Kumbakonam has been famous for its temples and history. The Chola kings and the subsequent dynasties lavished the town with a number of temples. The Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt and dozens of aadheenams (mutts) around the town were active in nurturing religion, literature, music and other fine arts. The Cauvery and its tributaries contributed immensely to the fertility and agricultural prosperity. The town used to be a prized centre to hundreds of villages and smaller towns around for trade and commerce. Education was also given high priority and the city turned out literati of great eminence like Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, Tamil thatha U Ve Swaminatha Iyer... engineers, chartered accountants, scientists...
On a visit to the town, one is struck by the ubiquitous presence of City Union Bank (CUB). Every road sign, bus shelter and other icons on this town bore the stamp of CUB.
Focus on technology, customer relations...
CUB had its origin 110 years ago and belongs to the genre of venerated institutions that pioneered banking in the country. Over these years the bank has mobilised the savings of lakhs of households and profitably deployed these to nurture thousands of small and medium businesses initially around Kumbakonam, later across the region and now pan India.
The imprint of N Kamakodi as MD and CEO of CUB is seen in its vast expansion, technology adaptation, outreach and growth. An engineering graduate from NIT-Tiruchi, Kamakodi obtained his MBA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and worked at the planning division of Reliance. When I referred to the phenomenal transformation of Jamnagar that houses the two large refineries of Reliance, set up with an investment of Rs 60,000 crore and where an even more massive petrochemical complex is taking shape, Kamakodi listened with great interest: he was involved with the planning of the expansion at Hazira and Jamnagar projects of Reliance!