To realise a dream, to offer banking facilities to a commoner in the most lucid and comfortable pattern, in 1997, a young man, at the age of 27 Vishwas Jaydev Thakur, founded Vishwas Cooperative Bank Ltd in Nashik.
His energy, positive attitude to handle every venture professionally with perfect discipline, and problem-solving attribute has provided thought leadership in banking and finance. It also transcends into education, broadcasting and social service to serve the ever-evolving needs of the underprivileged in our society. As founder Chairman of the Vishwas Co-op, Bank Ltd, Thakur has persistently worked to device the best and easy customer services to its valued customers from the day of inception. This is also evident through the network of 11 branches.
Vishwas Cooperative Bank with a turnover of more than Rs 580 Crores (FY 2020-21) and provides livelihood and employment opportunities for more than 150 plus dynamic individuals with a customer family of more than 80,500 individuals.
Today the bank has area of operation for the Maharashtra State. With his zeal for perfection Mr. Thakur developed an in-depth MIS to maintain strong operational control and transparency.
Thakur’s abilities as a perfect administrator and a visionary approach have blended banks development through elite customer service coupled with appropriate technology adoption for the growth and development of the Bank.
In working dynamically with the Banking aspects, Thakur has outstretched it to promote social change and progress using the banking platform for the deprived segment. Recognised as a trendsetter in banking and social fields and has been acknowledged for admirable work in the Self Help Group, upliftment of Adivasi Samaj and helping women who live below the poverty line.
He is closely working with Central and State government and over 40 local committees. Thakur undertakes several activities for the betterment of the downtrodden through different NGOs and other organisations.
Thakur has ensured that the Bank always exceeds the expectations of its customers and society. For example, Thakur’s three out of six suggestions for better functioning urban cooperative Banks were accepted by Mr. Bimal Jalan (the then Governor of RBI). They were made applicable to all urban cooperative Banks in Maharashtra by Mr. Ratnakar Gaikwad (IAS and the then Commissioner for Co-operation and Registrar of Cooperative Societies).
Under’ Suvarna Jayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojana’, a scheme started by the Central Government to eradicate poverty. In December 2001, Vishwas Co-op Bank initiated a first of its kind tie-up with Nasik Municipal Corporation. The tie-up provided financial assistance to Self Help Groups below Poverty Line’ women.
The Vishwas Co-op Bank was among the few to provide ‘doorstep banking’ for senior and disabled citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic. It also facilitated doorstep delivery of essential commodities to senior and disabled citizens in the community during these challenging times. The Bank also established an emergency helpline to support its customers. It was the first Bank in the region to extend its services 16 hours per day during the pre-digitisation era.
During the past 25 years, the Bank has been the prime catalyst for promoting the region’s entrepreneurship. Its Rs. 224 crores (FY 2020-21) lending portfolio was deployed by introducing innovative and cost competitive financial products that set industry benchmarks for promoting faster, equitable and sustainable development. The Bank was a pioneer in Maharashtra when it offered focused support to women self-help groups (Vishwas Literacy Campaign- based on the JAM framework).
He set up Yashaswini Samajik Abhiyan--A not-for-profit company that undertakes and promotes economic, educational, cultural and social activities for the well-being of people, particularly women belonging to socially and economically weaker sections of society. In 2020, Thakur was selected as a Director on the Government of Maharashtra’s committee to eradicate “Illegal Sex Determination.
During the Malegaon riots, Vishwas Co-op Bank arranged medical facilities and financial aid to the riot-affected families in coordination with The Malegaon Merchants Co-op Bank Ltd.
Thakur is a postgraduate in Communications and Journalism. He has used this additional skill to portray Banks Services in the most simple yet effective manner, to appeal to even the smallest segment of the society. Thakur is also the founder of Vishwas Dnyan Prabhohini & Research Institute, Nashik & Radio Vishwas-A Community Radio is his brainchild.
The bank visionary is not short of social work. His dynamism is visible in the social segments too, focusing particularly on the mariginalised and deprived sections of the society. He has been an active player and has been acknowledged for his admirable services in the economically weakers segments of Self Help Group, Adivasi Samaj and women. Besides, he is also working closely with several Central and State governments and local committees.
He has won over 80 awards and serves in an advisory capacity for several prestigious government committees and social organisations. Some of the prominent awards and recognition include (2000) Youngest Founder Chairman of the Bank, (2003) Udyogshree Award, (2004) Maharashtra Gaurav Award, (2009) Sanskruti Sanman Purskar, (2013) Best Youth Chairman Award, (2014) Krantisurya Mahatma Phule & Tatyasaheb Deshpande Award, (2015) Best Chairman Award, (2018) First Generation Innovation Business Award, (2019) Khandesh Ratna Puraskar.