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Mr. K V KAMATH
Reading success stories of greatest professionals stimulates motivational enzyme within us and we all wish to emulate them on path of success.
Exactly with this aim MBARendezvous.com - India's content lead MBA website is presenting you series of success stories of Professionals who have carved niche in their own way and have become icons of Management Fraternity.
Following above you will read today success story of Mr. K V Kamath :
Mr. Kundapur Vaman Kamath, the banker on whom technology leaders bank upon today; was born on December 2, 1947 in a Gaud Saraswat brahmin family (GSB), in Mangalore, Karnataka where he spent most of his early years. After completing Higher Secondary and Pre-University from St. Aloysius School. His love for machines and technology took him to the Karnataka Regional Engineering College (now called National Institute of Technology Karnataka) in Surathkal for a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating from KREC in 1969, he joined the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) for a Masters Degree in Business Administration to sharpen his management skills.
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In 1955, seven years since independence a need for a faster rate of growth was felt and industrialization was the only way ahead. It was at this time that with the initiative of the World Bank and the Indian government, that the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India, ICICI, was formed. Sixteen years later in 1971 to give new dimensions and dynamics to the corporation a new batch of management graduates were hired. Among them, was 24-year-old Mr. Kundapur Vaman Kamath; fresh out of management school in Ahmedabad. In time, Kamath would redefine banking in India and become a legend in his own right.
Mr. Kamath joined the Project Finance Division of ICICI as a management trainee in 1971. A quick learner, Mr. Kamath demonstrated his entrepreneurial skills early in his career and his sheer talent caught the attention of the then chairman of ICICI, N Vaghul, who recalls, "Within a few months of my joining I had interacted with Kamath. He was at that time in the leasing department and I had more or less made up my mind that he would be my successor." Indeed in 1996, ICICI welcomed its new Managing Director and CEO, Mr. KV Kamath.
Impatient by his dream and brimming with confidence to make ICICI a market leader, Mr. Kamath would soon take crucial steps that would influence the fortunes of this financial institution. So was evident in September 1999, within three years of taking over as the Managing Director and CEO of ICICI, Mr. KV Kamath drew up aggressive plans for growth. That year, ICICI Ltd got listed on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE, the first ever Indian financial institution to go the American Depositary Receipts, ADR route.
Mr. Kamath could sense the problem of HRD in ICICI, and it had to break out of the problem to survive. After revolutionary changes in functioning of ICICI, Mr. Kamath in an interview said, “It is a habit of mine to learn from everybody, and as I was reading an article in a magazine, I came across the phrase, 'parking'. It gave me the solution I was looking for. In any organizational change, you give people a golden handshake but there will still be people working in areas from which you want to push them on or out. So you park them in other spots, you remove the blockage, and get the flow going the way you want it. We parked people all over the place. A year-and-a-half later, we offered people a second golden handshake. Many 'parked' people took it and went away. By the time the third one came, the job ended. The important lesson for us was that the organizational chain must be free, the flow has to be free, and you can't have anyone clogging it. Correction of the organization has to be done all the time. Hire and fire works. I think we use 'parking' very effectively.”
His efforts ultimately lead to the computerization of ICICI. In recognition of this achievement, the Asian Banker Journal of Singapore granted him the title of the most e-savvy CEO present in Asia. Even today, ICICI Bank Ltd features one of the most sophisticated and technology derived banking system. In 2001, he was named the Asian Business Leader of the Year.
Recently, on 2nd may 2011 has been appointed as non-executive chairman of the second-largest software exporter, Infosys Ltd (earlier Infosys Technologies Ltd). The post was earlier with founder N R Narayana Murthy. Elated Mr. Kamath said, "I feel greatly honored to have been asked to be the Chairman of Infosys by the board of directors and accept this responsibility with a deep sense of humility." Waxing eloquent about his predecessor in the post, the former ICICI chief said, "Nobody can replace Murthy. Taking Murthy's position is not possible for anybody. One can only be Chair of the Board but one can never be a Murthy."
Having engineered one of the most spectacular growth stories in the Indian banking space over past four decades, Mr. Kamath now has a responsibility of India’s second largest IT Company. He is the first person in a top position in Infosys who is an outsider and is also one without technology background. But Mr. Kamath doesn’t see any problem in that. According to him he has a light control over the controls and the entire company works together as a unit. He feels that in Infosys it’s time for execution of vision that has already been articulated by the management.
Mr. Kamath believes that once someone tastes success one must not let it go easily. That’s where culture comes in. One needs to take the innovative spirit and push it to a level where change, learning, and knowledge sharing become a regular part of the company’s culture.
Mr. Kamath has received several awards. He is recipient of coveted “Padma Bhushan”, one of India’s highest civilian honors, in 2008. He was also given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the NDTV Profit Business Leadership Awards 2008. There is a long list of Titles that has been given to him. Mr. Kamath was named 'Businessman of the Year' by Forbes Asia and The Economic Times ‘Business Leader of the Year' in 2007 ; Business Standard's 'Banker of the Year' and CNBC-TV18's 'Outstanding Business Leader of the Year’ in 2006; Business India's 'Businessman of the Year' in 2005; and CNBC's 'Asian Business Leader of the Year' in 2001. He has also been given an honorary Ph.D. by the Banaras Hindu University.