Former Karnataka Bank Chairman P Jayaram Bhat’s Legacy in Banking and Beyond


The banking community mourns the loss of a distinguished figure as P Jayaram Bhat, the former chairman of Karnataka Bank, breathed his last on August 9. With a career spanning three decades, Bhat left an indelible mark on the banking world, establishing himself as a luminary in the sector.

P Jayaram Bhat’s journey encompassed both banking and education, a unique blend that shaped his exceptional career. Transitioning from academia to banking, he eventually rose to lead Karnataka Bank Limited, a well-regarded private sector institution within India’s financial realm.

Known affectionately as P Jayaram Bhat, he assumed the pivotal role of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on July 14, 2009. His tenure marked a significant period of growth and development for the bank. This appointment followed his predecessor, Ananthakrishna, who became the part-time non-executive Chairman, making it an unprecedented achievement of leading the bank for three consecutive terms.

Under Bhat’s guidance, the bank continued its tradition of having accomplished post-graduates in key positions. While Ananthakrishna held an MSc in Mathematics, Jayaram Bhat brought his expertise with an MSc degree in Chemistry, showcasing a diverse range of skills.

Born in Polali, Bhat achieved a notable milestone by securing the top rank in his MSc program at Mysore University in 1972. His banking journey commenced as a probationary officer at Karnataka Bank Limited in 1973, where he rapidly climbed the ranks. Serving as a Branch Manager for 14 years, he later became the chief accountant at the bank’s headquarters in 1993. His continuous ascent led to positions such as Assistant General Manager, Deputy General Manager, and Chief General Manager in 2005.

Beyond his contributions to banking, P Jayaram Bhat had a deep affinity for shuttle badminton, cricket, and Carnatic classical music. His life was shared with his wife, Shubha Bhat, and their two children.

The legacy of P Jayaram Bhat’s contributions to both the banking sector and his diverse interests will remain a fond memory for the community he served. His leadership and multifaceted passions have left an enduring impact that will be remembered for years to come.