Ajay Banga, CEO of Master Card International

Ajay Banga is the current president and chief executive officer of MasterCard.

MasterCard announced on April 12, 2010 that Ajay Banga, previously MasterCard’s president and chief operating officer, had been named by the Board of Directors to serve as the company’s president and chief executive officer, effective July 1, 2010. The company also announced that Banga would become a member of MasterCard’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.

Banga succeeded Robert W. Selander, who had been MasterCard’s chief executive officer since March 1997.

Early life

Banga was born in a Saini  Sikh family in Khadki outside Pune, Maharashtra in India where his father, an army officer, was posted. The family's origin is from Jalandhar in Punjab which is a traditional home place of Sainis of Banga clan.
His father is Lt.General (retd.) Harbhajan Singh Banga who is a decorated army general of Indian Army. He is also the younger brother of another well known CEO M S Banga He grew up and schooled across India, successively in Secunderabad, Jalandhar, Delhi, Hyderabad and in Shimla, where he finished his schooling.

Banga Sainis

Banga Sainis are concentrated in  Nawanshehr,  Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur areas of Punjab. There is a town called Banga in Nawanshehr district which is in all probability named after this  clan, although its ownership seemed to have transferred to Darbari Jats during Akbar's reign. Banga clan is also found among the Hill Rajputs as Bangwai. A village by almost identical  name is found in Jalandhar  district and it is totally Saini dominated.  Some other  villages of Banga Sainis  are as follows:   Khadiala Sainiyan, Patti,  Matiayana,  Mukhliana and Basiala,  Shekhpura Bag,  Chhoriyan (near Ropar), Bhorlay and Machhiwara (near Ludhiana). The history of Rajput state of Bangahal in HP may also have some past association with this clan.


Banga did not choose an army career his father was keen he pursue. He went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University and is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.


Beginning his business career with Nestle in 1981, Banga spent the next 13 years in a variety of assignments spanning sales, marketing, and general management. He later joined Pepsico and was instrumental in the launch of its international fast food franchises in India as the economy liberalized.

Prior to joining MasterCard, Banga spent 13 years at Citigroup from 1996, and held a variety of senior management roles in the United States and Europe, Middle East, Africa regions before becoming chairman and chief executive officer of Citi's international global consumer group in 2005. He was also responsible for Citi's brand and marketing work across the entire company. Most recently, he was chief executive officer of Citi Asia Pacific, responsible for all of the company’s business lines in the region, including institutional banking, alternative investments, wealth management, consumer banking and credit cards. He was also a member of Citi's senior leadership and executive committees.

Banga serves on the board of Kraft Foods Inc. In addition, he is on the board of trustees of the Asia Society, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Financial Services Roundtable and The Economic Club of New York, and is a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association.

Banga was vice chairman of the board of trustees of the New York Hall of Science and a board member of the National Urban League. He was formerly a business sponsor of Citi's African heritage network – NYC.

Banga has a keen interest in social development issues, and over the period from 2005 to mid-2009, he spearheaded Citi's strategy in the microfinance sector across the world.