Rejecting speculation that he will be taking up a role in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, veteran banker KV Kamath on Tuesday said he is "absolutely not looking at any government role now'.
“My thoughts are always with the country, but I need to put my feet up,” he said in an exclusive interview with Network18 Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi a day after his stint as the founding president of New Development Bank in Shanghai got over.
But he said he will continue to share his experience with the government whenever needed. "Somebody like you talks to me and I get energised to share my 50 years of experience and that is what I will continue to do... put my thoughts on the table," he told Joshi.
For months, news reports suggested that Kamath would be inducted into the Union Cabinet and may play a role in the finance ministry to help steer the economy back towards a growth trajectory.
Denying that he has received any feelers from the government for a role, he said that twice earlier too, he has said he needs time to be with his family and grandkids, and he has only gotten older since then.
In a career spanning nearly five decades, Kamath has built up a resume that few others possess, as well the skills and contacts that Modi may need if India has to quickly aim for double-digit growth. He has amassed deep knowledge of high finance and the broader economy while also maintaining close connections with India Inc.
Kamath was the CEO of India’s second-largest private-sector lender ICICI Bank for 13 years until 2009, and the chairman of Infosys for nearly four years till 2015.
He also worked with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila for eight years before taking the top job at ICICI Bank. His latest assignment was a five-year stint as the founding-president of the five-nation New Development Bank in Shanghai. The latter will be particularly valuable now, given the state of India’s relations with China.