You can love me, hate me but you can not ignore me…

K C Chakrabarty
K C Chakrabarty

Tribute to Dr K C Chakrabarty, former RBI deputy governor, who passed away on 26 March. 

By S N Ghatia

S N Ghatia

ON 26 March 2021, TV channels in India started flashing the news about sudden demise of Dr K C Chakrabarty, former RBI deputy governor. His colleagues, friends deeply felt the vacuum with the passing away of a radical thinker, innovator and veteran banker. As many groups on social media were abuzz with condolence messages and shared memories about the stalwart of Indian banking, the following message from Alok Tewary immediately caught my attention:

While listening to Dr Chakrabarty at Farewell Function in May, 2004 in Bank of Baroda London, Alok was so mesmerised that he took a Paper Napkin from the table and started noting down. Afterwards Alok requested Dr Chakrabarty to autograph it. At first, he did not agree. “However, on my insisting, he relented. He was a gentleman to the core.”

Dr Chakrabarty influenced and inspired lives and careers of thousands of bank officials like Alok in all the organisations where he worked. He was a mentor to many. His career growth itself is a legend in Indian banking industry. In the initial years of his career at Bank of Baroda, he dreamt of becoming deputy governor of the RBI. He used to ask colleagues why they considered it an impossible dream. With meticulous planning, knowledge, intelligence and dedication, he reached to the top rungs of Indian banking:

Period Last Position HeldOrganisation
1978-2004General ManagerBank of Baroda
2004-2005Executive DirectorPunjab National Bank
2005-2007Chairman & Managing DirectorIndian Bank
2007-2009Chairman & Managing DirectorPunjab National Bank
2009-2014Deputy GovernorReserve Bank of India

With his constant efforts, Bank of Baroda became the first Indian bank to have its own office property in London. He was instrumental in the success of Public Issues of Shares in Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank. At the RBI, he succeeded in changing interest rate and service charges rules in favour of customers. There is a long list of similar achievements to his credit in every organisation where he worked.

At the macro level, he made significant contributions in Financial Inclusion, Financial Literacy, Restructuring of RRBs, Banking Regulation and Supervision, Currency Management, Financial Stability, Customer Service, Rural Credit and Human Resources Management. He was Chairman of Bhartiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt. Ltd. and Chairman of College of Agricultural Banking. As RBI nominee, he was closely associated with National Housing Bank, Oriental General Insurance Co., Confederation of Indian Industry, Central Depository Services Ltd., National Institute of Bank Management, Agricultural Finance Corporation Ltd., Indian Institute of Banking and Finance, General Insurance Corporation Ltd. etc.

Though straightforward and outspoken in expressing his views, he was an intellectual with a warm heart and always open to correction. Having worked for 26 years with Bank of Baroda, he remained a Barodian at the core of his heart. Throughout the banking industry and the people with whom he came into contact, Dr K C Chakrabarty will be missed a lot for his excellent qualities of head and heart.

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