Did you Know How These Top 5 Bankers in India Started Their Journey?

Her banking journey started as a management trainee, but not many could stop Chanda Kochhar's rise in ICICI Bank
Did you Know How These Top 5 Bankers in India Started Their Journey?
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Entrepreneur Staff
Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India
3 min read

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From humble beginnings come great things, goes the adage. Be it the Chaiwaala who runs our country today or the big star who was once rejected by a radio station, the journeys of many successful people have turned into inspirational tales for all. The banking industry, too, has success stories, aplenty, of people who have climbed the ladder to now lead the sector.

Entrepreneur India takes a look at how the top 5 bankers in India started their journey.

‘Wanted to Say no To Banking’

When Arundhati Bhattacharya’s father retired, it was upon her to take up a job soon. Following the trend then, she took the SBI exams along with her college mates, got selected and went on to become a probationary officer. However, ask Arundhati and she says her interests, back then, lay on the world of words — print journalism was what she wanted to pursue. Arundhati even hoped to pen a book one day. From then to now, Arundhati (who even considered quitting her job after being a mother) is the Chairperson of the State Bank of India and has often appeared in numerous lists of powerful women in the world.

An Intern to Billionaire

In today’s times, he’s known as one of the most successful banker billionaires, but YES BANK’s Rana Kapoor had started his illustrious journey as an intern at Citibank. Having finished his MBA in the US, Kapoor had joined the IT department of New York’s Citibank. Inspired by the work there, Kapoor nurtured the dream of building a bank in India. And thus, in 2003 he set up YES Bank, one of India’s most successful private banks.

From Running in Mumbai’s Streets To Running a Bank

The overzealous man that Aditya Puri always was, had gone against his father’s wish to study commerce and soon found himself travelling long distances in Mumbai to reach his workplace. Back then, he also worked as an executive assistant to the finance director of Mahindra & Mahindra. Known to his peers as a resilient officer-in-command, Puri is now the Managing Director of HDFC Bank and is also touted to be one of the most highly paid in the industry.


Romesh Sobti, the MD and CEO of Induslnd Bank, had actually studied engineering to please his father’s wishes. But soon after, he turned to banking. Since then, in a career spanning over 35 years, Sobti has gone on to be one of the top leaders in the banking world.

The Intern Who Turned Around ICICI’s Future

Her banking journey started as a management trainee, but not many could stop Chanda Kochhar’s rise in ICICI Bank. The first female MD-CEO of the bank can also be easily called one of the most successful ones and she has many achievements in her glorious career to prove the same.

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