Chanda Kochhar | Banks | Financial Services

Chanda Kochhar

Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank Work is a passion for her who believes that there is no substitute for hard work.

• India Inc's most powerful CEOs 2011: Women should not expect any special advantages or favors says Chanda D Kochhar • Theatre of Operations: India's largest private lender • Bragging rights: The first woman boss of ICICI Bank • First job: With ICICI, straight out of B-school 27 years ago • Biggest achievement in 2010: Putting the largest private sector bank back on the growth path • Little known fact: Designs many of the saris she wears herself • Green thumb: Husband Deepak is a wind energy entrepreneur • Famous quote: "Women should not expect any special advantages or favors. If they want to grow, they have to put in the hard work and the hours and the travel that's required"

• Favourite indulgence: Watching Hindi movies. Preferably on the release date • If she weren't a blue blooded banker: She'd have become an IAS officer • Leadership style: Detail oriented, demands excellence • Global schmooze: Was one of the six global CEOs as Co-chair of the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting at Davos, Switzerland • Favourite foreign food: Thai, especially red curry

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The women of ICICI bank How an entrepreneurial bank in Mumbai built its business by hiring smart women managers and creating a female-friendly environment.

Chanda Kochhar knew nothing about retail banking when she took over ICICI Bank's fledgling retail operations in 1998 at the age of 36, assertive woman, known for her colorful saris and carefully matched jewelry.

Today ICICI, India's second-largest and fastest-growing bank, is the market leader in retail banking, with more than 15 million customers, accounting for more than a third of India's total retail credit. Kochhar added corporate banking to her portfolio in April and is a leading candidate to become managing director and chief executive of the Mumbai bank when the job becomes vacant at the end of 2008.

Childhood Days
Chanda Kochhar was born in Jodhpur,Rajasthan on November 17, 1961 and raised in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The person who influenced her the most was her father Prof. Roopchand Advani who was the principal of an engineering college in Jaipur, where she schooled. “He strengthened her focus on education and career,”

• Very studious and hard working, • Fun loving & friends , and • play basketball or watch movies on Sundays.


After her father‟s death ,She then moved to Mumbai, where she joined Jai Hind College for a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduating in 1982 she then pursued Cost Accountancy at Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India(ICWAI). She acquired the Master degree in Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai.She received the Wockhardt Gold Medal for Excellence in Management Studies. J. N. Bose Gold Medal in Cost Accountancy for highest marks in the same year


Personal Life
Chanda Kochhar currently resides in Mumbai, and is married to Deepak Kochhar, a wind energy entrepreneur and her Business schoolmate. She has two children, a 13yr old son Arjun and a 20 yr old daughter Arti. In her off-time she loves watching Hindi movies — the latest flick she has seen is Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. She also enjoys shopping with her daughter. “Diamonds continue to be her favourite accessories.”

• Very supportive and Independent, • Relatives.

• “I catch up on my sleep when I travel, I shop for sarees and jewellery and of course I watch lots of Hindi films.” There was a time when her friends decided that they would hold kitty parties at night so that she could make it. “But I barely made it twice, so they went back to their lunches. But they still invite me.” Kochhar thanks God for her metabolism that keeps her slim and trim. She doesn’t exercise at all and doesn’t diet either and unfortunately has no time to play basketball, something she did a lot of in school. In fact she quite loves to eat, especially Thai food — the red curry is a favourite — and also the Sindhi delicacies that her mother makes.

Though she wanted to be an IAS officer when she was growing up in Jaipur, the commercial milieu in Mumbai, she says, turned her into a banker. • Kochhar says she‟s religious but isn‟t the kind who flies down to Tirupati every now and then. And she doesn‟t feel it‟s necessary to follow rituals. She misses the family puja on full moon days — „we would all sit together and pray‟ — but nevertheless manages to read the Satyanarayan katha when she‟s driving down to work. “I‟m surprised that my daughter, who‟s studying in the US, is so traditional. She fasted on all the nine days of Navratri, even though I told her not to do it.” • Though Chanda‟s phenomenal success in a financial institution is unique, • "I have not faced major problems in my career because my husband is understanding and co-operative. "I was fond of dramatics and elocution in my college days. I sometimes play badminton on weekends. But I have no hesitation in saying that I absolutely love my work. It is my passion as well as my relaxation."

• I don't regret the timing at all, says 47-year-old Chanda Deepak Kochhar in her first media interaction, hours after the 16-member board of ICICI Bank put their seal on her appointment as the new Managing Director & CEO of the country's second-largest bank. Come May 1, 2009, Kochhar will succeed Kundapur Vaman Kamath. After this, Kamath, the 61-year-old visionary banker, will don the mantle of Non-executive Chairman. Kochhar admits that the banking environment has turned volatile and banks have to adjust themselves to the new ground realities. You have to watch the business environment all the time and continue to develop strategy accordingly. • Kochhar joined ICICI (then a development financial institution, or DFI) 24 years ago. In 1993, she was part of the core team that worked on the blueprint for the commercial banking foray; and in 1996, she was handpicked to head the infrastructure group in the areas of power, telecom and transportation

• Mumbai: ICICI Bank board will meet here on Friday and is likely to decide on the successor of KV Kamath, its CEO and managing director. • The bank‟s joint managing director and group chief financial officer Chanda Kochhar is expected to take over the mantle from Kamath after he demits office on 30 April next year, sources said. • Kamath would take over as non-executive chairman of the bank in place of N Vaghul, they added. A bank spokesperson declined to comment on the issue. • Kamath had started his career in 1971 at erstwhile ICICI, a domestic financial institution that founded ICICI Bank and merged with it in 2002.

