Prominent banker and non-executive chairman of India’s second largest software exporter Infosys, KV Kamath was on Monday appointed as head of the $100-billion New Development Bank (NDB) being set up by the five emerging economies of BRICS grouping.
According to finance secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, NDB will start operations in a year, while Kamath, 67, will get a five-year term. He said Kamath’s appointment will take effect when he is freed from his current assignments.
Kamath, a former ADB official, is also the non-executive chairman of India’s biggest private-sector bank ICICI.
The creation of NDB is seen as emerging market economies’ answer to the delay in reforms of the Bretton Woods institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, currently dominated by Western powers. Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa had in 2014 reached a deal to establish NDB, with its headquarters in Shanghai. As per the agreement, India got the right to nominate the first president.
Kamath, an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus and former president of industry body CII, will be followed by a Brazilian and then a Russian as NDB head.
Government sources said they have informed the other BRICS nations about the decision to appoint Kamath as chief. While in ADB from 1988 to 1996, Kamath was tasked with projects in China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Philippines. Infosys, meanwhile, has begun work on the process to choose its next chairman.