Tamal Bandyopadhyay, consulting editor of Mint, and adviser, strategy, at Bandhan Bank, is one of the most respected business journalists in India. Tamal has kept a close watch of the financial sector for close to two decades and has had a ringside view of the enormous changes in Indian finance and banking sector over the period. His previous books, A Bank for the Buck and Sahara: The Untold Story, have been non-fiction bestsellers.
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.