Kamath, the force behind ICICI's rise | india | Hindustan Times
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Kamath, the force behind ICICI's rise

india Updated: Apr 30, 2011 21:54 IST

K V Kamath, the new chairman of India's second largest IT company Infosys, is a mechanical engineer-turned banker who is best known for turning ICICI into India's largest private bank.

Kamath was born Dec 2, 1947, in Mangalore, about 350 km from Bangalore on the west coast, a land of bankers from where Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank and Karnataka Bank started decades ago.

He spent early years in Mangalore, completing schooling and pre-college studies from St. Aloysius School.

Kamath acquired a degree in mechanical engineering from the Karnataka Regional Educational College, Surathkal.

After graduating in 1969, he joined the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to do an MBA.

Armed with the two degrees, Kamath began his working career with ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) in 1971.

Kamath had break in service with the ICICI Group when he went to Asian Development Bank in 1988. He returned to ICICI eight years later as its managing director and CEO.

In ICICI, Kamath is remembered for setting up branches, ATMs, selling various kinds of loan products aggressively.

He retired in April 2009 and became its non-executive chairman. Soon he was also taken on the board of Infosys by the outgoing chairman and founder N.R. Narayan Murthy.

Kamath has won many awards, including India's third highest civilian honour Padma Bhushan.

He has been named "Businessman of the Year" by Forbes Asia and "Business Leader of the Year" by the Economic Times and CNBC's "Asian Business Leader of the Year" in 2001.

He was also the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry in 2008-09. He is also on the board of directors of several companies such Lupin Limited, the Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited and Schlumberger Limited.

Kamath is married and has a son and a daughter.