The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) has appointed Navneet Singh as country executive and chief representative of the bank's growing India operation.

Based in Mumbai, Singh will drive the development and implementation of BNY Mellon's growth strategy in India. His focus will be on broadening and strengthening local client relationships and he has no product specific duties.

"India, with its high growth trajectory and expanding savings and investment pool, is therefore a key focus for our company," said Christopher Sturdy, BNY Mellon Asia-Pacific chairman. "As we grow our business, we need to ensure we attract the best talent so we continually deliver flawless execution and client service."

Singh reports to Sturdy who is based in Hong Kong.

BNY Mellon currently has some business in India for cash and trade and cross-border corporate trust and depositary receipts. It also operates a software development centre in Chennai and a processing office in Pune. The bank has operated in the country since 1983.

Sturdy, who was appointed BNY Mellon's first Asia-Pacific chairman little more than a year ago, is driving regional growth. "We're all right at the senior level but we need more boots on the ground, in-country, for sales and client relations," he said in an earlier interview.

The bank plans to expand its operations in five "top-tier" markets: Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea. Last month, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority granted BNY Mellon a banking license.

BNY Mellon is still exploring how to expand its India business. The bank acknowledges a significant opportunity for international fund products among local high-net-worth investors in the future but is still exploring whether to upgrade its representative offices in Mumbai to fully fledged branches or enter into a joint venture with a local institution.

When asked if Singh's appointment represents a step towards a locally incorporated branch in India, a BNY Mellon representative simply called the appointment the "next step forward".

"BNY Mellon plans to expand its operations across India and increase its local employment in the future as it looks to build or acquire complementary local capabilities," they continued.

Singh joined BNY Mellon from Standard Chartered where he was most recently regional head of legal and compliance for South Asia. Previously, he had served as the bank's head of strategy and head of corporate banking in India.

While country and regional financial data is unavailable, BNY Mellon had $20.7 trillion assets under custody and administration, $926 billion under management and processed global payments worth approximately $1.8 trillion on a daily basis at the end of June.