Introduction: Deferrals lead to loss of precious whole blood donors (WBD) and blood units available for transfusion purposes. Knowledge of rate and causes of donor deferral can guide the recruitment strategy for WBD. Aim: To find the incidence and causes of deferral in Indian WBD and apply relevant findings to modify recruitment strategy for blood donors. Materials and Methods: Data for WBD presenting for donation in a blood center and outdoor camps over one and half year were analyzed retrospectively. National guidelines were used for selection and deferral of WBD. Result: 736 (11.6%) WBD were deferred out of 6357 presenting for donation during the study period. Most (69.8%) of the donors were deferred on physical examination and hemoglobin (Hb) testing. Most common reasons for deferral were low Hb (55.8%), abnormal blood pressure (11.1%), medication (6.9%) and underweight donors (2.9%). Significantly more volunteers were deferred than relative donors (13.97% vs 5.80%; P<0.000). Females were found to have higher deferral rate than males (53.5% vs 6.9%; P=0.000) and higher odds ratio for deferral (15.4). Donors older than 40 years of age had significantly higher chance of being deferred (P<0.05). Discussion and Conclusion: It is important to determine the rate and causes of WBD deferral to guide the recruitment and retention efforts at local, regional, and national level.