Slice secures RBI nod to appoint ex-Andhra Bank executive as MD & CEO

Satish Kumar Kalra, former executive director of Andhra Bank, has joined North East Small Finance Bank as its new MD and CEO, sources aware of the matter said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has already approved the appointment and Kalra has assumed office as well.

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North East Small Finance Bank is in the process of getting merged with Bengaluru-headquartered fintech unicorn Slice.

His appointment comes after former chief of the bank Rupali Kalita retired from the position. The merged entity is likely to be called NE Small Finance Bank.

Kalra is expected to steer the fintech’s banking ambitions going forward and revive the beleaguered lender. ET had reported earlier this month saying Slice is looking at a new fundraise. The process has now formally begun, people in the know added.


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“With CEO appointment done, operational matters of the bank would be a priority. This will also help with broader funding plans for the merged entity,” a person aware of the matter said.

Slice founder Rajan Bajaj declined to comment on Kalra’s appointment at the bank. Bajaj has become a member of the lender’s board.

New age lender
The RBI approved the merger between Slice and North East Small Finance Bank earlier this year with a plan to create a tech-first digital banking platform aimed at driving financial inclusion in the northeastern states.


“The bank wants to create digital banking units across the country with the aim to serve its customers. The idea is to create a service-driven branch network and not a sales-driven one,” said the person aware of the plan.

The newly formed bank will have to get clearances from the RBI regarding new products and expanding into new geographies.

In terms of products, ET has learnt that the bank will launch home loans for the affordable segment, business loans to serve small merchants and consumer loans–the current mainstay of the Slice business.

“Slice offers payments, credit on the prepaid rails, but going forward the current customers will be offered savings accounts with the new bank,” said the person quoted above.

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