Friday, April 8, 2016

Breaking glass ceiling: SBI chairman in Forbes Asian women power list

SBI chief Bhattacharya
STATE Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, 62, has added yet another feather into her glorious cap as she has been featured in Forbes' "Asia 50 Power Businesswomen 2016" list, which acknowledges the inroads women are making in the business world, despite gender inequalities.
Reliance Industries director Nita Ambani and the State Bank of India chairman have been ranked...
top two in Forbes’ “Asia 50 Power Businesswomen 2016” list, which acknowledges the inroads women are making in the business world, despite gender inequalities.
As many as eight Indian businesswomen have made the cut in the latest list who among them bring to the table representations from diverse business fields -- banking, bio-tech, data analytics, textiles, pharma and even wellness and beauty.
On Bhattacharya, the magazine said, “Bhattacharya is facing her most challenging test yet with the State Bank of India, the country’s biggest. Mounting bad loans, which stood at $11 billion in December, caused net profit to plunge more than 60% to $190 million in a recent quarter. “The days of promoters gaming the banking system are over,” she warned in February, before urging the arrest of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, whose defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than $1.3 billion to state-run banks. SBI was among the first lenders to label the former billionaire a “willful defaulter.” Mallya has denied the allegations and has left the country but says he has not absconded.”
Women from 14 countries are represented on the list; China and Hong Kong dominate with 14 women, followed by India with eight, Thailand with five and Japan with four.
Arundhati Bhattacharya, the first woman to helm the nation’s largest lender State Bank of India, also makes her way into the list. She has been at the forefront of driving deep-rooted transformational changes at SBI, pushing through major digital initiatives and restructuring HR practices to ensure it is future-ready and in step with changing customer trends. Bhattacharya, known to speak her mind freely and boldly, is also waging a battle against corporate loan defaulters in the face of mounting bad loans in the banking system, including at SBI.   

In 2015 also she figured in Forbes’ list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women (ranked 30). Forbes said about her: “Bhattacharya was named the first female (and youngest) chair at the government-owned State Bank of India in 2013 after nearly four decades of service. She oversees 220,000 staff members in 16,000 branches and services 225 million customers at the country's largest lender (assets $400 billion) with offices spread over 36 countries. Recognizing the multiple roles of working women, Bhattacharya pioneered a two-year sabbatical policy for female employees taking maternity leave or give extended care to family. The 208-year-old bank recently launched digital branches as part of an effort to offer next generation banking services to India's growing mobile phone and tech-savvy customer base. To reach more rural customers, the bank has installed some 800 solar power ATMS in remote areas.”

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