“An orthodox banker and team player who was soft-spoken,” is how colleagues remember Mangalore Devadas Mallya, former Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Baroda and Bank of Maharashtra, who passed away in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Mallya turned around Pune-headquartered Bank of Maharashtra when he was its Chairman and Managing Director between March 2006 and May 2008.

During his stint at the helm of Bank of Baroda (between May 2008 and November 2012), the public sector bank’s total business (total deposits plus advances) jumped about 2.5 times.

Post-retirement, due to his expertise in the financial services space, Mallya was appointed to the boards of various banks and companies, including State Bank of India, Tata Capital, ICICI Bank and Interglobe Aviation.

In fact, Mallya was seen as a top contender for the position of Non-Executive Chairman at ICICI Bank. But due to health reasons, he resigned as Independent Director from the board of the private sector bank last month.

A Mechanical Engineer from the Karnataka Regional Engineering College (Suratkal), Mallya, 66, started his banking career with Corporation Bank, in August 1976.

Devidas R Tuljapurkar, who was on the board of Bank of Maharashtra when Mallya was CMD, described Mallya as an orthodox banker, who turned around BoM from a loss-making to a profit-making bank.

“He was transparent and straight forward. He used to address all employees together in meetings during his visits to various zones. When some public sector banks hired film stars and cricketers as brand ambassadors, he emphasised that the 14,000 employees were the brand ambassadors of BoM.”

“He shared his mobile number with all employees. He told them that for bank’s business they could call him any time and that he would respond to them,” said Tuljapurkar.

K Srinivasa Rao, who retired as General Manager from Bank of Baroda, said Mallya was a team player, who treated subordinates with respect and got along well with everybody.

“He was pragmatic in setting business targets. His thorough knowledge of credit and analytical mind helped the bank grow its business,” said Rao.

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