Spandana Sphoorty names Bharat Financial Inclusion’s Shalabh Saxena MD-CEO

Microfinance lender Spandana Sphoorty has appointed Shalabh Saxena as the new managing director and chief executive officer (MD & CEO) of the company. This comes after the exit of Padmaja Reddy as the CEO, who was also the founder of the company. Saxena is currently the MD&CEO of Bharat Financial Inclusion.

In a statement to the exchanges, the company said, Ashish Damani has been appointed as the President and chief financial officer of the company. Incidentally, Damani is also from Bharat Financial Inclusion and is currently serving as the CFO. Further, Abanti Mitra, who has been an independent director on the board of the company since 2011, has been appointed as the non-executive chairperson of the board with immediate effect. Outgoing Chairman, Mr. Deepak Vaidya, will continue to serve on the Board as an independent director.

After Reddy’s exit, a management committee was managing the day-to-day functions of the microfinance lender. In a statement, the company said, “Spandana continues to perform strongly under the experienced leadership of its chief business officer Amit Biswal, chief risk officer Sharmila Kunguma and company secretary Ramesh Periasamy”. The company has also hired independent third-party firms Alvarez & Marsal, PwC, and CAM to provide support and conduct special review exercises during the leadership transition.

It has also said that the management committee is also in the processing of addressing gaps in the transition of services from the previous MD. The statement said, prior to her resignation Reddy had transferred the company’s IT systems to a new IT vendor and outsourced its management to that vendor. While there has been no meaningful impact on the day-to-day business operations of the company, to ensure a smooth transition and business continuity, the company is taking steps to engage with this new vendor appropriately and has also made good progress on creating a parallel IT environment.

Further, the company has said, its board was made aware of some concerns relating to certain gold loan branches of its subsidiary Criss Financial. “The matter relates to its branches with a combined portfolio of less than 1 per cent of Spandana’s consolidated AUM, and therefore would not have a material financial impact on the company”, said the statement.

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