The United States' candidate to lead the World Bank, Ajay Banga, has helmed large institutions and "helped bring 500 million unbanked people into the digital economy," according to US authorities. And those who have worked with him describe him as a straight-talking leader who is able to work with people of different cultures. Banga, 63, has walked an unusual path to potential leadership of the development lender. Born in Pune, near Mumbai, his father was an Indian army officer and he moved around regularly in his childhood. Banga, who is Sikh, wears a turban and has a full beard, started out at Nestle in India taking on sales and marketing assignments before moving to PepsiCo and eventually joining Citigroup in 1996. There, he worked his way up to chief executive officer of the Asia-Pacific region before joining Mastercard in 2009 as chief operating officer and being named its chief executive a year later. In 2021, he joined private equity firm General Atlantic. While he was born and raised in India, spending a part of his career there, the Indian-American leader has also been described as an Americanized baseball lover who "owns practically every Elvis Presley album that you could think of,"according to a Financial Times interview. Banga's nomination as a candidate for World Bank president comes as current World Bank chief David Malpass announced recently he would step down nearly a year early. The Washington-based development lender is accepting candidate nominations, in a process that will run until March 29.Also Read: Who is Ajay Banga, the newly elected president of the World Bank and the first Indian-American to hold the position?