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Vikrant Pande

Mar 15, 2022

The SBI Story: Two Centuries of Banking

Two Centuries of Banking

Westland 2021

From princes to peasants, musicians to masons, cement plant owners to casual labourers—the State Bank of India (SBI) has been the go-to bank for the people of India. Widely trusted and near-ubiquitous, the SBI has come to symbolise banking across the length and breadth of the Indian nation.

This book traces the SBI’s deep connection to India’s economic progress, and the bank’s proactive approach to change and to reinventing itself to meet the evolving needs of a growing nation. In its journey from ‘banking for the classes’ to ‘banking for the masses’, it has continuously striven to blend business goals with social obligations.

The SBI of today had its origins in the Presidency banks of the 1800s; the Bank of Bengal, the Bank of Madras and the Bank of Bombay, set up by the British to facilitate trade and the repatriation of remittances to England, were its forebears. In The SBI Story: Two Centuries of Banking (Westland, 2021), Vikrant Pande narrates the compelling circumstances that prompted the founding of the Presidency banks, how they fared back in the day and why they coalesced to emerge as the Imperial Bank in 1921, which in turn was nationalised to form the State Bank of India in 1955.

Vikrant Pande spent two decades in the corporate sector, culminating in him being appointed as the provost of India’s first ever vocational education university (TeamLease Skills University) at Vadodara, Gujarat, India. He is now a full-time author and translator, and has published twelve English translations of Marathi bestsellers. His first book, 'In the Footsteps of Rama, Travels with the Ramayana' was released in April 2021.

Utsav Saksena is a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. He can be reached at utsavsaksena@protonmail.com. Note: opinions expressed in this podcast are personal and do not reflect the official position of the NIPFP or the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

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Utsav Saksena

Utsav Saksena is a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

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