Born into a family that fled from Bangladesh during the time of partition, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh set up Bandhan, India’s answer to Nobel-winning initiative Grameen started by ‘father of microfinance’ Muhammad Yunus from the other side of the Bengal divide. Starting out from an obscure village Bagnan in 2001, Bandhan has so far disbursed Rs 50,700 crore mostly to poor women. Bandhan, an NGO-turned-NBFC, became prominent long before it became a retail bank. Ghosh quietly steered the firm into the country’s top microfinance lender. But his big day came when Bandhan beat several high-profile aspirants to secure a banking licence last year. Bandhan Bank began operations in August this year. It has the backing of investors including Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and International Finance Corporation, among others.
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