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The Custodian of Trust

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With four decades of service in the State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest commercial b... Read More

Product Description

With four decades of service in the State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest commercial bank, Rajnish Kumar retired as its Chairman in October 2020. Credited with steering SBI through a very difficult period for the bank and the banking industry in India, he played a stellar role in saving YES Bank and led from the front to resolve the problems faced by many high-profile stressed assets. An MSc in physics, Kumar is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB), an avid traveller and is passionate about badminton.

He was silently managing the crisis in India's banking sector then.
Now he shares these stories in his memoir.


It began from a modest house in one of the narrowest lanes of the old city of Meerut. From being a probationary officer in the State Bank of India (SBI) in 1980 to its Chairman in 2017, Rajnish Kumar had an amazingly interesting journey in which he saw the many changes in India's banking sector that greatly impacted the country and its economy.


As the Chairman of SBI, Kumar recounts, his term was rather momentous as the period-from 2017 to 2020-during which he shouldered this responsibility was rather unique under any circumstances. The Indian banking sector was going through one of its most tumultuous phases. The problem of non-performing loans (NPLs) had severely impacted the balance sheet and profitability of banks, especially those in the public sector.

In the aftermath of demonetization, the YES Bank fiasco, the crisis in Jet Airways and NPLs, among others, The Custodian of Trust is a candid memoir by the former Chairman of India's largest commercial bank. Anecdotal, engaging and evocative, this book is an unputdownable memoir of a former banker.

Insightful and exciting reading. ... This book is not just about the banking system of our country, but a chronicle of contemporary economic history.Gives a rare insight into the inner workings of the oldest and most prestigious bank in our country, and what it takes to preserve and uphold the one thing that matters the most in the business of banking: TrustAs India works its way towards finding its rightful place as one of the largest economies in the world, we are also witnessing wide-scale changes and transformation in the country's financial sector. ... The Custodian of Trust gives us a ring-side view of this rather turbulent phase.Rajnish Kumar ran India's largest bank at one of the most turbulent times in the Indian financial sector. ... He was open to out of the box thinking and execution. The book captures his candour. ... It has the potential to be a Bollywood blockbuster!As the Chairman of SBI ... Rajnish Kumar provided the leadership to face many a crisis with great distinction. His memoirs make a fascinating reading and gives an insider's view of many momentous events. A must read for all.Rajnish Kumar led SBI through its difficult period with a quiet fortitude and unmatched personal confidence. ... A must read for anyone who wants to understand how the Indian financial system works.Whether the success of the YES Bank rescue act, led by the SBI or, the failure of the banking system in reviving Jet Airways promptly, Kumar has written the behind-the-scenes stories dispassionately.After retirement, a public sector banker follows a one-year cooling off period before taking up new assignments. Former State Bank of India chairman Rajnish Kumar, who retired in October 2020, has made a productive use of this, writing his memoir, The Custodian of Trust.Anecdotal, though-provoking memoir on India's banking system.The most endearing part of the book is that Kumar, even while talking about his achievements, does not come across as blowing his own trumpet. Most memoirs memorialise to preserve a story that would otherwise be lost. Whatever be the motive, Kumar emerges as a level-headed banker. As with all good memoir writers, he is candid, authentic, and artful.

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