|Will she get an extension?|
the Bharatiya Mahila Bank. Bhattacharya, who has been at the helm of the bank for the last three years, may be given an extension for a few months to ensure a smooth transition.
A final decision would be taken only after two months based on a thorough assessment of the situation. No “outsider” will be brought in to head the bank; the official source was quoted as saying.
“Extension (of Bhattacharya) will be considered…there is no decision on the issue as yet and only preliminary talks have on the issue (of the post) have been held,” the source said.
“She has been dynamic in her performance and has managed things very well especially at a time when the industry is going through a tough phase with non-performing assets surging to alarming levels,” the source said. Bhattacharya may get “a respectable and responsible” position after her innings with SBI.
Last year, the government for the first time, threw its doors open to private sector executives to head large state owned lenders and Canara Bank and Bank of Baroda got their chiefs from the private sector.
Names of Anshula Kant, CFO, SBI; Dinesh Khara, MD and CEO of SBI Mutual Fund and Praveen Kumar Gupta, MD, SBI are also being considered for the top post.
Bhattacharya was earlier featured in Forbes' "Asia 50 Power Businesswomen 2016" list, which acknowledges the inroads women are making in the business world, despite gender inequalities. The list acknowledges the inroads women are making in the business world, despite gender inequalities.
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 percent 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.”
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.”
Bhattacharya, the first woman to helm the nation’s largest lender State Bank of India, 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 2013, Bhattacharya, then 57, created history when she took charge as the first woman chairperson of the lender. The youngest MD of SBI succeeded Pratip Chaudhuri.
Bhattacharya has rich experience across almost all major business segments ranging from retail and corporate finance, treasury and international operations. Her balanced approach on handling issues will be crucial for her top job. She doesn’t hesitate to take tough decision.
The panel had confided on the banking caliber of this female dynamic leader who has over 37 years of banking experience.
She joined SBI in 1977 as a probationary officer and has served in various positions, including head of SBI Capital Markets Ltd, the bank’s investment banking unit. Bhattacharya had also served as a deputy managing director and corporate development officer at SBI. Bhattacharya also had a brief stint at the Bank’s office in New York.
She played a pivotal role in creating three of the bank’s newest subsidiaries -- in general insurance, custodial services and the SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund. Bhattacharya also shared a good rapport with the trade unions.