Chanda Kochhar

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Born On: November 17, 1961
Born In: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Career: MD, CEO, ICICI Bank

In India’s male dominated banking sphere, Chanda Kochhar carved a niche for herself. This was no easy task. In her career which extends to over three decades of experience, she remained strong willed and alert. Her determination to make it to the top only grew from year to year. Kochhar’s career growth can be traced along with the expansion of the bank over the past several years. She never stuttered in her growth and was one of the few who kept up with the aggressive development run of ICICI bank. It was her sharp strategic planning which made the ICICI bank the ‘Best Retail Bank in India’ for five consecutive years. As per Forbes, It’s no wonder then that she has been ranked 20th amongst the most powerful women in business and in the world. Read on to find out more about how Chanda Kochhar made it to the top of the corporate pile.

Early Life
Chanda Kochhar was born in Jodhpur in Rajasthan on November 17, 1961, but was raised in Jaipur in Rajasthan. She then joined Jai Hind College in Mumbai for a Bachelor of Arts degree. After completing her graduation in 1982, she pursued cost accountancy (ICWAI). Later, she did her Master’s degree in management studies from the esteemed Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai from where she received a Wockhardt Gold Medal for Excellence in Management Studies. In the same year, she won the J.N Bose gold medal for Cost Accountancy.

Career
In 1984, after her masters, Chanda Kochhar joined ‘The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Limited’ or ICICI Limited as a management trainee. In her initial years in ICICI, she handled project appraisal and monitoring and various projects in Petrochemicals, Textile and Cement and Paper. In 1994, she became the Assistant General Manager and was promoted to the post of Deputy General Manager in 1996. She headed the Infrastructure Industry Group of ICICI. In 1999, she was promoted as the General Manager and became the head of ICICI’s ‘Major Client Group’ which handled relationships with the top 200 clients of the organisation. In 1999, she started handling the Strategy and E-commerce divisions of ICICI. Under Kochhar’s leadership, ICICI began its retail business in 2000 and in the next five years, became the biggest retail financer in India. In 2001, she became the executive director of ICICI bank. In April 2006, she was appointed as the Deputy Managing Director of ICICI bank and managed the corporate and retail banking business of ICICI bank. From October 2007 to April 2009, she was the Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Joint Managing Director (JMD), and the official spokesperson of ICICI. She was also the head of the Corporate Center of ICICI bank, the director of the ICICI group of companies, Chairperson of ICICI Bank Eurasia Limited Liability Company and ICICI Investment Management Company Limited. Chanda Kochhar also held the positions of Vice-Chairperson of ICICI Bank UK and ICICI Bank Canada and the position of Director of ICICI International Limited and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited. In May 2009, she was appointed as the Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer of ICICI bank for a term of five years.

Contributions 
Chanda Kochhar was a part of the core team when ICICI decided to set the ICICI Bank 1993. In 2000, when the organisation decided to develop its wings, she decided to keep the bank open for twelve hours in a day when other banks were open for four to seven hours a day. She was also one of the bankers who came up with electronic banking and installed 2000 ATM machines all over India. Under Kochhar’s leadership, ICICI was awarded the ‘Best Retail Bank in India’ in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2002, the bank was given the ‘Excellence in Retail Banking Award’.

Legacy 
Chanda Kochhar is one amongst the two women who is the head of an Indian domestic bank. Joining the ICICI bank as a management trainee, she was instrumental in making ICICI bank the largest retail financer in India. She is an inspiration to women all over the world.

Awards And Accolades 
‘Retail Banker of the Year’ (Asia – Pacific region) by The Asian Banker, 2004
‘Business Woman of the Year’ by The Economic Times, 2005
‘Rising Star Award’ for Global Awards by Retail Banker International, 2006
Featured in the list of ’30 Most Powerful Woman Leaders’ in business for 8 consecutive years from 2002 to 2010
‘Transformational Business Leader of the Year’ by All India Management Association, 2010
Ranked 10th in the Fortune’s List of ‘Most Powerful Women in Business’, 2010
Ranked 92nd in the Forbes List of ‘Most Powerful Women’ in the world, 2010
‘Outstanding Woman Business Leader of the Year’ award by CNBC TV18, 2010′
Ranked 11th in the List of ‘Top 50 Woman in World Business’ by the Financial Times, 2010
Padma Vibhushan, 2011

Timeline 

1961 – Born in Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
1982 – Completed her graduation and pursued cost accountancy.
1984 – Joined ‘The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Limited’ or ICICI Limited.
1994 – Became the Assistant General Manager of ICICI bank.
1996 – Became the Deputy General Manager.
1999 – Took over as the General Manager and became the head of ICICI’s ‘Major Client Group’.
2000 – ICICI began its retail business under Kochhar’s leadership.
2001 – Became the executive director of the ICICI bank.
2006 – Appointed as the Deputy Managing Director of ICICI bank.
2009 – Appointed as the Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer of ICICI bank.
2011 – Awarded Padma Vibhushan.

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