A Sombre Tribute to a Revered Leader in Banking

Shri. R. K. Talwar, one of the greatest bankers India had ever produced, mentored Shri. Narayanan Vaghul at SBI, who went on to build another world-class institution, ICICI. It takes a legendary mentor to guide another institution builder, and at ICICI, Shri. Vaghul is renowned for directly grooming leaders such as K. V. Kamath, Kalpana Morparia, Shikha Sharma, and Nachiketh Mor, who went on to excel and lead other public and private sector financial institutions. Indirectly, he was instrumental in transforming the entrepreneurial journey of a number of practitioners, including Shri. Gopal Srinivasan, CMD of TVS Capital Funds.

What makes a difference for these great leaders is how they can think a decade ahead and make things happen. He is known for pioneering the universal banking model, a new era in Indian banking, and the concept of credit rating in India by setting up CRISIL, which evolved into one of the greatest credit rating companies in India. Recently, at the launch of his book “Reflections” on May 4, 2024, he reaffirmed that professional banking will dominate, and in the upcoming decade, digital banking will become the norm, potentially leading to the unbundling of legacy banks. It was amazing how he could relate ChatGPT’s role to bankers’ transactional reflections during the launch.

While Prof. C. K. Prahlad ignited Gopal Srinivasan’s mind to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs, it was Shri. Vaghul who lit his way into the private equity space by inducting him into the Board of ICICI Ventures. The vision, guidance, and entrepreneurial spirit of Shri. Vaghul, complimented by Shri. K. V. Kamath, later helped Gopal in the last two decades to support more than 35 enterprises and scale them successfully through his PE outfit, TVS Capital Funds.

Narayanan Vaghul

We, at TVS Capital Funds, join the nation in mourning the loss of a great visionary who was behind the successful investment journey of Shri. Gopal Srinivasan.

To quote Gopal Srinivasan himself,

Departing has left behind him, footprints in the sands of time.

Yad Ya Acarati sresthas

Tat tad evetaro janah

Sa yat pramanam kurute

Tokas tad anuvartate”

Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

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