Early life and education
Urjit Patel was born in Nairobi on 28 October 1963 to Manjula and Ravindra Patel. His grandfather had moved from Mahudha village in Kheda district, Gujarat to Kenya in the 20th century. His parents run Raxo Products Ltd, a chemical factory situated in Nairobi. He studied at Gujarati community run Visa Oswal Primary School and later at Jamhuri High School in Nairobi. He got his Bachelor’s in Economics from the London School of Economics, M. Phil. degree in Economics from Linacre College, Oxford University in 1986. He got his doctorate in Economics from Yale University in 1990. He was at IMF India desk during the 1991–94 transition period. He was posted to IMF country mission in India 1992–95. He has also been a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution since 2009. He is single and lives with his mother in Mumbai.
After gaining his Ph.D., Patel joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1990 worked on the USA, India, Bahamas and Myanmar desks at IMF till 1995. Thereafter he went on deputation from the IMF to the Reserve Bank of India, where he played an advisory role in the development of the debt market, banking sector reforms, pension fund reforms, targeting of the real exchange rate. After the two-year deputation with RBI, Patel became a Consultant to the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs – a position he held from 1998 to 2001. He worked on the board of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation in 2006-07.
Between 2000 and 2004, Patel worked with several High-Level Committees at both Central and State Government level.
- Competition Commission of India
- Task Force on Direct Taxes
- Prime Minister’s Task Force on Infrastructure
- Group of Ministers on Telecom Matters
- Advisory Committee on Research Projects and Market Studies
- Committee on Civil Aviation Reforms
- Expert Group on State Electricity Boards
- High-Level Expert Group on Civil and Defence Services Pension System
Before his appointment as the Deputy Governor at RBI in 2013, Patel was an advisor (Energy and Infrastructure) with Boston Consulting Group, while he has also worked with Reliance Industries in the past.
On 11 January 2013, Patel was selected as Deputy Governor of RBI for a period of three years. He took over charge of the vital Monetary Policy Department, succeeding SubirGokarn to the post. As the Deputy Governor of RBI from 2013, he seeks after monetary policy, economic policy research, statistics and information management, deposit insurance, communication and Right to Information.
On 20 August 2016, he was appointed as the governor of Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) succeeding Raghuram Rajan. In his tenure, the Government of India demonetized the ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series, with the stated intention of curbing corruption, black money, fake currency and terrorism from 9 November 2016.
- Advisor, Boston Consulting Group
- President (Business Development), Reliance Industries (1997-2006)
- Executive Director, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (1996-1997)
- Member, Integrated Energy Policy Committee, Government of India (2004-2006)
- Non-Executive Director, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation
- Non-Executive Director, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited
- Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India.
- Governor, Reserve Bank of India (from 4 September 2016)