ram Krishna Garg, PhD.
Part-time Chairman & Independent Director

Dr. Ram Krishna Garg, PhD. Superannuated as Chief General Manager (Risk Management), from State Bank of India, in April 2013, after heading the Bank’s North East Operations for two years. He has vast experience in setting up New Companies for State Bank, resolving Stressed Assets for the Bank, managing High Value Industrial credit, Heading the Bank’s Risk Management function, heading challenging banking operations not only in India but also abroad with responsibilities over Retail Banking including SME, Agri, HR, and International Banking. He has also been associated with several companies, while in service and after retirement as well.
Dr . Garg is an Honours Graduate in Physics, with a Management Post Graduate degree from Banaras Hindu University. While he is a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers, he was awarded Doctorate by Gauhati University, for his thesis on “A study of Enterprises based in North Eastern states, based on their credit rating “in April 2015. He has undergone several professional development programmes in Top ranking Indian and International Management Institutes

Ms. Rupali Kalita
Managing Director & CEO

Ms. Kalita is an experienced development banker with an experience of over 33 years in the Banking and Financial Services sector. She has 20 years of experience in Retail Banking in Langpi Dehangi Rural Bank during her tenure as Senior Manager in the bank. Ms. Kalita, has to her credit, a degree from Boulder Institute of Microfinance, Turin, Italy besides various other certifications from different institutions. She has been trained in Microfinance from Basix and have exposures to ASA, BRAC premier institutions in Bangladesh and in Amana Ikhtiar, Malaysia, Bank Patanian and Bank Simpanan, Malaysia, to name a few. She has also attended a certificate course on Strategic Leadership in Financial Inclusion in HARVARD, USA in March 2016.

Ms. Kalita joined the RGVN Society to head its microfinance programme in 2004 and was instrumental in successfully turning around the operations of a loss making RGVN-CSP into a profitable NBFC within a period of 2 years by streamlining the existing processes, instilling financial discipline and boosting the staff morale. She was instrumental in reducing the Portfolio at Risk (>30days) from a whopping 23% to 1.09% in FY 2016-2017 and also in reaching out to a total of 4.07 Lakh clients during the same period as against 30,939 in 2004. The expansion of outreach of the RGVN (NE) MFL to 7 states of North East and West Bengal, with a network of 139 branches in 2017 and the consistent growth in the business with a total portfolio outstanding of Rs. 688 crore as on March 31st, 2017 as against Rs. 40 Lakh in 2005, has only been possible for her able leadership. She has been working for the empowerment of the under privileged women in rural and urban sector through financial intermediation by persistently encouraging them to build up their confidence and to emerge as successful entrepreneurs.

She has been heading RGVN (NE) MFL since its inception, however recently has moved to North East Small Finance Bank Limited [“Subsidiary of RGVN (NE) MFL”] as a Managing Director & CEO to lead the Small Finance bank Business.

It is under her guidance and due to her persistent efforts that RGVN (NE) MFL was awarded the coveted “In Principle Approval” on September 16, 2015 for the establishment of Small Finance Bank. It is by dint of her hard work and dedication that RGVN (NE) MFL, had undergone major transformations within a decade and has awarded with the Final Banking Licence on March 31, 2017 and has commenced its Banking Business on October 17, 2017  by folding its lending activities into NORTH EAST SMALL FINANCE BANK LIMITED.  

Mr. Rajan Bajaj
Nominee Director

Mr. Rajan Bajaj is the Founder and CEO of Slice, India’s leading consumer payments and lending company since 2016. An alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, Rajan’s vision is to redesign and create a transformative and seamless financial experience for today's generation, who hold immense promise for the future. Today, slice boasts an impressive user base of over 14 million registered individuals nationwide, with an average age of 27, solidifying its position as one of the country's leading payments start-ups. Guiding a strong and relentless team of 1000+, Rajan has spearheaded the fintech unicorn over the last 7 years, enabling seamless bill payments, lending services, expense management, and exciting rewards. Rajan’s bullishness on the Indian fintech landscape led him to create and deliver products at par with some of the best global consumer payments solutions. Prior to founding slice, Rajan made significant contributions to Flipkart's product team, working in their marketplace team during its early stages. This segment quickly became the fastest-growing business unit and a key focus for Flipkart. Rajan's audacious goals and plans are to leverage today’s evolving technology and get the opportunity to create a “customer experience obsessed”, AI and digital first bank.

