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BW Businessworld

A True Leader To Emulate!

Chanda Kochhar is managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank. Her career growth can be traced along with the expansion of ICICI Bank

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Over the years, Chanda Kochhar carved a niche for herself in India's male dominated banking space. For her, this was no easy task. Chanda remained strong willed and alert in her career which extends to over three decades of experience. Her determination to make it to the top only grew from time to time. Kochhar's career growth can be traced along with the expansion of ICICI Bank over the past several years. She never stuttered in her growth and was one of the few who kept up with the aggressive development run of ICICI Bank. It was her sharp strategic planning which made the ICICI Bank the 'Best Retail Bank in India' for five consecutive years.

Chanda joined Mumbai's Jai Hind College for a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1982, after completing her graduation, she pursued cost accountancy (ICWAI). Later, she did her Master's degree in management studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai.

After her masters in 1984, she joined 'The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Limited' or ICICI Limited as a management trainee. In 1994, she became the Assistant General Manager and was promoted to the post of Deputy General Manager in 1996. She headed the Infrastructure Industry Group of ICICI. In 1999, she was promoted as the General Manager and became the head of ICICI's 'Major Client Group' which handled relationships with the top 200 clients of the organisation. In 1999, she started handling the Strategy and E-commerce divisions of ICICI. Under Kochhar's leadership, ICICI began its retail business in 2000 and in the next five years, became the biggest retail financer in India. In 2001, she became the executive director of ICICI bank. In April 2006, she was appointed as the Deputy Managing Director of ICICI bank and managed the corporate and retail banking business of ICICI bank. From October 2007 to April 2009, she was the Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Joint Managing Director (JMD), and the official spokesperson of ICICI. She was also the head of the Corporate Center of ICICI bank, the director of the ICICI group of companies, Chairperson of ICICI Bank Eurasia Limited Liability Company and ICICI Investment Management Company Limited. Chanda Kochhar also held the positions of Vice-Chairperson of ICICI Bank UK and ICICI Bank Canada and the position of Director of ICICI International Limited and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited. In May 2009, she was appointed as the Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer of ICICI bank.

Chanda is a true inspiration to women all over the world. She is one amongst the few women who is the head of an Indian domestic bank. Joining the ICICI bank as a management trainee, she was instrumental in making ICICI bank the largest retail financer in India. Kochhar was a part of the core team when ICICI decided to set the ICICI Bank 1993. In 2000, when the organisation decided to spread its wings, she decided to keep the bank open for twelve hours in a day when other banks were open for four to seven hours a day.

When BW Businessworld contacted her on the eve of the International Women's Day to get a gist of her journey so far, this is what she said: 'This International Women's Day I would like to tell all the young women out there that if you have a dream, live it, work on it and achieve it through hard work and perseverance." "There is no goal that cannot be yours if you work hard," she added.

A true leader to emulate, we must say!

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