|SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya|
If she succeeds, Bhattacharya, 60, will be the first Indian to be holding an important managerial position...
in an international financial institution.
The closest was in 2001 when former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia was appointed as first director of the independent evaluation office of the International Monetary Fund. A PMO official told the newspaper that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to the candidature of Bhattacharya. Reporting directly to the World Bank president, this post is considered to be the third most important position at the bank responsible for implementation of policy decisions.
However, there was no confirmation from her side about the nomination, the report added.
The selection to the post has to be cleared by the World Bank’s board of directors, which consist of country representatives.
The post of MD & COO fell vacant after Indonesian economist Mulyani Indrawati returned to her country as its finance minister in July 2016. Bhattacharya was ranked 25th in the Forbes 2016 list of ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’, which features top female leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, philanthropists and CEOs. She held a higher ranking than Indrawati who was at no 37 in the Forbes list.
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 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.”