The first decade of the new millennium saw a major growth trajectory for the Bank. In these 10 years, the Bank was led from the front to achieve sustained growth by late Shri Ekanath Thakur, visionary banker and Member of Parliament – Rajya Sabha. Shri Ekanath Thakur was associated with Saraswat Bank since 1990 in various capacities – first as Director, then Advisor to the Board, and finally as Chairman. From 2001 onwards, the Bank saw unprecedented and exponential growth. From 2001 to 2011, the Bank grew its Balance Sheet size by nearly six times, surpassing Total Business of Rs. 27,300 crore in 2011 as against Rs. 4623 crore in 2001, with the annual net profit of the Bank growing by more than eight times over that decade (from Rs. 23.42 crore in 2001 to Rs. 212.37 crore in 2011). This remarkable growth was achieved through a systematic business plan, backed fully by sustained efforts by staff at all levels of the Bank.

In 2006, the Bank under the prescient guidance of Shri Ekanath Thakur, decided to pursue a line of inorganic growth through carefully chosen acquisition of various stressed co-operative banks as RBI had stopped issuing fresh licences for opening of branches to co-operative banks. Shri Thakur astutely understood that this would impact the Bank’s growth prospects severely. As a seasoned banker and leading light of the co-operative movement, he understood the problems of the sector intuitively.

Focusing on the Bank’s growth as well as to safeguard the interests of the depositors of financially weak co-operative banks, Saraswat Bank acquired seven stressed co-operative banks by investing funds from its own reserves namely, Maratha Mandir Co-operative Bank Ltd., Mandvi Co-operative Bank Ltd., Annasaheb Karale Janata Sahakari Bank Ltd., Murgha Rajendra Sahakari Bank Ltd., Nashik People’s Co-operative Bank Ltd. and South Indian Co-operative Bank Ltd. Demonstrating its firm commitment towards the co-operative sector and helping over 7,70,000 hapless depositors of these weak institutions, Saraswat Bank swiftly turned around these fallen banks within one year of their merger and all these banks went on to earn profits. After take-over by Saraswat Bank, the business of all these seven weak banks put together went up from Rs.1900 crore to Rs.9200 crore in the initial five years following the merger.

Our Inspiration

Late Shri Ekanath Thakur

Shri Ekanath Thakur was associated with Saraswat Bank since 1990 in various capacities - as Director, Advisor to the Board, and went on to lead the Bank as Chairman from July 2008 till his death in 2014.  He was a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from 2002 to 2008 and was elected unopposed from State of Maharashtra, a Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology, Defence and Food Processing Industry. He was also Member of Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Finance and Commerce. He was the General Secretary of World Bank (PNoWB). He was Vice President and later President of All India Confederation of Bank Officers Organisations (AICBOO), a representative of 2,00,000 officers and executives working in India's banking industry. He was Director of the Central Board of State Bank of India and Director of Maharashtra State Financial Corporation for four years during which he also acted as the Chairman for two years. He was the President of Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and was also on the Banking and Finance Committee of FICCI and was a member of Executive Committee of International Chamber of Commerce.
He passed away on 07/08/2014.

Late Shri Ravindra Patkar

Shri Ravindra Patkar was the Vice-Chairman of the Bank from November 1983 till 1986. After that, he was on the Directors’ Panel and led the Bank as Chairman from September 2003 till 2005. Thereafter, he continued as Director till the end. He had worked with Tata Tea and was associated with Bhavani Co-op Bank as a Director. He was also associated with many social institutions such as Social Service League, Chikitsak Samuha, Patkar College, etc.
He passed away on 22.07.2010.

Late Shri Mukund alias Baba Parulekar

Hailing from Vengurla, Sindhudurg, Shri Parulekar was on the Bank’s Directors’ Panel for a span of twenty-five years. He was the Vice Chairman of the Bank from September 1998 to July 2001 as well as the Chairman of the Bank from July 2001 to August 2003. He had acted in many plays and films and had also worked with the Film Censor Board, Government of India.
He passed away on 28.09.2008.