Mr. Gautam Barua
Independent Director

Gautam Barua is currently the Director of Indian Institute of Information Technology  Guwahati and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. He was the Director IIT Guwahati from 2003 till 2013 and is currently on deputation from there. He was also the officiating Director of NIT Silchar during 2003-2005, and the Mentor Director of IIT Patna in 2008-09. He was at IIT Kanpur from 1982 till 1995.  He graduated from  IIT Bombay with  B.Tech and M.Tech  degrees in Electrical Engineering. He obtained a  PhD degree in Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA in 1981. His areas of interest are Operating Systems and Networks.  He is an IT consultant to the Govt. of Assam and to a number of public enterprises.

Ms. Manjula Saikia Bhuyan, IAS (Retd.)
Independent Director

Ms. Manjula Saikia Bhuyan is a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from SV Regional College, Surat (NIT) and has 36 years of experience in the field of Industrial Sector particularly in agriculture & rural economy, Small Scale industry.
As an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer she worked various vital position as Joint Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Additional Secretary, Industries & Commerce Deptt and retired as Secretary, Industries & Commerce and Transport Deptt.

Ms. Smriti Chandra
Nominee Director

Ms. Chandra runs NMI’s Indian office. Prior to joining NMI, she was a co-founder of a boutique Investment Banking outfit – First League Ventures – based out of New Delhi, India for 3 years, focused on supporting start-up companies in M&A and raising seed to Series A venture capital funds across technology and consumer sectors. Previously, Ms. Chandra also worked at EY for 10 years where she served clients in multiple sectors with a focus on transaction advisory services, including investment banking (M&A and private equity fund raising), financial due diligence and bid advisory services. She has also worked with KPMG in their transfer pricing division. Ms. Chandra is a qualified Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a Commerce graduate from Bangalore University. She has been associated with NESFB since 20.04.2021

Mr. Tapan Kumar Hazarika
Independent Director

Mr. Tapan Kr Hazarika has wide experience of Agri-Banking sector having worked with NABARD and retired as Chief General Manager. He has a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.
During his stint with NABARD, he was looking after Corporate Planning, Business Strategy & Development, Rural Credits and monitoring of promotional programmes. He was instrumental in drafting, finalizing (and coordinating with DFS, MoF) various budget proposals relating to promotion of rural credit/ development for incorporation in the (Annual)Union Budget of GoI.
He played a key role as member in various Corporate Level Committees viz. Management Committee, Investment Committee, ALCO etc. besides being member in the Board of Supervision (BoS) for State Co-operative Banks (StCBs), District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) responsible for providing directions and guidance on matters related to supervision and inspection and review of inspection findings of these banks and suggesting appropriate measures.

Mr. Sistla Prabhakar
Independent Director

Mr. Sistla Prabhakar is a veteran retired Banker and a former GM in Reserve Bank of India. He was in-Charge of the Foreign Exchange Department of Reserve Bank of India at the time of retirement. He retired after 38 years of experience across various functions of RBI with 25 years of specialized expertise experience in Commercial banks’ supervision.
During his days in RBI he had played key role in Risk Based Policy and Planning Division, Spearheaded the team that designed & implemented the new Risk Based Supervisory, released series of publications relating to SPARC, IRISc model and Compendium of data, was an active member of the Asset Quality Review (AQR) team and was also Lead District officer and Nominee Director on the Boards of RRBs
Post retirement Mr. Sistla Prabhakar has worked as Banking Supervisory Specialist (in the rank of CGM) with SBI.

Mr. Pradeep Kumar Nath
Nominee Director

Mr. Pradeep Kumar Nath is an Economist and Development Banker engaged in financing and developing industries in India. He has experience of working over 25 years in all geographical regions of India in the field of project finance, receivable finance, micro finance, infrastructure project finance, equity finance, risk management, internal audit and compliance, refinance to NBFCs/MFIs/Banks, stressed assets & NPA management in a regulated ecosystem. He was instrumental in computerising Government Incentive Schemes and formulating policies and lending norms for MFIs/NBFCs from SIDBI, HO, Lucknow. He was a Member of Working Group for preparation of Revised Code of Conduct for Microfinance Industry towards responsible lending. He was also Director in the Board of NBFC-MFI and State Industrial Development Corporation. He is a Resource Person of Asian Development Bank, Manila, RBI and IIMs,
At present he is working as Deputy General Manager, SIDBI Guwahati office and Director in the Board of Assam Financial Corporation.