Arundhati Bhattacharya-First Woman Chairperson of the State Bank of India (SBI)

Arundhati Bhattacharya-First Woman Chairperson of the State Bank of India (SBI)
Arundhati Bhattacharya - First Woman Chairperson of SBI

The First SBI Lady Chairman, Arundhati Bhattacharya, is a retired banker. She was the first woman to be the chairperson of the nation's largest bank, SBI. Under her leadership, SBI grew its network to around 17,000 branches and services over 330 million customers with a presence in 36 countries. She executed the smooth transition that SBI underwent, which was evident in every way. The women who have inspired many women entrepreneurs to step up.

Being the First Woman Chairman of SBI, Let's know more about Arundhati Bhattacharya's Education, Story, How Arundhati became the First female chairperson of SBI, and more...

Arundhati Bhattacharya - Biography

Name Arundhati Bhattacharya
Born 18 March 1956, Kolkata
Citizenship Indian
Education St.Xavier's School, Jadavpur University, Lady Brabourne College
Title First Woman Chairperson of the State Bank of India
Net Worth Approx $5 Million (2023)
Awards Global Economy Prize
Current Position Chairperson and CEO (India operations), Salesforce, USA

Arundhati Bhattacharya - Childhood and Personal Life
Arundhati Bhattacharya - Education
Arundhati Bhattacharya - Career in SBI
Arundhati Bhattacharya - As The First Woman Chairperson of SBI
Arundhati Bhattacharya - 4 Year Term as the Chairman of SBI
Arundhati Bhattacharya - Achievements
Arundhati Bhattacharya - Life Beyond SBI
Arundhati Bhattacharya's Famous Quotes

Arundhati Bhattacharya - Childhood and Personal Life

Arundhati was born into a well-educated family. She was raised in Bhilai by her father, Prodyut Kumar Mukherjee, who was working with Bhilai Steel Plant as an engineer, and her mother, Kalyani Mukherjee, who was a Homeopathic doctor. From a very young age, she was driven towards journalism. She completed her schooling at Bokaro Steel City's St Xavier's School. She enlisted herself in English literature and completed her graduation from Kolkata's Lady Brabourne College.

Arundhati Bhattacharya - Education

Arundhati Bhattacharya's education was at St. Xavier's School, Bokaro. She studied English Literature at Calcutta’s Lady Brabourne College and then at Jadavpur University.

Arundhati Bhattacharya's Early Days at SBI


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Arundhati Bhattacharya - Career in SBI

Arundhati Bhattacharya was propelled towards journalism, but in 1977, she decided to sit for the SBI probationary officer exam and nailed it at the age of 22. She had her dreams of journalism but entered the banking sector and never looked back.

During her 36-year career with the bank, she held several positions, including working in foreign exchange, treasury, retail operations, human resources, and investment banking. This included positions like the chief executive of the bank's merchant banking arm, State Bank of India Capital Markets, and chief general manager in charge of new projects.

Arundhati Bhattacharya has served at the bank's New York office. She has also been involved with the launch of several new businesses, such as SBI General Insurance, SBI Custodial Services, SBI Pension Funds Pvt. Ltd., and the SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund.


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Arundhati Bhattacharya - As The First Woman Chairperson of SBI

Arundhati Bhattacharya became the first female chairperson of SBI, succeeding Pratip Chaudhuri as Chairman, who retired on 30 Sep 2013. Arundhati Bhattacharya was the first woman ever to lead a Fortune 500 company in India and the only woman banker on that list of giants anywhere in the world.

When she became the chairman, many doubted her capabilities to work in a corporation as she spent most of her time outside the headquarters. She had her tenure for four years after retiring in 2017.


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Arundhati Bhattacharya - 4 Year Term as the Chairman of SBI

During her tenure, she identified the problems and transformed SBI from a stable state-run lender into a customer-friendly and competitive bank. SBI also introduced the work-from-home scheme for women. During her term, SBI rose 57%.


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She navigated the bank to its toughest of times and completed the merger of 5 Associate banks and Bhartiya Mahila Bank. This merger resulted in the creation of a banking behemoth with more than ₹37 lakh crore in assets.

Focused on the spread of digital platforms

Arundhati bhattacharya story
SBI Buddy Digital platform

Arundhati focused on the technology and the spread of digital platforms with products like SBI Buddy. The results were healthy. The SBI group saw ₹5.83 lakh crore worth of mobile transactions (with a market share of 44.5 percent) during FY17. Its consolidated net profits stood at ₹2,006 crore in the quarter ended June 2017.

SBI Launched its First Dedicated Branch For Startups InCube

SBI arundhati bhattacharya
SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, at the launch event of InCube

The main purpose of the 'SBI InCube' was that the bank would help, guide, and counsel entrepreneurs in starting a new company or business enterprise. At the launch event, SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said,

“SBI is striving to make its structure more amenable to the requirements of startups. We want to be a part of the growth of startups and India itself. We will support entrepreneurs in their ventures and let them do their job of innovating. ”

This was a great initiative by SBI to help startups under the leadership of Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya.


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Performance Appraisal System in SBI

SBI was India’s first and largest commercial bank to launch a performance appraisal system named Saksham. It was launched so that the employees could analyze their monthly performance against assigned targets.

