Kolkata :Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, the son of a small sweet-shop owner from Bengal, began a microfinance institution, Bandhan Financial Services Ltd and grew it to a private bank in less than 15 years.Ghosh, who spent his childhood in Agartala, completed his studies in Dhaka University. When he returned to Kolkata, he worked for several NGOs and finally spent over two years with the Village Welfare Society. While working with this NGO, he travelled to the remote interiors of Bengal. It was during this period that he fully realised the potential of the rural populace and the problems they encountered.Amidst the frenetic activity as fish-sellers and vegetable-vendors clamoured for attention, Ghosh would watch money-lenders handing Rs 500 to the sellers and collecting Rs 5 on the spot.
In the evening the money-lenders would return and collect their Rs 500.he borrower did not need a guarantor. He did not require a signature, or paperwork, or mortgage. They were willing to pay Rs 5 a day for these services.This set him thinking. Why couldn’t he provide them relief from these money-lenders.The idea of Bandhan was born, an idea of inclusive growth.
Recently, West Bengal Finance and Excise, Commerce and Industries, Public Enterprise, Industrial Reconstruction Minister Dr Amit Mitra released Tamal Bandyopadhyay’s latest book ‘Bandhan The Making of a Bank’, a Random House Penguin publication..Speaking the occasion, Dr Mitra, said there is no science to what bandhan has achieved. It is complete passion. The book is a celebration of entrepreneurship.
Mr Tamal Bandyopadhyay, author of ‘Bandhan The making of a Bank’ said, “There have been many books on microfinance, in India and overseas. Most of them have been written either from the point of view of the borrowers—how microfinance has changed their lives—or are academic studies on how such entities work, different models of microfinance, risk management, etc. This book is different—it is written from the point of view of the organization.
It’s about how a microfinance structure is built, and about entrepreneurship. In that sense it has busted quite a few myths. It does not project Ghosh as a messiah for the poor, or as an agent for change, but as an entrepreneur who seems to have hit upon a magic formula—running a profitable business and at the same time doing good to the poor.”
Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, Founder, MD & CEO, Bandhan Bank Ltd. Said, “More than a book on Bandhan, this is a history of Indian financial system and its evolution. Every finance professional will benefit reading this book. I congratulate the author for understanding the true spirit behind Bandhan and making it an inspirational story.”
In his foreword to the book, Kaushik Basu, chief economist, World Bank, wrote: “Tamal Bandyopadhyay is a gifted story teller, who combines the sharp vision of a finance expert with the journalist’s skill for observation and narration…. Bandyopodhyay does not go into statistical methods, but his keen eye for detail captures some of the … ideas of modern behavioural finance in the form of tales and narratives, and, as such, this book is a wonderful complement to the more formal methods of research economists.”