Kochhar's contribution to the bank's growth has also aided her rise to the top. After taking charge of the bank's top 200 corporate clients in 1998, her biggest contribution came in 2000, when she was chosen to head the retail business. Kochhar's biggest challenge now would be to scale up the bank's low-cost deposits. Is she the right person to take on such challenges? Vaidyanathan feels so. She is level-headed and has a balanced approach. And is in the right place at a challenging time. To find the right balance sheet mix. • Current status: The bank's balance sheet is highly skewed towards retail, with almost 60 per cent of advances parked in retail assets; the rural and international portfolios have yet to be scaled up. To bring back investor confidence in the bank.

• Current status: The share price has lost 60 per cent since last December; the banking index has lost 45 per cent. • To identify the right time to raise capital and also manage capital adequacy. • Current status: Outgoing CEO K.V. Kamath had raised a billion dollars in capital when the equity market was buoyant; follow-on offerings, too, were successful. • To boost employee morale at a time when there are job losses in the industry. • Current status: There have been reports of ICICI Bank laying-off employees as it goes about trimming the retail growth engine. • To look out for new business opportunities, and consolidate existing ones. • Current status: Kamath introduced many new businesses like life and nonlife insurance and also scaled up the asset management and private equity businesses.

• After a stint with the Asian Development Bank, Kamath returned to ICICI as its CEO in 1996. This same year he was conferred with Padma Bhushan, one of the country‟s top civilian honours. • Kamath, now also the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is a member of the boards of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and the Manipal University. Kochhar had joined the erstwhile ICICI as a Management Trainee in 1984. When ICICI decided in 1993 to enter the commercial banking, she was deputed to ICICI Bank as a part of the core team to set up the bank. • Kochhar was instrumental in setting up and scaling up the retail business for ICICI Bank. In April 2001, she took over as the executive director, heading the retail business in the ICICI Bank. In April 2006, she was appointed as deputy managing director. • She has often featured in the Fortune magazine‟s annual lists of most powerful business women across the world.

Every two years, she was promoted regularly so that her job profile changed, often dramatically. Chanda Kochhar - achiever "EVEN though I have worked for one institution for the nineteen years of my career, I feel that I worked for several companies," says Chanda Kochhar, executive director of the ICICI Bank in Mumbai. After graduating from Mumbai‟s Bajaj Institute of Management in business management and completing her cost accountancy course, she joined ICICI as a management trainee in 1984."But in the 19 years since then, the ICICI has evolved so much and so many new activities and endeavours have been initiated, that I feel I have worked for several companies," says Chanda. Firstly, every two years, she was promoted regularly so that her job profile changed, often dramatically. New things happened at ICICI almost every day and Chanda was head of commercial banking, then she was in charge of major client servicing followed by infrastructure investments. And finally, in retail banking. For 14 years, Chanda was a corporate banker. For the last three years she has been a retail banker. "I work in tandem with ICICI Mutual Fund and ICICI Insurance, though they are separate companies. My present job includes building a strong network of branches of the ICICI bank, creating as many ATMs as possible, building a call-centre network, credit cards and other functions of a retail banking system.

Though Chanda‟s phenomenal success in a financial institution is unique, she says that women have made unprecedented forays in the world of finance and banking. To name just a few luminaries, she mentions the names of Tarjani Vakil who is the former chairperson and managing director of the Exim Bank; Lalita Gupte, joint managing director of ICICI; Naina Lal Kidwai of Morgan Stanley; Sonal Dave of HSBC Securities; Shikha Sharma who heads ICICI‟s insurance activities and Renuka Ramnath who heads ICICI‟s venture finance division. There are many women at the executive director or general manager level in the Reserve Bank of India and State Bank of India. "I believe that women have a great capability to flourish in any job they choose. Earlier, India had a manufacturing economy. The finance and banking sector was comparatively small. The mindset of society was that women could not work on the shop floor in manufacturing industries. But things have changed now. The old mindset is not relevant to finance. Secondly, banking needs a correct and deep understanding of money and the minds of people. It is a multi-faceted business. One has to be in the shoes of a customer to look at money and investment or saving from his/her point of view. Because women themselves are passionate and multi-faceted by nature, they fit this business very well

"Urban or rural educated women are participating in financial-decision making within the family. They are aware partners in a marriage and together with their husbands they decide on the ratio between safe instruments and risk factor investments. They decide the priorities of their families — a house, a car, holidays, children‟s education and savings for later years — and apportion money accordingly, in consultation with their husbands. In educated families, men no longer take financial decisions by themselves. Moreover, a huge number of women are in business or jobs themselves. India has the largest number of women entrepreneurs and they are doing exceedingly well. At our bank, we advise them about seeking funding or equity to make their projects cost efficient and quick profit making. We help them to check out the best methods of getting funding for their ventures. Chanda believes that women can deal with any issue of life on the basis of equality and need no special privileges. They can perform whatever task given to them with efficiency and responsibility. "This has been proved in projects undertaken by our rural branches. ICICI has almost 100 rural branches in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, we have helped to set up self-help groups in villages. These 8500 groups, comprising of 20 people each, make up almost 1.5 lakh people, of whom 95 per cent are women.

These women are pro-active to change and progress. We encourage them to save, to learn how to deal with money, to pool money to gives loans to each other and impress upon them the absolute need to repay all loans on time. We hope to replicate this project in other states." "I have not faced major problems in my career because my husband is understanding and co-operative. My in-laws live in the neighbouring building and help whenever I need them. My parents come and take charge of the children when I am away for long periods. We spend a good deal of time with the children and each other. Women must learn the value of building relationships within the family and among friends so that children too can have several people to look up to rather than just their parents.I absolutely love my work. It is my passion as well as my relaxation."

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