When I was in-charge of Maharashtra Congress unit, Billavas from Udupi and Dakshina Kannada district who had settled in Mumbai, sought my help to get a site from the Government for the activities of their Association. Sudhakar Naik was the Chief Minister and Javed Khan was Housing Minister then. I told them about the demand. Both took personal interest and allotted 600 square metre land near the upmarket Santa Cruz area to Billawar Association Mumbai.
The Billawas Association had founded a bank named Bharat Co-operative Bank Ltd. and it had 5 branches in Mumbai then. I arranged for license from RBI for 17 branches in Mumbai. This became a turning point in the bank's history coupled with hardwork and dedication of the Board led by Jaya C Suvarna. Now the bank is one of the finest co-operative banks in India and is the 4th largest co-operative bank in India. It manages business worth Rs.18,500 crores and has 103 branches spread over the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. I inaugurated the 3rd branch of the bank in Goregaon East and I am happy to note that this branch is the largest branch of the bank doing a business of more than 1,500 crores.
The Bank management invited me when they opened their 25th branch in Mangaluru at Hampanakatta and their 50th branch at B C Road. I could not attend the inauguration of 100th branch at Khar due to personal reasons. I am very happy to see the bank started by visionaries from the Billawa community (in1978) reach such heights. This again endorses the fact that success will be achieved by those who pursue their goals with dedication and hardwork. Bharat Bank is the youngest bank to reach this level.
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