Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala is the Chairman of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) since December 18, 2013. He is a Post Graduate in Management from IIM Ahmedabad and holds Ph.D. in Management as well. He has been awarded honorary doctorate in Science by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.
Dr Bhanwala has consistently espoused the cause of enhancing farmers' income through creation of agri & irrigation infrastructure. He introduced the project approach to funding of irrigation, micro irrigation and dairy infrastructure under Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF), Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) and Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) respectively through market borrowings. Over the last five years, under his stewardship, the assets of NABARD have gone up from Rs. 2,32,760 crore to Rs. 4,83,021 crore.
Under his guidance, 'e-shakti'-the project for digitisation of the world's largest microfinance programme - SHG BLP – has been initiated in 100 districts across states. Digitisation of SHG accounts has brought about transparency, enhanced bankers’ comfort in credit appraisal and facilitated provision of hassle free credit & banking services to millions of poor households at their doorsteps. As the accounts are being Aadhaar linked, it will also help credit information companies like CIBIL in generating credit histories of SHG members.
NABARD has also launched pilot projects for setting up agri business incubation centres to identify and support successful start-up enterprises in identified sectors.
Under his leadership, NABARD received accreditation as National Implementing Entity by the Adaptation Fund Board & Green Climate Fund (GCF) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Dr. Bhanwala guides many national level institutions as a member of the Board. The major ones include the Deposit Insurance & Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC), National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM). He is the Chairman of Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS) and Board of Supervision of NABARD. He is the Vice Chairman of Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA)
Prior to joining NABARD, he was Chairman cum Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL), a national level Government of India promoted Development Finance Institution (DFI) focused on infrastructure finance. He led the development of credit enhancement product for infrastructure finance, the first of its own kind in India.
Prior to joining IIFCL, he worked as Senior Vice President in Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) Water Limited undertaking project development work relating to various water & waste water projects. During 2000 to 2005, he was the MD of Delhi State Co-operative Bank and he led the team that turned around the bank.