Late Shri. Dhananjayrao Gadgil was born on the 10th April 1901 in Nagpur. His grand father was the first one from his family to migrate from Konkan to Nagpur. Shri. Gadgil completed school education in Nagpur and got his degree from Cambridge University. He returned to India after obtaining D.Lit. from Cambirdge University. He established Gokhale Institute of Economics in Pune for researching into rural economy, developing better understanding of strengths & weaknesses, anxieties & aspirations of rural people.
During his tenure as the director of the institute from 1930 to 1933 he undertook completed various fundamental research projects. He combined research, experimentation and experiences to develop co-operative sector. His contribution towards co-operative credit societies was outstanding.
He had deep and rich experience in the field of banking. He was associated with Pune District Central Co-op. Bank, Pune District Buyers – Sellers Organisation, Mumbai State Co-op. Bank, Maharashtra State Co-op. Bank etc.
He was one of the members of the Reserve Bank Committee appointed for survey into Rural Credit. He was a Director of Reserve Bank of India from 1952 to 1962 and the Vice-President of Planning Commission from 1967 to 1971. He also had accepted responsibilities of Vice-Chancellorship of Pune University.
He left for heavenly abode while journeying back to Pune from Delhi on the 3rd May, 1971.