Work-from-home facilities for Women Employees

On International Women's Day SBI provided provided its employees the facility to work from home, a move that will especially benefit its women workers. Arundhati Bhattacharya played an important role here.

SBI introduced Lateral hiring from institutes like IIT & IIM

SBI planned to hire specialist job roles from institutes like IIT & IIM.

Arundhati Bhattacharya - Achievements

  • In 2014, Fortune magazine named her as the 24th most powerful woman in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • From 2014 to 2017, she was consistently ranked as the most powerful woman in business on Fortune India's list.
  • In 2015, Forbes ranked her as the 30th most powerful woman in the world.
  • At the 10th India Business Leader Awards in 2015, she was recognized as the Outstanding Woman Business Leader of the Year.
  • In 2016, Forbes listed her as the 25th most powerful woman in the world.
  • In 2016, Foreign Policy magazine recognized and ranked me as one of the "FP Top 100 Global Thinkers".
  • Felicitated with the "Woman of the Year Award" for Banking and Financial Service by the then-governor of Maharashtra in 2016.
  • In 2017, India Today magazine listed this person as the 19th most powerful individual in India out of the 50 on their list.
  • In 2018, she was awarded the title of "Business Leader of the Year" at The Asian Awards.
  • In 2018, she was honored with the ninth V.C. Padmanabhan Memorial Award for Excellence.
  • Harvard Business Review Ascend published an interview titled "The Making of SBI's First Woman Chairperson, Arundhati Bhattacharya" in 2018.
  • India nominated her for the World Bank's managing director and COO position.

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Arundhati Bhattacharya - Life Beyond SBI

State Bank of India's first female chairman, Arundhati Bhattacharya, retired in 2017 after 40 years, one month and two days after joining the country's largest lender as a probationary officer. After leaving SBI, her journey has been incredibly fascinating:

Piramal Group

She served as a Non-Executive/aIndependent Director on the board of Piramal Group. She resigned from her position in April 2020, after serving since December 2018, to become the Chairperson and CEO of another company. At Piramal, Bhattacharya's experience and insights went beyond her role, guiding the company's strategic direction and decision-making.

Wipro Limited

She served as an Independent Director on the board of Wipro Limited from December 2018 to April 2022. Her appointment brought a wealth of experience and leadership to the company, particularly in the areas of finance, risk management, and corporate governance.

Reliance Industries Limited

Arundhati joined the board of Reliance Industries (RIL) as an independent additional director and has been appointed to the RIL board for a period of five years starting from October 17, 2018. The appointment comes days after India-focused private equity firm ChrysCapital Advisors LLP announced Bhattacharya as an advisor

SWIFT India

In 2018, SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya was appointed as the new Chairman of the SWIFT India board. Arundhati Bhattacharya's contributions to SWIFT India were instrumental in the organization's growth, success, and contribution to the Indian financial sector.

CRISIL Limited

CRISIL Ltd appointed Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya as Additional Director (Independent) of the company on 16 October 2018. As of 2020, she has resigned from the role and will be joining as a Chairperson and CEO for the India operations of Salesforce, USA.

Salesforce

Arundhati Bhattacharya currently holds the position of Chairperson and CEO at Salesforce India. Her responsibilities include developing the company's growth strategy and defining Salesforce's relationship with the ecosystem of customers, partners, and communities across India.


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Arundhati Bhattacharya's Famous Quotes

Arundhati Bhattacharya's journey from studying journalism to being the First Female Chairperson of SBI and her life beyond SBI is an inspiration to all the women out there. Her thoughts are worth remembering...

"India does not have a problem of people grabbing share from a fixed pie. India is one of the few nations where the pie is getting bigger"
"Private sector has no issue in coming into infrastructure sector. They know very well that infrastructure is one area that can give you very steady long-term returns"
"In order to ensure long-term investment, it is important to make infrastructure as transparent and as bankable as possible - should be a win-win for all"
"Theoretically, every probationary officer has a chance to become chairman"

Conclusion

Arundhati Bhattacharya is one of the most powerful and influential leaders a country has ever had. Under her leadership, SBI grew its network to around 17,000 branches and services over 330 million customers with a presence in 36 countries. She executed the smooth transition that SBI underwent, which was evident in the way fearlessness and risk-taking ability were planted in the banking sector's DNA over the period. She has inspired many women entrepreneurs to step up and join the Startup ecosystem.

FAQs

Who is the First Women Chairperson of SBI?

Arundhati Bhattacharya was the first female chairperson of the nation's largest bank, SBI. Under her leadership, SBI grew its network to around 17,000 branches and services over 330 million customers.

Who is the Current Chairman of SBI?

Dinesh Kumar Khara was appointed as the chairman of SBI on October 7, 2020.

What is Arundhati Bhattacharya's Education?

Arundhati Bhattacharya's education was at St. Xavier's School, Bokaro. She studied English Literature at Calcutta’s Lady Brabourne College and then at Jadavpur University.

When did Arundhati Bhattacharya retire as the Chairman of SBI?

State Bank of India's first female chairman, Arundhati Bhattacharya, retired in 2017 after completing her 4-year tenure.

What is Arundhati Bhattacharya's current position?

Arundhati Bhattacharya, former chairperson of the State Bank of India, has been hired by Salesforce USA to lead its operations in India starting in 2020.

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