T. A. Pai

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Padma Bhushan
Tonse Ananth Pai
Native name ತೊನ್ಸೆ ಅನಂತ ಪೈ
Born 17 January 1922
Died 29 May 1981
Nationality Indian
Occupation Banker
Parents Tonse Upendra Pai
Relatives Tonse Ramesh Upendra Pai

Tonse Ananth Pai (abbreviated: T. A. Pai), (January 17, 1922 – May 29, 1981) was responsible for the success of Syndicate bank as its General Manager and later as Chairman. He is also the founder of T. A. Pai Management Institute.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was the eldest of four sons of Tonse Upendra Pai. He was the nephew of Dr. T. M. A. Pai. After his early childhood spent in Udupi district, he went to Bombay (now, Mumbai) to pursue his education. He graduated in Commerce from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in 1943.

Banking career[edit]

Pai joined the Syndicate Bank in 1943 as Deputy Manager. After holding several positions in the bank and being the General Manager from 1944 to 1961, he rose to become the Managing director of the bank from 1962 to 1964. Under his stewardship the bank was credited with a number of achievements - fastest growth, pioneering schemes, innovation in mobilisation of small savings, agricultural financing and focus on the common man.

Administrative role[edit]

After successful career in Syndicate Bank, T A Pai was appointed the first Chairman of Food Corporation of India in 1965. After a little over one year, he rejoined the Syndicate Bank in 1966 and was appointed its Chairman in 1967. The Government of India appointed him Chairman of Life Insurance Corporation in 1970. He was the first Chairman of the renowned Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.[2]

Political career[edit]

He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1972 and was appointed the Union Minister for Railways. In 1973, he was given the responsibility for the newly created Ministry of Heavy Industries, and subsequently, additional charge of the Ministry of Steel and Mines. Pai took over the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry and Civil Supplies in 1974. He represented Udupi Lok Sabha constituency in 1977 as an Indian National Congress candidate.


He was conferred the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1972.[3] He was awarded the degree of D.Litt. by the Karnataka University in 1973. The Andhra University decorated him with the degree of D.Litt. in 1975.