B P Kanungo, a former deputy governor of the RBI, and Kaushik Dutta, the founder of TARI, have been appointed as independent directors by fintech unicorn BharatPe in an effort to increase governance rigour and transparency in the lead-up to a listing. "Business is about to turn profitable in a few months and we are strengthening governance at the company by appointing independent directors," BharatPe CEO Suhail Sameer told PTI. He stated that the corporation, which currently has nine directors on its board, aims to have at least one-third independent directors. Along with Sameer, co-founder Shashvat Nakrani serves as executive director on the board. The nominees for investors are four. Rajnish Kumar, a former SBI chairman, serves as the board's chairman. BharatPe, he said, would look to go public in the next 2-3 years' time. "Post-2024 (general) elections should be a good period," he said. While Kanungo recently retired as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Dutta currently is the chairman and independent director at Zomato. "The appointments are in line with the company's aim to build a world-class institution and be the torchbearer of corporate governance in the start-up world," he said. BharatPe, which allows shop owners to make digital payments through QR codes, is now in 400 cities and has crossed USD 20 billion in annualised TPV. Kanungo, who served as the RBI's deputy governor from 2017 to 2021, will collaborate closely with the board and help BharatPe carry out its plan to create a high-quality, profitable company. According to Dutta, whose leadership roles at PwC gave him extensive experience in corporate governance, the company will need his advice as it gets ready to go public in the next two to three years. "In line with BharatPe's commitment to having a Board with at least one-third independent directors, Kewal Handa stepped down from the Board but would continue to support the Board and the Management in an advisory capacity," a company statement said. Speaking on these appointments, Rajnish Kumar said, "Earlier this year, we had put in place a robust governance framework and were in the process of identifying the right leaders who could join the Board in building BharatPe 2.0. The recent important appointments are driven by this very thought and we hope that the composition of the Board, processes, and compliances in place will lead to best governance practices in the industry." Sameer said the diverse experience and deep understanding of the industry and the regulatory landscape of the two independent directors will be a great asset for BharatPe as it continues to build products that disrupt the market. Kanungo, a seasoned banker, joined RBI in 1982 and during his stint of close to four decades looked after various departments of the central bank including information technology, payment and settlement systems, foreign exchange, and internal debt management. Dutta is one of the co-founders of Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI), a nonprofit organisation that conducts research on sustainability, public policy, and corporate governance. Additionally, he serves on the boards of NDTV, Snapdeal, HCL Infosystems, Policy Bazaar, Zomato, and Newgen Software, all of which are well-known Indian corporations.