Atul Varde

Senior Vice President, Digital Solutions & Business Technology

As the senior vice president of digital solutions and business technology, Atul Varde uses his depth of experience in digital banking, IT security, and strategic technology management to realize the promise of digital transformation in a way that helps Vancity meet its goals in values-based financial services.

Early in his career, Atul worked in engineering roles that applied IT to the post-secondary education, healthcare and power generation sectors. He subsequently founded a successful IT company specializing in financial data processing, custom software development, and information systems consulting for credit unions. He most recently enjoyed an eight-year tenure as executive vice-president and chief information officer at Affinity Credit Union, another values-based financial cooperative, located in Saskatchewan.

At Affinity, he oversaw the launch of several progressive innovations such as a blockchain-based voting system for credit unions, using e-signatures for mortgage renewals, and member-friendly mobile payments on the Android platform. His team also helped to introduce “remote cheque deposit” mobile technology to Canada in 2013, an innovation that went live for Affinity’s members before it was used at any of Canada’s banks. “The uptake of that exceeded our wildest expectations,” he recalls.

Atul joined Vancity in February 2018 as vice-president of digital, and moved into the senior vice-president position after four months. As a creative and engaged leader, he focuses on empowering employees by educating them on the potential and limitations of technology, and helping them understand how it ties to business outcomes and community impact.

Atul earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, followed by continuing education at the University of California, Berkeley, and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

He is a strong believer in the immense importance of lifelong learning. In 2015, he was invited to join the inaugural Vancouver cohort of the THNK School of Creative Leadership, a global collaborative network that motivates leaders to enhance social entrepreneurship skills and innovation in their work, thus equipping them to find solutions to address societal challenges. Born and raised in Mumbai (then called Bombay), Atul arrived in Canada as a graduate student. He enjoys canoeing and hiking with his family, indulging in global cinema and keeping up with current events.

In the community, he has volunteered with numerous organizations, including the Canadian Information Processing Society and the Good Food Junction Co-operative. He is interested in continuing his volunteer and advocacy service in Vancouver, which was initiated during his affordable housing work with THNK in 2015.