Who is Chanda Kochhar?
Chanda Kochhar is the CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank. She played an important role in developing and shaping the retail banking sector in India. Kochhar joined ICICI in 1984 as a management trainee. Soon she was entrusted an important role in the endeavour. Seeing her hard work and commendable performance, she got promoted to the post of assistant general manager and later, to deputy general manager. In 1996, she was made the head of a group established by ICICI bank which created an Infrastructure Industry Group to tap power, telecom and transportation industry. Soon she was made the general manager and was handling relations and business with top 200 clients of the bank. Under her outstanding leadership, ICICI bank has enhanced and flourished over the years. It has also concentrated on various aspects like diversification, expansion, distribution and technology. She went on to climb the ladder of success and promotions and finally in 2009, she was appointed as the CEO and managing director of the bank. Chanda Kochhar has been given many awards for her leadership skills and has featured in many business magazines’ list of ‘Most Powerful Women’.
Childhood & Early Life
Chanda Kochhar was born on 17 November 1961, in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Even though her birth place is Jodhpur, she was raised in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
She attended St. Angela Sophia School in Jaipur. Later, she moved to Mumbai and joined Jai Hind College to complete her bachelor’s degree. In 1982, she graduated and studied cost accountancy from Institute of Cost Accounts of India. Thereafter completed master’s degree in management studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai..
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Chanda Kochhar joined the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) as a management trainee in 1984. When she joined ICICI, she was handling project appraisal and was monitoring and evaluating projects in industries like textile, paper and cement.
In 1993, when the ICICI Bank was being set up, Chanda Kochhar was appointed as one of the core team members and granted major responsibilities.
In 1994, she got promoted to assistant general manager post, and then to deputy manager in 1996. In 1996, she was made head of the newly formed Infrastructure Industry Group of ICICI Bank which aimed to create industry expertise in areas of power, telecom and transportation.
In 1998, she was made the General Manager and the head of the ICICI Bank’s major client group, which handled relationships with ICICI’s top 200 clients.
In 1999, she found herself handling strategy and e-commerce divisions of ICICI bank. Her proficient leadership helped the bank in building the retail business and she focused more on important factors like technology, innovation, process engineering and expansion of distribution and scale.
By 2001, she had taken over as the executive director, and in 2006 she became the deputy managing director of ICICI bank. From 2006-07, she was given the responsibility of international and corporate businesses of the bank.
From 2007 to 2009, she served as the bank’s chief financial officer (CFO) and joint managing director.
In 2009, Chanda Kochhar was appointed as managing director and chief executive officer of the bank. Her role also includes heading the boards of most of bank’s subsidiaries.
In a society where very few women manage to reach the top rungs of the corporate ladder, Chanda Kochhar has broken the glass ceiling. She is leading the ICICI Bank since 2009 and under her leadership ICICI Bank won the "Best Retail Bank in India" award in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
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Awards & Achievements
In 2005, Chanda Kochhar was awarded ‘Business Woman of the Year’ award by The Economic Times, and in 2006 she received ‘Rising Star Award’ for Global Awards by Retail Banker International.
She was also featured in the list of ‘30 Most Powerful Woman Leaders’ for eight consecutive years from 2002 to 2010.
She was ranked 10th in Fortune’s List of ‘Most Powerful Women in Business’ in 2010. In the same year, she was ranked 92nd in the Forbes List of ‘Most Powerful Women’ in the world.
In 2010, she also received ‘Outstanding Woman Business Leader of the Year’ award by CNBC TV18. Also, Financial Times ranked her 11th in list of ‘Top 50 Woman in World Business’.
In 2011, she was conferred with Padma Bhushan award, the third highest civilian award in India.
In 2014, Carleton University, Canada honoured her with doctorate degree.
Chanda Kochhar was listed in Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ in 2015.
In 2017, she was also seen in Business World magazine’s ‘BW’s Most Influential Women’ list as a woman leader.
Personal Life & Legacy
Chanda Kochhar is married to Deepak Kochhar and is residing in Mumbai. Deepak Kochhar is a wind energy entrepreneur and was her business schoolmate. The couple has two children, a daughter, Aarti, and a son, Arjun.
She is the first leader to receive an award in the category of Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship from Woodrow Wilson Centre located in Washington, US.
She has won the Wockhardt Gold Medal for Excellence in Management Studies and J.N. Bose Gold Medal in Cost Accountancy.