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Bandhan: The Making of a Bank


This is the story of Bandhan, the only bank that emerged in eastern India after Independence. Founded by the son of a sweet vendor, with a mere Rs 2 lakh, the sum total of his life savings.

On 17 June, 2015, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh stepped out of the Reserve Bank of India building in Mumbai with the much-coveted banking licence, beating some of the country's top corporate houses. This moment compensated for all the frustrations that had come along the way. A year later, Bandhan Bank was launched with 6.7 million small borrowers.

So, how did Ghosh build India's biggest MFI from scratch and then, along with his team, transform it into a universal bank? Bandhan: The Making of a Bank chronicles that journey.

This is also Ghosh's personal story-of a boy growing up in small-town Agartala struggling with poverty, but relentless in his ambition to make it big. He battles competition, hostile moneylenders, a tough economic climate and the perpetual lack of resources. Nobody in India perhaps knows better than him the psyche of a small borrower and the alchemy of doing business with the poor, profitably.This is one of India's biggest entrepreneurial stories.


kaushik basu

Kaushik Basu

Chief economist and senior vice president, World Bank; C. Marks Professor and professor of economics at Cornell University May 2016

What makes this a remarkable story is that Bandhan Bank started out from this rather dismal setting, but then succeeded against all odds, setting an example of how a for-profit bank can also be a model of corporate social responsibility and a powerful instrument of financial and social inclusion. It still has a great distance to go; and much will depend on how its story unfolds over the years. Regardless, this is an important tale, with implications for not just finance and banking, but also poverty eradication and development, and that is what makes this a book well worth reading.



Deepak Parekh, HDFC Chairman

Bandhan, India’s youngest bank has a deep and long history behind it. A first-of-its-kind, the book takes the reader through India’s journey towards financial inclusion. Tamal brilliantly captures a story of hope and what it takes to lift millions of Indians out of poverty.

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