An aging and almost failing government-owned financial institution is converted into a private bank and in a few years it becomes the ‘numero uno’ in its segment. The credit goes to just one man – Padmabhushan - Kundapur Vaman Kamath, the non-executive Chairman of ICICI Bank, the largest private bank in India. He served with great ingenuity, as ICICI Bank's Managing Director and CEO from May 1, 1996 until his retirement from executive responsibilities on April 30, 2009. Literally speaking, he turned the tables on failure.

A GSB Konkani born on December 2, 1947, in Mangalore, Karnataka, he is a mechanical engineer by qualification with an MBA from IIIM-A. He started his career with ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India), but moved to the Asian Development Bank, Manila in 1988. He returned to ICICI as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. Kamath was instrumental in expanding the Group's services to the retail customers. He initiated a process of a series of acquisitions of non-banking finance companies in 1996-98, and led the way to the formation of ICICI Bank. The rest is history.

Elected to the Board of Directors of Infosys Ltd on May 2, 2009, it is being speculated by the media that Kamath may become the non executive Chairman of Infosys upon Mr Narayanamurthy's retirement in 2011.


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