Just A Mercenary?

The Talk

At the start of his career as sub-collector of Parvathipuram in 1974, Subbarao learnt – the hard way – that tribal development requires more than enthusiasm; It requires, most of all, an understanding of poverty. Nearly forty years later, in 2013, as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India amid a fierce exchange rate crisis, Subbarao learnt – once again the hard way – the harsh challenges of emerging economies in an unequal world. Bookended by these assignments is the extraordinary journey of a small-town boy from a modest background to the top echelons of India’s civil service and subsequently to the helm of the country’s central bank. Dr Subbarao recounts that journey with rare candour and sincerity. The story’s underlying theme, however, is his constant introspection on whether he has given back to society more than he received. Dr Subbarao’s memoir, “Just a Mercenary? Notes from My Life and Career,” is a warm, engaging, and earnest account of an extraordinary career that is bound to enlighten and inspire young professionals trying to find their way up their career ladders and find meaning in their odyssey.

Dr. Subbarao will be in conversation with M.R. Vikram of Manthan.

The Speaker

Duvvuri Subbarao was the 22nd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, serving from 2008 to 2013. He was a member of the 1972 batch of the Indian Administrative Service and held several postings in Andhra Pradesh, including Collector in Khammam District, Managing Director of the AP State Finance Corporation, and Secretary (Finance). At the Centre, he served in the Finance Ministry, was a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, and then was Finance Secretary for the Govt of India (2007-08). He also worked at the World Bank as a Lead Economist in the East Asia division between 1999 and 2004. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Jackson School of Public Affairs at Yale University. Dr. Subbarao’s previous book was titled Who Moved My Interest Rate?: Leading the Reserve Bank of India Through Five Turbulent Years (2016).

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