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Chanda Kochhar

“Banks will have to learn to cater to Fortune500 companies and marginal farmers,and both will require different models. Financial inclusion is not just opening accounts for the under privileged, but also providing them with an array of financial services.”

Chanda Kochhar 


Reading success stories of greatest professionals stimulates motivational enzyme within us and we all wish to emulate them on path of success.


Exactly with this aim - India's content lead MBA website is presenting you series of success stories of Professionals who have   carved niche in their own way and have become icons of Management Fraternity. 


Following above you will read today success story of Ms.Chanda Kochhar :  


A living inspiration for today’s woman, Chanda Kochhar is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank, India’s largest private and overall second largest bank in the country. She also heads the Corporate Centre of ICICI Bank. Kochhar’s ascension to top came at the peak of global financial crisis in 2008 that was triggered by a liquidity shortfall in the United States banking system which had a ‘ripple-effect’ on the Indian economy as well.


Born on November 17, 1961 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Kochhar completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from Jai Hind College, Mumbai. Later, she earned a Masters in Management Studies (Finance) from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai and is a Cost Accountant from the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India. She was awarded the Wockhardt Gold Medal for Excellence in Management Studies.


Kochhar kick started her career as a Management trainee with ICICI in the year1984 and has thereon successfully risen through the ranks by efficiently handling multi-dimensional assignments and heading all the major functions in the Bank at various points in her life. After nine years of hard work, she was handpicked as a part of the core team to set the ICICI bank in 1993, when it decided to venture into commercial banking. She got promotion in 1994 & 1996 as Assistant General Manager and then Deputy General Manager respectively.


In 1998, she was promoted as the General Manager and entrusted with handling relationships with ICICI’s top 200 clients. In April 2001, she was promoted as Executive Director, heading the retail business in ICICI Bank. In the year 2007, she was appointed as the Joint Managing Director & Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She was also the official spokesperson for ICICI Bank. Apart from being on the Board of ICICI Bank and various group companies, she is a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade & Industry.


The turmoil in the global and domestic financial markets saw Kochhar at the helm of banking operations of ICICI as she led with aplomb to revive the sagging fortunes of the banks. Her immediate task upon taking charge was to give focus and direction to the bank. To drive home the message she followed the strategy of four C’s- capital conservation, cost efficiency, CASA (Current Account Savings Account) and credit quality.


Within a year the bank had increased its capital adequacy, improved its share of current and savings account deficit and prevented slippages in non-performing assets (NPA). Today, ICICI is India's largest privately owned bank with assets of nearly USD 80 billion and an expanding global reach. The group's story is not just one of growth, but of transformation: ICICI has evolved from a development bank to become a corporate and then a retail bank, meeting the needs of a newly prosperous population. It now aims to achieve sustainable economic growth.


With the crisis management part of the job behind her, Kochhar has chalked out a plan for the next five years which includes ensuring that the bank is ranked among the top 20 globally in terms of market capitalization or asset size even if it remains India focused lender.


Considering the growth opportunities, the bank is still in the expansion mode and plans to have a network of at least 4,000 branches and 12,000 ATMs. Kochhar feels that the Indian economy would continue to witness robust upward momentum in the years to come and the lender is well prepared to leverage from the potential growth opportunities.


The 49-year-old bank chief in recent years has won so many awards and accolades that she has lost count. She was conferred with Padma Bhushan award in 2011 for her contribution to establish ICICI Bank as a leading player in the banking industry. She clinched the 20th spot in the Fortune's List of Most Powerful Women in Business, 2009. She was awarded the ‘Business Woman of the Year’ 2005 by The Economic Times of India and the ‘Retail Banker of the Year’ 2004 by The Asian Banker. In year 2007, she ranked 33rd in the Fortune's List of ‘Most Powerful Women in Business’. Under Kocchar’s leadership, ICICI Bank won the ‘Best Retail Bank’ in India award consecutively for four years (2004-2005) awarded by the The Asian Banker.


A firm believer that the woman force in an organization can grow only through merit, Kochhar leads by example by not expecting any special privileges for the fairer sex. An eternal optimist she does not shriek away from challenges. She believes that new entrants cannot disrupt large banks and that competition provides the best value to consumers. For her challenges are no more confined to achieving scale but of aligning strategy of organization with changed environment.


A mother of two, Kochhar efficiently juggles her career with family. She never slacks in her 24-hour schedule and utilises her breathing time to go through mails, telephonic conferences or to catch up on sleep. Her appointment as the head honcho of ICICI is an inspiration for all the women aspiring to make a mark in the corporate world.


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