The Vice-Chairman Gautam Thakur of Saraswat Bank the largest cooperative bank on Indian soil- has said categorically that cooperative is in our DNA, perhaps in a bid to explain away charges leveled against the Saraswat Bank of harboring a desire to abandon the cooperative fold.
The man who was not talking would not stop once he started. Talking on the issue of the R Gandhi report on conversion of UCBs to commercial entity Thakur was categorical. “See we are number one; why should we switch over to the commercial fold. With our success of crossing Rs 50 thousand business mix, the idea of accepting any other option is not advisable, he underlined.
Taking a stand contrary to his father late Eknath Thakur Gautam said “I am aware that my father toyed with the idea of leaving the cooperative fold as he felt hamstrung by several limitations imposed on UCBs vis a vis the so-called commercial cousins.”
But we have a roadmap for the next five years for capital adequacy; we would not have any trouble as we hope to cross even Rs one lakh crore business target sooner than later. As of today Saraswat Bank could easily claim to be number one not only in the UCB segment but also in the entire cooperative sector in the country.
Indian Cooperative has gathered that since the man (Gautam Thaku) took over five years ago the bank has been on an unparalleled growth trajectory. In a short period he has brought the bank from Rs 39 thousand crore to Rs 50 thousand crore- a jump of Rs 12500 crore.
Thakur vehemently denied claiming the credit. “It’s a team work and the best part is all of us here have great passion for the growth of the bank; you cannot name an individual,” he sounded humble.
“But I feel very strongly about the cooperative movement and can never imagine leaving the fold. Cooperative is in my DNA”, he stated.
Thakur also said the issue of Gandhi’s proposal was taken up in the board and a threadbare discussion was held. All of us decided to keep from allures and blandishments coming from the government, Thakur added.
In the commercial zone we would be a sitting duck for the big fish. How does a sum like Rs 5000 or for that matter Rs 10000 matter before the very existence of our entity? We are proud of our cooperative connection, he was emphatic.
To a question if Saraswat is affiliated to NAFCUB-the apex body of urban cooperative banks in the country, Gautam Thakur said “we are very much connected to the Nafcub, he said referring to Mukund Abhyankar and good works done by him in the past.
“We have a vision and a very ambitious one; we need everybody’s support”, Thakur concluded.