The co-designer of the SBI logo Shekhar Kamath has confirmed that the viral message is False.
An image circulating on social media shows a top view of the Kankaria Lake of Ahmedabad with the claim that this lake was the inspiration behind the logo of the States Bank of India (SBI).
This message has been circulating on the internet for years with even several media organizations like News18 and Dainik Bhaskar have published this information in 2014 believing it to be true.
However, Fact Crescendo found the claim to be False.
The caption of the post states, “#IndiaAt75 Kankaria Lake in Ahmedabad is a circular lake with a thin piece of land connecting to the centre. It has an interesting connection. This lake was the inspiration for the logo of State Bank of India, designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in 1971!”
We started our investigation by running a keyword search on Google, whose results led us to a news report by Hindustan Business Line. The report states, “Under the Imperial Bank of India Act, 1920, the British had established Imperial Bank of India (IBI) in 1921 in which were amalgamated the Banks of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. In 1955, following a Parliament Act, SBI succeeded IBI with a new logo, a banyan tree in a round coin form.”
After the nationalization of banks in 1969, when ‘financial inclusion’ became a priority, SBI decided to go in for an image makeover. SBI subsequently commissioned the National Institute of Design with the job.
A two-member design team consisting of Shekhar Kamath and Vikas Satvalekar guided by Prof Dashrath Patel, Head of Design Department was set up for this purpose.
Mahendra Patel, former faculty said that the solid circle-with-a-keyhole symbol, resembling a lock-and-key, was the contribution of Kamath — who is now in Melbourne, Australia — depicting the purpose of the Bank: that SBI, the custodian, would safe-keep the customer’s money.
We found an interview of Shekhar Kamath with Scroll uploaded on 28 November 2018. In the video, Mr Kamath recounts, “State Bank of India logo was designed for the basic simplicity. It was a keyhole that has got particular connotation in Indian society that it (signifies) security.” He said that he had taken inspirations from the tokens kept in the bank near the counter.
When Kamath was questioned about the internet theory of SBI Logo being inspired from the Kankaria Lake in Ahmedabad. He replied, “This whole thing about Kankaria Lake has got nothing to do with it. I have not been to Kankaria Lake either. There is no way I could go up and look at it down. I had no idea. And I haven’t been that side at all.”
This means that the logo of SBI bank resembles a keyhole and has not been inspired from Kankaria Lake in Ahmedabad. The co-designer of the SBI logo Shekhar Kamath has confirmed the same. Fact Crescendo has found the claim made along with the viral image to be False.
Title:SBI logo was NOT inspired from Kankaria Lake in Ahmedabad
Fact Check By: Drabanti Ghosh