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

Arbaz Sayed Arbaz Sayed
Apr 27, 2021 8 min read
Arundhati Bhattacharya-First Woman Chairperson of the State Bank of India (SBI)

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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, Lets 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
Age 64 years
Citizenship Indian
Education St.Xavier's School, Jadavpur University, Lady Brabourne College
Title First Woman Chairperson of the State Bank of India
Net Worth Apprrox $1 Million - $5 Million (2019)
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
FAQs
Conclusion

Arundhati Bhattacharya - Childhood and Personal Life

Arundhati was born in a well-educated family. She was raised in Bhilai by her father Prodyut Kumar Mukerjee, 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 from 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 from St. Xavier's School, Bokaro. She studied English Literature at Calcutta’s Lady Brabourne College and then at Jadavpur University.


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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 years. She had her dreams for 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; 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 women chairperson of SBI succeeding Pratip Chaudhuri, as Chairman, who retired on 30 Sep 2013. Arundhati Bhattacharya was the first woman to ever 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 corporate as she spent most time outside the headquarters. She had her tenure for 4 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 staid 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%.

She navigated the bank to its toughest of times and completed 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 spread of digital platforms  

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.

Arundhati bhattacharya story
SBI Buddy Digital platform

SBI Launched its First Dedicated Branch For Startups InCube

The main purpose of  the 'SBI InCube' was that the bank will be helping, guiding and counselling the entrepreneurs in starting a new company or business enterprise. At the launch event SBI Chairman, Arundhati Bhattacharya said,

SBI arundhati bhattacharya
SBI Chairman, Arundhati Bhattacharya at the launch event of InCube
“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 great initiative  by SBI to help startups under leadership of Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya.


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Performance Appraisal System in SBI

SBI was the first India’s largest commercial bank that launched Performance appraisal system named Saksham. It was launched so that the Employees can 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 was planning to hire specialist job roles from institutes like IIT & IIM.

Arundhati Bhattacharya - Achievements

  • Arundhati Bhattacharya made it to the coveted Forbes' list of 25 most powerful women in the world
  • She ranked as the fourth most powerful woman in the Asia-Pacific region by Fortune magazine
  • She was India's nominee for the post of managing director and chief operating officer at World Bank

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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 office.

In 2018 SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya was appointed as the new Chairman of SWIFT India board.

In 2018 India focused private equity firm ChrysCapital Advisors LLP appointed former SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya as an advisor.

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 as she will be joining as a Chairperson and CEO for the India operations of Salesforce, USA.

Salesforce hired the former State Bank of India women chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya to head its India operation.


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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"

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 for three years effective from October 7, 2020.

What is Arundhati Bhattacharya's Education?

Arundhati Bhattacharya's education was from 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 currently position?

As of 2020, Arundhati will be joining as a Chairperson and CEO for the India operations of Salesforce, USA. Salesforce hired the former State Bank of India women chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya to head its India operation.

Conclusion

Arundhati Bhattacharya is one of the most powerful and influential leader 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 be a part of the Startup ecosystem.

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