Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022

Who Is Chitra Ramkrishna? All You Need To Know About Himalayan Yogi Influence in NSE Case

Chitra Ramkrishna recently made headlines after Sebi said she had been allowing an unidentified Himalayan yogi to advise her on important decisions for the past 20 years

Chitra Ramkrishna
Chitra Ramkrishna Screen Grab

Chitra Ramkrishna, the former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), has had an illustrious career, however, the former chief of India’s largest stock exchange has landed in controversy following the shocking revelations by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

Also Read: From Co-Location Scam To Yogi, All You Need To Know About Chitra Ramakrishna Case

Earlier hailed as the “queen of the bourses ', Ramkrishna recently made headlines after Sebi said she had been allowing an unidentified Himalayan yogi to advise her on important decisions for the past 20 years. 

The order said she was influenced by the "yogi" in the appointment of Anand Subramanian as NSE's group operating officer and advisor to the managing director.

In its 190-page order, Sebi added she leaked key business secrets pertaining to day-to-day operations.

Here's all you need to know about Chitra Ramkrishna

1) Ramakrishna was the first woman to head an Indian stock exchange.

2) She completed her chartered accountancy at the age of 21 and joined the Industrial Development Bank of India in 1985 as assistant manager in charge of capital markets.

3) In the 1980s, Ramkrishna was involved in the drafting of the legislative framework of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

4) She was appointed joint managing director of NSE in 2009 and promoted to chief executive officer (CEO) in 2013.

5) Ramkrishna was associated with the NSE in a leadership position since its inception in 1991.

6) She was instrumental in setting up a pan-India VSAT network and building the infrastructure and legislative framework for India's first depositor.

7) She is also credited with facilitating screen-based trading.

8) Under her watch, NSE launched several products, including futures and options, exchange-traded funds, global indices like S&P 500.

9) Ramkrishna was awarded 'Forbes Women Leader of the year' in 2013.

10) Fortune India termed Ramkrishna as "the most powerful woman in India's securities market"

The NSE case

In its 190-page order, Sebi talks about Ramkrishna sharing NSE’s confidential information, including organisational structure, financial projections, business plans, agenda of the board meeting, and even ratings/performance appraisals of employees with an "unknown person".

It also mentions the appointment of Anand Subramanian as NSE's CSO in 2013 with a fat compensation of Rs 1.3 crore, allegedly following emails by the 'Yogi'.

Sebi has alleged Ramkrishna and Group Operating Officer and her Advisor Anand Subramanian ran a money-making scheme during their stint at NSE.

Prior to joining NSE, Subramanian worked at an arm of Balmer & Lawrie as Vice President at less than Rs 15 lakh per annum. He was roped in by NSE in March 2013 at an annual compensation of Rs 1.68 crore. By April 2016, Subramanian compensation had increased to Rs 4.21 crore, according to a report in Business Standard.

Over a period of three years, Ramakrishna kept on promoting him, eventually making him GOO. She even exempted him from working five days a week and instead asked to come only for three days.

The Sebi order goes on to say that Ramkrishna indulged in “financial misdeed” by increasing Subramanian’s compensation in an “arbitrary and disproportionate manner”.

Ramkrishna in her 2018 submission to Sebi said the person was Yogi Paramahansa who may be largely dwelling in the Himalayan ranges.

Sebi has penalised NSE, Ramkrishna, and her predecessor Ravi Narain for governance lapses in the hiring of Anand Subramanian.

Sebi has also slapped a fine of Rs 3 crore on Ramkrishna, Rs 2 crore each on NSE, Subramanian, Narain, and Rs 6 lakh on V R Narasimhan, who was the chief regulatory officer and compliance officer.

Further, NSE has been barred from launching any new product for six months.

The Income Tax Department on Thursday raided the premises of Ramkrishna and Subramanian in Mumbai as part of a tax evasion investigation against them.