Central Depository Services Ltd (CDSL) rivals can’t afford to take its new boss, N Rangachary, lightly. The former founding chairman of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), Rangachary's top priority at CDSL is to lead the depository's foray into businesses that have hitherto been the preserve of larger rival National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).
Pension and taxation are among the segments that CDSL has long wanted to enter and Rangachary, with his background as taxman with contacts with top insurance firms, could just hold the key.
Known for his simple sartorial tastes — a spotless white shirt and white pants — and trademark tilak on his forehead, Rangachary was seen as the most down-to-earth chief of a financial sector regulator and is widely recognised as the . It was his idea as Irda chairman between 2000 and 2003 to privatise the Indian insurance industry. Prior to that, he served as Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes from 1995 to 1996.
Indeed, it was his tenure as Irda chairman that brought him real recognition. At the time, he common refrain among insurance firms about Rangachary: What you see is what you get.
When the Centre decided to take control of funds with Irda, Rangachary strenuously argued for regulator’s need for funds to develop the insurance sector. Even while he lost that battle, he never flinched from taking up cudgels for development of the insurance sector and for the benefit of customers. For his efforts, he was named International Insurance Man of the Year in 1999 by the International Insurance Council of the US.