The banking and financial services sector has several women, currently holding the top jobs. This is unique both in the Indian and global contexts. Why do banks tend to accommodate more women at their top offices? It may be considering the fact that women are more conservative, more structured, more careful about money, good leaders and better team players.
Arundhati Bhattacharya – CEO, SBI
Arundhati Bhattacharya is the first woman to head SBI in its 207-year history. She was listed as the 30th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. Ms Bhattacharya joined SBI as a direct recruit officer in 1977. She has held several positions during her 36-year career with the bank including working in foreign exchange, treasury, retail operations, human resources and investment banking. This included positions like chief executive of the bank’s merchant banking arm- State Bank of India Capital Markets and chief general manager in charge of new projects.
Under her regime, SBI reported a 12 per cent YoY growth in net profit for the third quarter of the financial year 2015-16 to Rs 3,270 crore compared with Rs 2,910 crore reported for the year-ago period.
Chanda Kochhar – MD & CEO, ICICI
Chanda Kochhar is the managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank, India’s second-largest bank and the largest in the private sector. Kochhar was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan and raised in Jaipur, Rajasthan.She began her career, with ICICI Limited in 1984 and was elevated to the Board of Directors of ICICI Bank in 2001. She was instrumental in establishing ICICI Bank during the 1990s. Under Kochhar’s leadership, ICICI Bank won the “Best Retail Bank in India” award in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005 and “Excellence in Retail Banking Award” in 2002.
Shikha Sharma – MD & CEO, Axis Bank
Mrs. Shikha Sharma is the Managing Director & CEO of Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank in India. Since Mrs. Sharma’s appointment as MD & CEO of Axis Bank in 2009, the bank’s stock has appreciated by a phenomenal 90%. The Bank’s CSR arm, Axis Bank Foundation, won the title of ‘Outstanding Corporate Foundation’ as part of the Forbes India Philanthropy Awards 2014. Axis Bank Foundation has set a target of providing sustainable livelihood to one million households by 2017.
Naina Lal Kidwai – CEO and Country Head, HSBC India
Naina Lal Kidwai is the country head of HSBC India. She is also a former President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Mrs. Kidwai also served as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Holdings Plc since 21 May 2004. Besides, she also served as Managing Director of HSBC Securities and Capital Markets India.
Usha Ananthasubramanian – Chairperson & MD, Bharatiya Mahila Bank
Usha Ananthasubramanian is the chairperson and managing director of Bharatiya Mahila Bank, the first all-women bank. At PNB, as Executive Director she meaningfully contributed in the growth of the Bank. She was also part of the Committee formed for examination of the blue print and other related tasks for setting up of the first women focused Bank. She was the head of the Core Management Team constituted by Ministry of Finance, Government of India, for coordinating the process of establishment of BMB.
Vijayalakshmi Iyer – Chairperson & MD, Bank of India
Vijayalakshmi Iyer was the chairperson and managing director of Mumbai-based Bank of India from 2012 to 2015. Bank of India had made rapid strides to replace Punjab National Bank as the country’s second largest nationalised bank. In Union Bank, she worked for over 12 years as a field officer and nine years in large branches before being assigned the task of setting up the bank’s risk management department in 2000.
Banking requires sound instinct and intellectual capability to analyse businesses. Women are better at it than men.