Dr Tonse Ananth Pai, who was responsible for the success of Syndicate Bank as its general manager and later as chairman had a genuine interest in the welfare of people that pushed him to undertake various initiatives.
In 1962, Dr TA Pai as Chairman of the Syndicate Bank had pioneered an all-women bank in Sheshadripuram, followed by nine such all-women branches across the country.
He also provided finance for foreign education to more than 5,400 students without the guarantee of anybody, yet with a track record of 100 percent repayment) and more importantly, being interested in the welfare of people and not just as prospective clients.
Dr TA Pai oft-repeated one-line mantra every time he visited any branch, ‘never under-estimate the power of a woman’.
Whether it was reaching out to women vegetable vendors at Belgaum or fisherwomen of coastal districts, TA Pai believed in the ability of women to transform not just their own families but also the environment in which they interacted.
He looked at women and young students as change agents of society. Dr. T A Pai genuinely believed that the banker gets satisfaction only when his money, his loan, has built up people and he demonstrated it throughout his association with Syndicate Bank.
Dr TA Pai also launched initiatives like agricultural finance for pump sets and power tillers, supporting soil testing and many other pro-farmer initiatives, promoting, and supporting many value-added activities around fisheries, farming, and village industry.
He also managed to merge 20 big and small banks with Syndicate bank and that too without any labour disputes or litigations. He had seen to it that bank staff members were given special training to fit them into Syndicate Bank culture.
After the nationalization of Syndicate Bank in 1969, he stayed on as Custodian of the Bank for another eight months and helped nurture the same.
The bank based out of rural India grew at such a remarkable rate that it was counted among the most innovative as well as well-performing major banks worthy enough of nationalization, all the credit goes to the Pai family and particularly Dr. TMA Pai and Dr. TA Pai.
In 1970 Dr. T A Pai took up the Chairmanship of LIC and continued to contribute to the sector of financial services.
His one last act of contributing to the banking and financial services sector before his untimely and rather early demise was to set up a Business school in 1980. True to the founder’s vision, the T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), located in the remote 80 Badagabettu village (Manipal), stands tall and gets counted among top B-Schools in India and offers an excellent Master’s Program (MBA) in Banking and Financial Services.
– Professor Madhu Veeraraghavan
Director and Chair Professor of Finance – T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI)