He took over as RBI Governor barely six months ago, but Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday night confessed he had expressed his desire to head the central bank one day decades ago while studying at the IIM-Ahmedabad.
"I want to highlight the role of serendipity - in terms of three incidents. I was asked at Ahmedabad, if you think about a career choice, what will you become? `I have a confession to make here. I said I want to be the Governor of RBI'," Rajan said during an event organised by IIM-Ahmedabad (Mumbai chapter) in Mumbai on Tuesday night to felicitate distinguished alumni of the top business school.
Amidst thunderous applause, the 51-year-old ex-IMF chief economist, who studied at IIM-Ahmedabad in late 1980s, also enumerated some other events that have shaped his immensely successful life. One of them was joining a PhD programme at the prestigious MIT in US.
"The first act of serendipity was when I applied to MIT," he said, adding when the top notch research university refused to accept him into PhD programme, he wrote back saying, "I am a poor Indian citizen...there is no way I can pay for the PhD. I would like to come but..."
See Pictures : When Raghuram Rajan visited his alma mater DPS RK Puram
To his pleasant surprise, Rajan received a letter from MIT a few weeks later, saying there is a scholarship programme and the institute would like to consider him.
The RBI Governor said his joining the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and coming back to India as Chief Economic Advisor at the Finance Ministry in 2012 had also a fair role of serendipity.
He said career progression is not a linear path and one should follow his heart and enjoy the journey rather than only aiming to achieve his goal.
Meanwhile, answering a question on corruption during interaction, Rajan noted that it is a complex problem, which is an outcome of a host of factors.
In an apparent reference to Aam Aadmi Party, which has made corruption its core philosophy, Rajan said, "there seems to be belief on the good man's theory...all you need is to put a good man in that place (and everything will be fine).
"I think, recent events have suggested that this is little difficult. Clearly, corruption is the result of many complex forces coming together."