Indian banking industry is one of such areas where women have been able to carve out a niche for themselves right from the level of clerical staff to the level of chairman and managing directors of big banks such as State Bank of India. It is the testimony of the fact that women are no inferior to men when it comes to the financial world. The picture is not at all different outside India as well. Banking job aspirants have enough reason to make their career in the banking industry. Be inspired and inspire!
Banking in India: Women are always at the top
Starting from Mrs. Arundhati Bhattacharya to Chanda Kochhar and Naina Lal Kidwai, we have seen a number of women at the helm of financial organisations in the country. They have been successful in handling complicated issues and have guided their respective organisations very well. They are well supported by executives working under them and this fleet consists of a considerable number of women as well. Some of the top executives working in the banking sector in India are:
Smita Bhagat, Head, Digital Business and Co-head, E-commerce Vertical, HDFC Bank
It is not a matter of secret these days that HDFC Bank is mainly concerned with digital banking. And the person that is at the helm is Smita Bhagat. She is the go to woman for Mr Aditya Puri whenever it comes to anything related to digital banking. Bhagat is a fitness freak and she is not choosing between her career and family. She maintains that all the responsibilities should be carried out properly – both towards the family and the office. She responds to both simply by segregating the two.
Ashima Bhat, Head Business Finance and Strategy, Admin and Infrastructure, HDFC Bank
Ashima Bhat is the person who has been with the second largest lender in the country since its inception. It used to be a startup back then and Mrs. Bhat has been there at the time of deciding the carpet for the first branch of the bank in the country. From there, she is one of the favourites with Aditya Puri now. It has not been easy for a Punjabi girl to come this fact especially since you are married off at the age of 18 years. Her mother and grandmother have been the pillars of strength for her. Bhat always puts a family in front of her office and that is why she follows the rule as Aditya Puri of leaving the office by 5 PM sharp every single day.
Anu Aggarwal, Regional Head, Corporate Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank
Unlike her peers in the banking industry, this lady carried work home every day. When you have Tata and Birla as your client, this is not uncommon. This has led her not only to think banking only but also talk banking. Aggarwal is presently busy in designing a one stop solution for the blue chip companies in the country. Being the vertical head of one of the top private sector lenders in the country, she has made efficiency the key word in all her transactions and executions. For her, efficiency is mainly related to prioritisation of work and effective time management.
Chitra Pandeya, Country Head, Liabilities and Cards Business, HDFC Bank
Her story is a bit different since she had to take a sabbatical to take care of her daughter who was falling back in her studies. However, she was not the one to resign and stay back. After coming back to work, she was quick to learn the tricks of the trade and today she is one of the most successful executives in the banking industry of the country. Pandeya has never lost control of her home as she says because that does not make her comfortable even if that means losing occasional control at work. Pandeya has taken a lot of things in her stride such as fighting poverty since childhood, adjusting to a North Indian family after marriage being from a Tamil family and taking care of her dyslexic child. However, that has not taken a toll on this hard taskmaster’s life.
Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director (Non- Independent), HDFC Bank
Renu Sud Karnad is the present MD of HDFC Bank. She has a law degree from the University of Mumbai and after that; she has completed her Masters from the University of Delhi. Later she has also received the honor of being the Parvin Fellow from Woodrow Wilson School of International Finance, University of Princeton, USA. Karnad has been with the corporation since 1978 and has been elevated as the MD with effect from January 1, 2010. Karnad holds the communications and human resource portfolios at the bank. She has been termed as the top ten women from Asia to watch out for by Wall Street Journal.
Being a woman in Indian society and achieving this much is no mean feat by any standards. You have to shoulder a lot of responsibilities as a woman and obviously managing the affairs of a bank is not counted as a natural responsibility for a lady but it is often described as a choice. However, these women have made it a way of life. As a country with falling sex ratio, parents can take heart from the fact that women can also be a source of pride for them and they should be taken care of rather than be killed as a fetus. And that is why the saying also goes like this: “Behind every successful man, there is a woman”
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