Group President & Global Head, Climate Strategy & Responsible Banking, YES Bank Ltd.
Representing UNEP FI member: YES BANK Limited (India)
Connect with Namita Vikas on LinkedIn
I believe that organizational goals must positively impact and contribute towards overall sustainable development mandate while ensuring sustainable business growth. This belief has driven me during my leadership positions at Marico, one of India’s largest FMCG companies, Microsoft Corporation, Confederation of India Industry (CII), India’s largest business association and now at YES BANK, India’s fourth largest private sector bank, where I lead agenda on climate change, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility and policy advocacy.
With a rich experience spanning 28 years in stakeholder relations and sustainable development, I have witnessed the shift in India from lack of awareness of development issues in India, to a call for active actions from governments, corporate sector, and society. My experiences have ranged from working with grassroots communities to formulating ‘board room to copy room’ strategies with actional goals, which, I believe, have contributed to creating a positive impact in India’s development journey.
I believe that in order to achieve global transformation, the banking sector has to play a pivotal role in reorienting economy and financial flows towards sustainable development. Over the last six years, through my work in thought leadership on climate change, corporate social responsibility, and through my extensive engagements with UN as chair of NCFA Steering committee and as a previous member of Global Steering Committee and APAC chair of UNEP FI, I have helped forged strong partnership with national and international governments, multilateral agencies, financial institutions and civil society globally and regionally.
By being part of the global steering committee, I will not play an instrumental role in moving the needle in right direction towards achieving the goals of transforming the financial sector, but will also inspire other leaders in the banking sector to lead their own organizations towards sustainable financing.
With 28 years of diverse global experience in Banking, Technology & FMCG, with particular focus on Design Thinking, Sustainable Finance, Climate Action, ESG Risk Management, Public Policy & Corporate Citizenship, I have been instrumental in outlining YES BANK’s integrated approach towards climate finance, by integrating ESG parameters in financial decisions, developing innovative products and services along with various business verticals addressing environmental and social concerns fostering financial inclusion, facilitating and mobilizing investments in positive impact sectors and building institutional capacity and culture of ‘Responsible Banking’.
In line with its vision to be benchmark financial institution for sustainability and inclusivity in India, I spearhead development of focussed approach towards climate finance, which has led to multiple industry first achievements. These include issuance of India’s maiden green bonds in 2015, facilitation of nation’s first ever social bond in 2017 and launch of India’s first green retail product ‘Green Future Deposit’ in 2018 with a commitment of mobilizing the fund deposited by customers to positive impact sectors.
Spearheading the climate strategy at the bank, I have been instrumental in conceptualizing and developing innovative financing mechanisms and establishing alliances with internal and external stakeholders including national government agencies, multinational development banks and financial institutions to accelerate climate finance in India.
Apart from being a certified independent director and a prominent speaker at influential national and international platforms such as the UN General Assembly and G20 amongst others, I hold a number of key positions. I have been elected as the Chairperson of Natural Capital Finance Alliance & serves on the boards of YES FOUNDATION; Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN); World Resource Institute – India GHG Program; and Indian Centre for CSR (ICCSR). I am also an active member of key councils & committees of industrial bodies such as the BIS, CII, FICCI, IMC and BCCI.
I was ranked one of the “Leading Women in Business Sustainability” by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and was globally recognized as the “Sustainability Leader of the Year” by Ethical Corporation, UK in 2017. In 2018, I was named one of “Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen” by CSR Works International.