New Delhi: Overseas Indians yearning to stay in closer touch with their country of origin is common place, but it is not everyday that a true-blue English man seeks Person of Indian Origin (PIO) status.
British banking giant Standard Chartered’s Group CEO Peter Alexander Sands has applied for PIO status for “purely personal” reasons.
Sands’ India connection goes back to his mother, who was born in this country and also went to school in Bombay (now Mumbai).
Confirming the development, a StanChart spokesperson told PTI over telephone from London that Sands “is fond of India as well as most other Indian things. He loves Indian food and Bollywood.”
The spokesperson said Sands was proud of his Indian connection, which had nothing to do with material benefits.
Sands is technically eligible for a PIO status, owing to his mother being born and having studied in the country.
The PIO scheme, which was launched by India in 1999, permits anyone whose parents, grandparents or great grandparents were born in and were permanent India resident to avail of this status.
The scheme is broad-based and covers four generations and also the foreign spouse of a citizen of India or a PIO.
While the StanChart official asserted that Sands’ PIO status would not impact the bank’s India business in any way, the country could look for more frequent visits by him in the future.
“Peter Sands has been a regular visitor to India. The importance of India business now required him to visit India more frequently in his capacity as Group CEO,” the spokesperson said.