State Bank of India (SBI) chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma are India's top women bankers who have made it to the list of 50 most powerful women based outside the United States. The list was compiled by Fortune magazine.
Ana Botin, who is the chief executive chairman of Spanish banking group Banco Santander, claimed the number one spot in the list. Bhattacharya ranked second on the list, while Kochhar claimed the fifth spot. Sharma held the 19th position in the Fortune list of 50 most powerful women international list, Press Trust of India reported.
Arundhati Bhattacharya - State Bank of India
The profile of the 60-year-old managing director of the SBI has been on an upward trajectory ever since she assumed office at India's largest bank. Bhattacharya, who was widely speculated to succeed Raghuram Rajan as next Reserve Bank of India governor, has continued "her high-profile battle with the bank's bad loans, while courting overseas partners to invest in stressed assets."
In May, she was instrumental in merging SBI with six other banks. On completion, the merger would result in the formation of one of the largest lenders in Asia. "Though her term leading the bank is set to expire in October, most expect the government will extend her time so she can see the efforts through," Fortune said.
Chanda Kochhar- ICICI Bank
According to Fortune, the 54-year-old managing director and CEO of the private sector lender is regarded as a "visionary" even by her counterpart bankers. "After seven years at the helm of India's largest private sector lender, with consolidated assets of $139 billion, she has overhauled the nation's consumer retail business," the publication said.
Highlighting her efforts to boost the bank's digital growth and enable female employees to work from home, Fortune noted: "Though bad loans took a toll on income growth this year, Kochhar has engaged turnaround experts to help ditch those distressed assets."
Shikha Sharma- Axis Bank
Sharma, 57, was hired in 2009 to run India's third largest private sector bank by assets. She has helped Axis Bank to grow from an under-represented bank to become India's fastest growing private sector lender, with revenues up 15 percent to clock $7.9 billion in 2015.
With nearly 3,000 branches across 1,800 cities and towns, the "first quarter profit this year was hurt by a spike in bad loans, but Sharma deserved accolades for publicising a watch list she created to monitor four percent of the bank's potentially-troubled assets," Fortune added.
Last week, Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, was the only Indian-origin woman to feature in Fortune's list of the 50 most powerful women within the United States.