President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
Date of Birth: 02/12/1947
Place of Birth: Mangalore, Karnataka
Kamath is revered in business circles
for transforming a small lender, ICICI Bank, into a dynamic private
enterprise. He joined ICICI in 1971, working in project finance
and making his mark as an able manager with a shrewd eye for opportunity.
In 1988, he began an eight-year stint at the Asian Development
Bank in Manila.
His return to ICICI in 1996, as its Managing Director and Chief
Executive Officer, coincided with newly-enacted economic reforms
that created the conditions for ICICI to flourish. Under Kamath,
the bank introduced a range of services for corporate clients
and introduced cash points throughout the country. Successful
public offerings in 1998, 2004 and 2005 made it India's largest
private bank by market capitalisation.
The bank established a South African office in 2006 to
tap into the trade between the two countries, currently some US$4.7
billion and a sum which officials plan to increase to $10 bn.
Kamath the CEO keeps his cards near his chest but on 1 May 2008 he
became President of the CII, a business association that brings
together the luminaries of the entrepreneurial class and promotes
the country's industry at home and abroad. In this capacity, Kamath
shows unconstrained enthusiasm for Africa. The CII has trumpeted
plans to boost India's already burgeoning economy to 10% annual
growth and Indian investment in Africa features prominently in