‘Have you ever met the brand new economist’, my colleague at Nationwide Council of Utilized Financial Analysis (NCAER) requested after which shortly added ‘he has a severe manner and appears like a thinker’.
With that curiosity-raising introduction, I first met Subir in 1999, when he had simply joined the NCAER. Little did I realise then the influence he would have on me over the subsequent 20 years. Later, from 2002, we additionally labored collectively in CRISIL, for an excellent 7 years.
He was a mentor, and I owe lots of my journey as an economist to him.
In fact, his mental prowess, capability to attach the dots, and talk with readability is well-known. However that’s the secondary cause why I’ll all the time keep in mind and respect him. What is going to stick with me are his human qualities – of compassion, large-heartedness – and likewise his knowledge and wit.
Being with him re-enforced the advantage of humility inside me. The way in which he handled co-workers with utmost respect confirmed his empathy and sensitivity. He typically went out of his approach to assist them.
He arrange the CRISIL Centre of Financial Analysis in 2002 as quickly as he joined, and gave it the mental heft to make it a reputable and revered voice on financial points.
It was a nasty monsoon yr, and he steered we create one thing that may meaningfully gauge the influence of rains. That’s how the CRISIL DRIP Index was born. So good it was that we proceed to make use of it until date. In truth, the Enterprise Customary printed the newest readings this yr.
And boy did he like to journey! I recollect how he drove his father in a first-generation Maruti from Delhi all the way in which to Gokarna – no prizes for guessing the place he received his surname from – the picturesque Karnataka village well-known for its seashore.
The consummate raconteur that he was, that journey turned the premise of numerous conversations and likewise a few articles on the successes and failures of India’s freeway programme printed within the Enterprise Customary.
He was additionally a complete foodie and keen on cooking. As soon as he jokingly instructed me that an alternate career, or post-retirement exercise, for him could be operating a shack in Goa.
Certainly, Subir by no means missed a chance to take pleasure in good meals. I can recollect so many cases after we went to the Triveni in Delhi, or Gajalee, Mahesh Lunch Residence or Bade Mian in Mumbai. The way in which he would rag restaurant of us for not delivering a fare that seemed precisely as marketed on their menu playing cards led to many a humorous scenario: along with his typical poker face, he would ask the restaurant for a reduction as a result of the meals didn’t ‘look’ like their gross sales spiel! He by no means received one, however that by no means stopped him from attempting.
As soon as he sagely noticed that “a drive from north to south Mumbai alongside the Western Specific Freeway is an expertise that’s alternately reassuring and irritating”. I’m certain he wouldn’t have used ‘reassuring’ even euphemistically afterward because the site visitors situations continued to worsen in Mumbai. I can visualise his large body stomping on the ground, shaking his head on the insanity that the town site visitors has turn into.
As we communicate, Covid-19 has compelled some site visitors aid on the town, with mobility restricted. However I sorely miss his narrative and sensible counsel on the implications of the pandemic.
Subir was additionally a really non-public particular person. However as soon as he allow you to in, it was for good, I really feel. It was certainly my good karma that I had the privilege to know him and work with him. So many others within the CRISIL economics workforce share my emotions.
His premature demise has been an unbelievable private loss, and a loss to the world of economics.
He gave us a lot to recollect!
Dharmakirti Joshi is Chief Economist, CRISIL