The decision to appoint K.V. Kamath as the first head of the new development bank being funded by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is welcome for two reasons.

First, Kamath is one of the sharpest minds in the Indian financial sector. The way he guided ICICI from development to commercial banking at a turbulent time when its peers such as IDBI and IFCI faltered is proof enough. It seemed a risky bet at the time. Building a new institution requires the sort of vision that Kamath has in abundance.

Second, the choice of a private sector professional rather than a bureaucrat is interesting. Plum global jobs are usually reserved for people within the government. We hope this is the first of several decisions to induct private sector talent into the state sector. This is not to deny that there is talent within the bureaucracy. However, there is no doubt that India needs more lateral entries at the highest levels of governance.

Close