After Raghuram Rajan, a global superstar in economics finishes his term as Governer of Reserve Bank of India in September, his deputy Urjit Patel will take over the reins. Patel who is credited for scripting a landmark economic reform of the central bank’s recommendation on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), is considered an emotional person who doesnot step back while expresing his views. Patel was selected after a series of interviews of the probable candidates, at PM Narendra Modi’s residence. The fact that Patel has been an admirable figure in the economics of India, have worked in his favour. Although his qualifications are as good as it gets, the fact that he was admired by former Prime Ministers PV Narsimha Rao and Dr. Manmohan Singh might have been a reason for his selection.
He was selected by to head the India office of International Monetary Fund in the early 1990s when Rao was the PM and Singh was the Finance minister. Patel had always lived outside India but his interests lay in this country. He learnt the Indian languages after he got posted in India. He was liked so much by Manmohan Singh, that he asked IMF to ‘loan’ him for two years to be his advisor at the finance ministry. ‘Dr Patel’ as he is commonly known as, has been kept in India by his admirers like Mukesh Ambani and even Narendra Modi when he was the CM of Gujarat. “He is very important for the country,” the PM Manmohan Singh had said while recommending him for Indian passport when he joined as the deputy Governer.
Patel drafted the first report to start the Infrastructure Finance Development Company (IDFC) in the mid 90s, where he remained a key player for some years. Then, he wanted on to take up a post in the World Bank, but Mukesh Ambani made him an offer to head energy operations at Reliance, which Patel did for 2 years. After that, in the year 2005-06, then Gujarat CM Modi, made him the non-executive director on the board of Petroleum Corporation of the state (GSPC). Patel has good relations with everybody in the country’s economic circles including those who were involved in the liberalisation process.
In a report in The Indian Express one of Patel’s close ties said that Patel believes in India’s potential and how neccessary is development to improve the economy. “This must be done,” Patel says whenever he discusses his ideas, that is how confident as person he is.
Patel is known to to be a transparent person regarding everything. An emotional being, Patel knows how to balance his personal and professional front. He reportedly had declined an offer to from BRICS Bank in Shanghai to be the head, as he had to be with his mother in Mumbai after the death of his father.
When it comes to academic qualifications, it is as good as it gets. Patel holds is a graduate degree from the University of London and Oxford and also a PhD in Economics from Yale University.