Mumbai: S. Ramadorai, non-executive vice-chairman of India’s biggest computer services firm Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), will join the board of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and become chairman of Asia’s oldest bourse, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
This will be the first step in a major restructuring of the board, which will also see a Deutsche Boerse AG nominee replacing the one from Singapore Exchange Ltd as a precursor to Sensex futures and options being traded on two exchanges—Eurex and International Securities Exchange Holdings Inc. (ISE)—run by the German entity, the person added.
New challenge: S. Ramadorai. Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
Ramadorai, 65, will replace Jagdish Capoor, who stepped down last week as chairman of Asia’s oldest stock exchange citing health reasons.
Ramadorai’s induction comes at a time when the 134-year-old exchange is trying to boost its technological capabilities to win market share from its younger and larger rival, the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. To this end, BSE acquired a technology company, Marketplace Technologies Pvt. Ltd, and inducted its founder Ashish Kumar Chauhan as deputy chief executive officer (CEO) of the exchange.
BSE’s board meets on Monday to discuss its restructuring. BSE spokesperson Kalyan S. Bose declined to comment.
Ramadorai didn’t respond to calls seeking comment.
“Ramadorai is a known institution builder and well respected in corporate circles,” said the person, who wanted to remain unidentified because of the sensitive nature of of the matter. “He will inject more professionalism into the stock exchange.”
According to the TCS website, “Joining as a trainee engineer, Ramadorai took over as CEO in 1996 and has been instrumental in building TCS to a $6 billion (Rs27,480 crore today) global software and services company.”
The position of BSE chairman is a non-executive post. As CEO of TCS, Ramadorai helped establish the Tata group unit’s presence in the financial technology infrastructure space.
According to a company statement, India’s largest technology services provider “has played a key role in building the national financial infrastructure through projects such as the National Stock Exchange, NSDL (National Securities Depository Ltd), NCDEX (National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Ltd), State Bank of India as well as for various departments of the Reserve Bank of India and the finance ministry.”
Ramadorai retired as CEO in October.
Apart from Capoor, the terms of two other members of the board, government nominee Jitesh Khosla, who is a joint secretary in the ministry of corporate affairs, and shareholder director Prakash R. Kacholia of Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd, are coming to an end in the next couple of months. The person didn’t say who will replace these board members.
Another director, Ishaat Hussain, who is a director at Tata Sons Ltd, may have to step down because the exchange cannot have two people from the same corporate group on its board, the person said.
The nominee of Singapore Exchange may be replaced because of a potential conflict of interest. NSE’s Nifty futures trade on the Singapore Exchange.
BSE, which lags behind its younger rival in the derivatives space, wants to boost its presence in that segment by taking advantage of the brand value of the Sensex, which is India’s most widely followed stock index, and listing products based on it on Frankfurt-based Eurex and New York-based ISE.
BSE is making these changes at a time when two new stock exchanges—the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd’s stock exchange and the United Stock Exchange of India—have entered the business. It is valued at $1 billion on the basis of the last stake sales, compared with $2.5 billion for NSE.
For the quarter ended December 2009, BSE posted a 16.7% increase in its net profit to Rs55.42 crore.