If you are a woman, then making a mark for yourself in this male dominated society requires a lot of hard work and determination. We have a lot of inspirational stories from across India, where women, from different backgrounds, have achieved phenomenal success. But there is one woman who keeps inspiring us all the time. She is none other than CHANDA KOCHHAR.
Chanda Kochhar was born on 17th november 1961, she is Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of ICICI bank. Chanda was born in Jodhpur,Rajasthan and raised in Jaipur. Kochhar was educated at St. Angela Sophia School, Jaipur. She then moved to Mumbai, where she joined Jai Hind College for B.Com degree of University of Mumbai. After graduating in 1982, she studied cost accountancy from Institute of Cost Accountants of India, and later acquired MMS degree of University of Mumbai from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. She received the Wockhardt Gold Medal for Excellence in Management Studies as well as the J. N. Bose Gold Medal in Cost Accountancy.Kochhar resides in Mumbai, and is married to Deepak Kochhar, a wind energy entrepreneur and her business schoolmate. They have two children, a daughter Aarti and a son, Arjun.
With a three-decade-long career, Chanda Kochhar has carved a recess for herself in the Indian retail banking scenario. She has changed the face of the banking sector in India with her effort and determination. Her brilliant growth and development can be witnessed with the growth of ICICI. She is one of the driving forces behind the progress of the bank. ICICI has been awarded the `Best Retail Bank in India` for five consecutive years. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise for her to be ranked 20th in the list of most powerful women in the world by the Forbes Magazine.
Kochhar joined ICICI in the year 1993 and nothing has stopped her escalation in the company since. In the same year that she joined, ICICI decided to set ICICI Bank and she was a major part of the team. When she initially joined she was assigned the job of handling projects in various industrial sectors like cement, petrochemicals, paper, textiles etc. In 1994, she became the Assistant General Manager of the bank and, in 1996, she became the Deputy General Manager. In the same year, the bank established an Infrastructure Industry Group and Kochhar was the head of this group. After that, she was promoted to the post of General Manager and became the head of ICICI`s `Major Client Group`. She also started the bank`s retail business in 2000. Under her leadership, the bank became the biggest retail financier in India.
Kochhar was the Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Joint Managing Director (JMD), and the official spokesperson of ICICI from 2007 to 2009. She led the Corporate Center of ICICI bank and worked as the director of the ICICI group of companies. In 2009, she was appointed as the Managing Director and the CEO of ICICI bank and has held this position since.
Her journey has been an amazing one but all of these achievements couldn`t have been possible without her mother`s support. Losing their father at a young age, Kochhar and her siblings found strength and determination in their mother. She is one of the most brilliant and established woman bankers in India. She has received many awards like the Retail Banker of the Year 2004, Business Woman of the Year 2005 and Rising Star Award 2006. She was even given the most prestigious award of the country, Padma Bhushan in 2010. She has also received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship, whose previous recipients have been individuals like APJ Abdul Kalam, Narayana Murthy, and Hillary Clinton.
The journey of the top position holder in the Forbes` list of `Most Powerful Women of the World is awe inspiring. When Economic Times asked her `What helps a woman, determined to reach the top, stay the course?`, she said, Keeping a cool mind and thinking through a potential solution before implementing it, helps you emerge as a strong person.It`s her contribution and ability to recognise and honour excellence across every area of human endeavour that sets Chanda Kochhar apart and makes her an incredible leader.
In addition to her responsibilities at the ICICI Group, Ms. Kochhar is a member of the India – Japan Business Leaders Forum, the US-India CEO Forum and the Board of Trade. She is also the Deputy Chairman of the Indian Banks Association. Ms. Kochhar is the chairperson of the board of governors at IIIT Vadodara. She is also on the boards of the National Institute of Securities Markets and Institute of International Finance.She was the President of the International Monetary Conference, an organization that annually brings together the chief executives of approximately 70 of the world`s largest financial institutions from 30 countries, along with officials from government institutions in 2015-16.
Ms. Kochhar has been a member of the Prime Minister`s Council on Trade & Industry, the Board of Trade and High-Level Committee on Financing Infrastructure. She was also the co-chair of the World Economic Forum`s Annual Meeting in 2011. Ms. Kochhar received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Carleton University, Canada in 2014. The university conferred this award on Ms. Kochhar in recognition of her pioneering work in the financial sector, effective leadership in times of economic crisis and support for engaged business practices.
She was conferred with the Padma Bhushan, one of India`s highest civilian honours, in 2011.Ms. Kochhar has been recognised time and again in many of the prestigious power lists. She has been featured in `The World`s 100 Most Powerful Women` list by Forbes International for seven consecutive years and the `Most Powerful Women