Where Are The Women in Indian Banking? Women leaders who once made their presence felt in Indian banking and who the industry has now lost because of various reasons

By Sanchita Dash

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The Indian banking industry has been hit by multiple scams one after the other. From the much talked about Nirav Modi-PNB scam to the recent ICICI scam, a new scam hits headlines every other day.

But what's more disturbing is the disappearing female leadership in the banking industry. An industry that has long had women leading banks is now witnessing a decline, if not the complete wipeout of female heads.

Entrepreneur India takes a look at the women leaders who once made their presence felt in Indian banking and who the industry has now lost because of various reasons.

Chanda Kochhar

Although ICICI Bank has declared that its CEO Chanda Kochhar has gone on a leave, it has already put in place an interim CEO Sandeep Bakhshi to run the operations of one of India's largest private sector banks.

Kochhar got into the public ire when she came under scrutiny for her and her families' alleged relations to lapses made by the bank regarding loans – which includes the giant Videocon group. The bank is being questioned regarding its INR 3250 crore to Videocon group and the alleged involvement of Kochhar's family members in getting the loan sanctioned. As the case took its turns, Kochhar who didn't let go of the position initially, later went on "an indefinite leave".

Shikha Sharma

Another one of India's banking big names; Axis Bank's Shikha Sharma too has left the scene. The banking head had asked the board to cut short her three-year term to seven months. While no explanation was shared by the bank's spokesperson or Sharma herself, reports suggest that one of the factors leading to her term being shortened was the rising NPAs of the bank – which had jumped five fold in the recent years. The RBI too had asked the bank's board to reconsider her appointment for the fourth term.

Usha Ananthasubramanian

The former head of the PNB Bank found herself in the bad books of the CBI as she was named in the Nirav Modi-PNB Bank scam. Finding her name in the charge sheet of the INR 13,000 crore scam which sent shockwaves across the country, Ananthasubramanian was immediately striped of all her responsibilities as the MD and CEO of Allahabad Bank. She has been accused of having not taking any action regarding the fraudulent practices of the bank.

Arundhati Bhattacharya

One of India's most glorified bankers, Arundhati Bhattacharya led the largest public sector bank in India – State Bank of India. She finished her last term with the bank in October last year. The first woman chairperson of the bank is probably one of the few to have left a legacy behind and is a name that is still reckoned with in Indian banking.

Arundhati Bhattacharya found herself in the banking industry, after her father's retirement. Taking the State Bank of India exams on a whim with her college mates, she was selected and became a probationary officer. She then rose her ranks in the bank and went on to become the Chairperson of SBI.

Wavy Line
Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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