Buch was I-Sec MD, ICICI Bank director - Times of India

Buch was I-Sec MD, ICICI Bank director – Times of India


New Sebi chief Madhabi Puri Buch was an executive director at ICICI Bank and before that she headed the lender’s broking arm, ICICI Securities. Before joining Sebi, she also had a short stint at a private equity firm in Singapore.
The government decision to appoint Buch to head one of the most important financial sector regulatory bodies in the country also signals that the incumbent Ajay Tyagi, who was eligible for a fresh term for a little under two years, may have been denied an extension or reappointment due to the recent revelations regarding National Stock Exchange and its former MD Chitra Ramkrishna. Various commentators have pointed out that the market regulator under Tyagi had not used all the instruments available at its disposal to nail down the culprits at NSE.
Buch grew up in Delhi where she finished her schooling at Convent of Jesus and Mary and then earned a bachelor’s degree from St Stephen’s College. She then went to IIM-Ahmedabad, graduating in 1988, a year after Raghuram Rajan, former RBI governor. Subsequently in 1989, she joined ICICI as a project finance analyst in Mumbai. After a few years with ICICI, she left the lender and relocated to London when her husband, Dhaval Buch, was posted with global FMCG giant Unilever.
In an interview with TOI in August 2010, Buch had said that while in London, she had worked on the shop floors of a departmental store, earning 4 pounds per hour. A few months later, she took up a job as a data entry operator at a college and then as a part-time lecturer at the same institution where she taught accountancy and organisational structure to earn 20 pounds per hour. “It was a major upgrade,” she had told TOI with a chuckle.
For her, no job is inferior and she knows how to pay respect to dignity of labour. In 1997, Buch came back to India and rejoined ICICI Bank. In 2009, just after the global financial crisis was coming to an end and when the financial services industry globally was going through a challenging phase, she was appointed to head ICICI Securities. After running I-Sec for two years, she left the group and relocated to Singapore with her husband.
Between 2011 and 2017, she was on the boards of several top Indian companies and also with a private equity firm in Singapore. In April 2017, she was appointed as a WTM at Sebi which she left in October 2022.
As Sebi chief, Buch’s immediate challenge will be to restore the trust in Indian markets, which has been dented due to the controversy at NSE.
She also needs to ensure smooth sailing for the mega IPO of LIC, estimated to be around Rs 65,000 crore or more, that will make it the biggest public offering in India. In addition, she will also need to carry forward the reforms in the financial market with special focus on retail investors.


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