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  • Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala Memorial Lecture – A visionary & a legendary Banker

    Published on August 8, 2012

    by NR INDRAN / INT

    “The benefits of a good bank are not restricted to the four walls of its banking hall, nor are they limited by the frontiers of its banking business; they transcend far into the realms of commerce and industry and every other branch of economic activity. The value of ‘national banking’ in the promotion of national good is obvious and undeniable.”

    These are the words of great visionary and founder of first SWADESHI bank—CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA, Sir  Sorabji Pochkhanawala.

    Sir  Sorabji Pochkhanawala  was born in Bombay on 9th August 1881 in  a respectable middle class Parsi family. Fate was harsh on Sorabji as he lost his father at the tender age of six.

    Sorabji joined Chartered Bank as a clerk with a salary of Rs. 20 per month. He passed the book keeping examinations of the London Chamber of Commerce. He became the first Indian to be a Certified Associate of the Institute of Bankers, London.

    Sorabji Pochkhanwala was only twenty eight years old when he started the bank. With industry, foresight and diligence coupled with passion, he made Central Bank of India the largest bank in India within twelve years. He started as a manager in 1911 and was elevated as Managing Director on 24th February 1920.

    Central BANK of India has the credit of pioneering many firsts among the Indian Bank like Home Safe Saving a/c, Locker Facility, First all Ladies Branch, Credit cards and many other services.

    Sir Sorabji had built up the Central Bank of India, almost single handedly, from a fledgling organization into a mighty bank. Such was the vision and faith of founder of Central Bank of India that it could complete a CENTURY of Survival from twentieth century to twenty first century and today Central Bank of India is the third largest Nationalised Bank having 4000 Plus Branches with a Pan India presence. In the 101st year Central Bank of India has crossed the total business limit of 3.51 lac crores.

    Sir Sorabji passed away in July 1937 after a painful illness.

    Rightly written by a leading Newspaper on the demise of Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala the father of the Indian banking industry.

    “There is no single person in India to-day to whom Indian indigenous owes a greater debt of gratitude than Mr. Pochkhanawala. He has done more than any other to familiarize many Indians, formerly ignorant or indifferent, with the practice of modern banking; and if, in the future, powerful banks grow up within India, they will owe their success very largely to the pioneer work of Mr. Pochkhanawala.”

    Today the Bank is paying rich tribute to Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala on his 131st Birth Anniversary with a pledge to re-dedicate itself to fulfill the dreams of a great Visionary.

    You can contact author @ [email protected]

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