27 February 2020



It is a tribute to the intelligence and ability of an Indian leader to build a global institution that Kundapur Vaman Kamath, 67, non-executive chairman of ICICI Bank, with his enormous experience in multilateral lending and raising capital from local and global markets, understanding of the international political economy and diplomatic skills, has been named as the first chief of the $100 billion New Development Bank, established by the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Kamath who retired from ICICI Bank in 2009 is credited with transforming it into India’s biggest private sector lender. Kamath’s banking accomplishments in a career spanning more than four decades earned him Forbes Asia’s Businessman of The Year Award in 2007, a Padma Bhushan in 2008, and numerous international accolades.  The legendary banker’s talents as a lateral thinker and executor of plans, not to mention his ability to build organisations, will be tested as he moves to the new assignment in Shanghai on what could possibly be the last leg of a journey to deliver the final stamp of his professional legacy. It will be a tough task managing the various stakeholders – while host country China will be attempting to boost its economic influence further, India will also be looking for funds to raise its own infrastructure profile. It will be a great help then for the country to have him at the helm. Kamath has been known to be an eternal optimist and go getter.   In his new role the banker will have to play the role of a shrewd international balancer.





With the Hindu Goddess of Wealth embedded in his name it is not difficult to see why steel baron Lakshmi Mittal’s fortune is on the upswing. The UK based industrialist may have climbed down a wee bit from his former position in the global rich Indians status list but his company has inked a profitable pact with the state owned SAIL, India's largest steel maker – the Maharatna has a $9 billion turnover, operates 5 integrated steel plants across the country, and is also the second largest producer of iron ore – to jointly set up a steel plant to cater to the fast growing automotive sector. The 64-year-old UK based businessman is seen as today's "most important man in the world of steel by virtue of being chairman and chief executive of ArcelorMittal". The new tie up will secure advantage for his firm ArcelorMittal as India’s new business landscape gets set up to open up under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ scheme which calls international firms to participate in the transformation of the country into a global manufacturing hub. With automotive manufacturers increasingly eyeing prospect in the huge Indian market ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading supplier to the global automotive sector with 17 per cent market share and revenues from the business nudging $12 billion, has been quick to see the advantage from the tie up with the Indian public sector firm. The company formed in 2006 from Mittal Steel's takeover and merger with Arcelor, is present in over 60 countries and has an industrial footprint in over 20 nations.

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