Just a Mercenary? by Duvvuri Subbarao

Just a Mercenary? by Duvvuri Subbarao

Notes from My Life and Career

At the start of his career as sub-collector of Parvathipuram sub-division in north-coastal Andhra Pradesh way back in 1974, Duvvuri Subbarao learnt – the hard way – that tribal development requires more than enthusiasm; it requires most of all an understanding of poverty.

Nearly forty years later, in 2013, as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India in the midst of a fierce exchange rate crisis, Subbarao learnt – once again the hard way – the harsh challenges of emerging economies in an unequal world.

Bookended by these assignments is the remarkable journey of a small-town boy from a modest background to the top echelons of India’s civil service and then on to the helm of the country’s central bank. Subbarao recounts that journey – his hopes and despair, his successes and setbacks, his mistakes and misdeeds, and the lessons he learnt along the way – with rare candour and honesty. The subtext of that story though is his constant soul searching about whether he has given back to society more than he received.

“All through my career, I’ve tried to do my best. But the question that constantly runs in my Mind is what motivated me. Was it just a sense of duty—an obligation to do your best because you are getting paid for it? Or was I driven by a higher calling—the need to give back to society for all that I have received? In short, was I just a mercenary? Or was I more? The answer will perhaps elude me forever”

– Duvvuri Subbarao

Just a Mercenary? is a warm, engaging and earnest account of an extraordinary career that is bound to inform and inspire young professionals trying to find their way up their career ladders – and find meaning in their journeys.

About the Author

Duvvuri Subbarao served as governor of the Reserve Bank of India for five years (2008-13). Prior to that, he was finance secretary to the Government of India (2007-08) and secretary to the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council (2005-07). Topping the civil services examination in 1972, Subbarao joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). In a career spanning thirty-five years, he held various positions at the state level in the Government of Andhra Pradesh and at the centre in

Government of India. He was a lead economist in the World Bank for over five years (1999-2004). After stepping down from the Reserve Bank of India in 2013, Subbarao was a Visiting Fellow, first at the National University of Singapore and later at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently visiting faculty at the Kautilya School of Public Policy in Hyderabad and at Yale University in the US.

Just a Mercenary?’ is set to be released in the coming month and will be available in major bookstores, online platforms, and independent retailers. We’d love for you to help us champion this book. Your support would mean everything. Please share your residential address along with your contact details, for us to send you a copy of the book.

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