Top 8 Most Influential Women in Indian Banking

Arundhati Bhattacharya

Chair-managing director of one of the Big Four banks of India, State Bank of India, Arundhati Bhattacharya is a real role model to the women in her country. Forbes listed her as the 36th most powerful women in the world in 2014and the 30th most powerful women in the world in 2015. Beginning her career at SBI as a probationary officer at the age of 22, Arundhati Bhattacharya has now been working with SBI for around 4 decades. Her sincere and loyal service to the country’s largest lender made her the youngest and the first female chairperson at State Bank of India. She has also introduced a two-year sabbatical policy for women in the company, which will help the women employees in State Bank of India enormously.

Chanda Kochhar

CEO and Managing Director of one of the other Big Four banks of India, ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar is one of the success pillars of the retail business of the bank in India. While she lead the retail business for the bank, the bank won the Best Retail Bank in India in 2001 and 3 consecutive years from 2003. Under her leadership, ICICI bank also won many other awards for their initiatives in retail banking. Forbes listed Chanda Kochhar as 35th most powerful women in the word in 2015. She has worked for ICICI bank for 30 years and has proved herself as a strong women leader not only in India, but also in the world.

Shikha Sharma

CEO and Managing Director of India’s largest bank (assets) in the private sector, Axis Bank, Shikha Sharma has performed phenomenally in her professional life. She has more than three decades of experience in the financial industry and she has worked for big institutions including ICICI bank and JP Morgan & Co. As Shikha joined Axis Bank in 2009, the bank’s stock upsurged by 90% and its assets grew by 30% in the financial year 2012-13.

Shanti Ekambaram

President of Consumer Banking of India’s fourth largest bank (market capitalization), Kotak Mahindra Bank, Shanti Ekambaram is another magnificent personality in the Indian banking industry. While she served as a sits President of Corporate and Investment Banking, Shanti doubled the profit for the unit in 2012-13 inspite of the unstable conditions in equity and debt markets. Shanti Ekambaram was one amongst the Most Powerful Women In Indian Business in 2014 by Business Today. Shanti’s colleagues have praised her for her great leadership and firm decision-making skills. She has also been honored with the Award for Outstanding Contribution in the field of Banking and Financial Services 2013-14.

Usha Ananthasubramanian

CEO and Managing Director of Punjab National Bank, which is one of the Big Four banks of India, Usha Ananthasubramanian has been honored by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India for her leadership in establishment of the all-women’s bank (Bhartiya Mahila Bank) in India. In the three decades of her career in banking, she has worked with prominent Indian financial institutions like LIC, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank and Bhartiya Mahila Bank. Under her leadership, Punjab National Bank received the Most Socially Responsible Bank Award 2011 by Businessworld-PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). On behalf of Bhartiya Mahila Bank, Usha Ananthasubramanian also received the Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015 in the technology implementation category of Best Outsourcing Project.

Naina Lal Kidwai

Group General Manager and Country head of HSBC India and former President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Naina Lal Kidwai has a phenomenal career in the banking industry. Before HSBC India, Naina Lal KIdwai served at reputable positions across big financial institutions. Few amongst them are Head of Investment Banking in Morgan Stanley India, Chief Manager of Retail Bank at Standard Chartered Bank and she has also worked at PriceWaterhouse & Co. for three years from 1977 to 1980. The first Indian woman to graduate from Harvard Business School as an MBA, Naina Lal Kidwai has also voiced her opinions on the situation of women in India while she presided at FICCI. She has received numerous honorable awards for her achievements in the industry. She has been repeatedly listed in the Fortune global list for Top Women in Business. Other similar titles have followed her successful career path.

Kalpana Morparia

CEO of the Indian division of America’s largest bank by total assets, JP Morgan, Kalpana Morparia has around four decades of experience in the banking sector. Before JP Morgan, she has worked with ICICI Bank for more than 30 years and has contributed a lot in ICICI’s early success including its listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 1999. She was also a part of the merger of ICICI Limited with ICICI bank that led to formation of India’ second largest bank. Kalpana began as a lawyer in ICICI bank and her outstanding performance in her professional life has made her reached where she is today. Kalpana Morparia is one amongst the Board of Directors for several other institutions like Dr. Reddy’s Lab, Bennet & Colman and CMC Limited of Tata Consultancy. Kalpana has also been listed in the Fortune 50 Most Powerful Women in International Business in 2008.

Kaku Nakhate

Kaku Nakhate, India head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a very powerful personality. Under her leadership, Bank of America Merrill Lynch became one of the key players in the corporate finance industry in India. It is known that the bank’s balance sheets tripled within 2 years as Kaku Nakhate lead the team. An MBA graduate from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai, Kaku Nakhate has also served as Vice Chairperson of Indian Operations at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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