Chanda Kochhar is the woman who turned around the banking strategy of India’s largest domestic bank, ICICI. Pointing out facts in an assertive voice, Chanda Kochhar is an incredible overachiever and is ranked as the most powerful woman in India. Here are some things you should know about this successful banking icon.
1. Early life
Born in Jodhpur on November 17, 1961, Kochhar was raised in Jaipur, Rajasthan. She then shifted to Mumbai and joined Jai Hind College to pursue a bachelors degree in arts. After completing her education in cost accountancy at ICWAI, she acquired a masters degree in Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai.
2. Initial careers
After receiving her masters degree, Kochhar joined ICICI Bank as a Management Trainee in 1984 where her work included project appraisal and monitoring other projects in various industries.
3. From Management Trainee to General Manager
After being elevated to the post of Assistant General Manager and Deputy General Manager in 1994 and 1996 respectively, Kochhar took up several posts including General Manager, Executive Director, Deputy Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer, Joint Managing Director and also was the official spokesperson of the bank from 1998 to 2008.
4. Business strategy
When Chanda became a member of the core team of ICICI, she decided to keep the bank open for 10-12 hours when other banks were open for just 5-6 hours. Along with this, she was one of the first few to start electronic banking and also installed 2,000 ATMs across the country.
5. Director of different ICICI group companies
Apart from leading ICICI Bank’s corporate sector, Kochhar is the Vice Chairperson of ICICI Bank UK PLC and ICICI Bank Canada. In addition to this, she is also the Director of ICICI International Limited and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd. and also is a part of the Governing Council.
6. Recognition under Chanda’s leadership
Under Kochhar’s leadership, ICICI Bank won the ‘Best Retail Bank in India’ award in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The bank received ‘Excellence in Retail Banking’ award in 2002 and was awarded ‘Retail Banker of the Year’ by The Asian Banker in 2004. Kochhar was awarded ‘Business Woman of the Year’ by The Economic Times and ‘Rising Star Award’ for Global Awards 2006 by Retail Banker International.
In 2010, Kochhar received the Padma Bhushan for her contribution to the banking sector. In 2011, she was awarded the ‘ABLF Woman of Power’ at the Asian Business Leadership Forum. This is not all; Kochhar was also selected in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World 2015 and ranked first in the Fortune List of 100 Most Powerful Women in Asia Pacific.