Late Shri Nilkant Warerkar

Shri Nilkant Warerkar joined the Bank as an Assistant Accountant in February, 1949. He voluntarily retired from the Bank on 16.11.1982 as a Secretary and General Manager. He became a Director on the Bank’s Board in 1987 and led the Bank as Vice Chairman  from 1989-1992 and Chairman from 1992-93. He also worked closely with the Indian Banks’ Association, the Reserve Bank of India, the Governing Council of Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (MACCIA), among others.
He passed away on 02.12.2014.

Shri Suresh Prabhu

While the Bank was completing 75 years of service, a man less than half its age had become its Chairman! A CA by profession, Shri Prabhu came on the Directors’ Panel of Saraswat Bank in 1983. In 1986, he was appointed the Bank’s Vice Chairman and the Chairman in 1986. He was Director of Maharashtra Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks, National Federation of Co-operative Banks and Credit Societies Ltd and the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank Ltd. An expert in banking and in modern management techniques, he brought in many novel schemes and new verticals to the Bank. In the Bank’s inaugural Centenary Year celebrations (1917-1918), Shri Prabhu graced the event as Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.

Late Shri Madhav Mantri

Shri Madhav Mantri was a renowned cricketer, coach and administrator. He was associated with Mumbai Cricket for fifty years (1941 to 1992). He worked with Associated Cement Company as a marketing executive for 35 years. He was first associated with Saraswat Bank as a Director. He was the Vice Chairman of the Bank from 1982 to 1983 and as the Chairman from 1983 to 1986.  He was also an office bearer at educational and social institutions like Indian Education Society and Rajarajeshwari Pratishthan.
He passed away on 23.05.2014.

Late Dr. S. P. Adarkar

Dr. S. P. Adarkar was a member of the Bank’s Directors’ Panel from 1968 till he breathed his last. He led the Bank as Vice Chairman in 1974 and Chairman from 1978-1980. He joined Monsanto Chemicals as Research Chemist and went on to become its Managing Director. He was a member of the Konkan Vikas Mahamandal appointed by the Govt. of Maharashtra, an Advisor to the Maharashtra State Financial Corporation, and a trustee of many cultural organisations like Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh. He could speak with equal authority in a theatre festival as he could on a complex financial problem in the Managing Committee of Saraswat Bank!
He passed away on 07.03.2005.

Late Dr. P. W. Rege

Dr. P. W. Rege was a Director of the Bank from 1963. He was the Vice Chairman from 1972 to 1974 and the Chairman from 1975 to 1977. A distinguished scholar lawyer, he was a member of the Committee for Urban Banks appointed by RBI, and Director and Chairman of the Federation of Urban Banks, New Delhi as also a member of the Managing Committee of Indian Banks’ Association. He was also a member of Joglekar Committee and Madhavdas Committee appointed by the Government of Maharashtra and the Government of India. He was a member of the Governing Council of N.C.U.I. as well.
He passed away on 12.12.2005

Late Shri V. P. Varde

Shri V.P. Varde was known as the Bank’s ‘Maharshi’. The longest serving Chairman of the Bank, he worked hard for over four decades to lay a strong foundation for the Bank and transformed it into a great institution. One of the most prominent co-operators of that era, he had earlier worked with Tata Industrial Bank, Union Bank and Bombay Co-op Bank. He was the Bank’ s Chairman in 1932, and then from 1935 till 1965.
He passed away in 1977.

Late Shri Sharu Rangnekar

Shri Sharu Rangnekar was on Saraswat Bank’s Board of Directors from 1976 till 1985. He was the Managing Director of Searle India Ltd. and a Management Consultant of repute, having conducted over 5000 management development programmes in India and abroad. He was a popular lecturer, trainer and writer on management topics and his management lectures on audio and video-cassettes are used by over a thousand organizations. His books, ‘In the Wonderland of Indian Managers’ and ‘In the World of Corporate Managers’ have become management classics.
He passed away on 17.01.2021.