Trainee to CEO: Kochhar’s story : Success like her’s is the staple of dreams that school children dream, but Chanda Kochhar is one that would have hardly had the time for such fantasies. A diligent student, Kochhar was busy collecting gold medals in management studies and cost accountancy when others were wiling away time — all of which she channelised to get to the top post of India’s largest private sector bank ICICI Bank.
Kochhar spent her college years playing badminton and polishing her elocution skills. Soon after completing her masters in management studies (finance) and cost accountancy, this Jodhpur girl joined the erstwhile industrial finance company ICICI in 1984 as a management trainee.
In 1993, when the ICICI decided to enter commercial banking business, Kochhar was deputed to ICICI Bank as a part of the core team to set up the operations. She was instrumental in setting up, as well as scaling up, the retail business for ICICI. In 2000, by when Kochhar had already started rising from the ranks to become a key player in the top management, ICICI Bank formally entered retail banking business and within five years became the largest private sector financer in the country.
Kochhar played a key role in shaping the retail finance industry in the country, where funds were hard to come by for individual borrowers. Under her leadership, the bank won the best retail bank award for four years, thrice in a row (2003, ‘04 and ‘05), from The Asian Banker. She has been steadily climbing up the lists of most influential people brought out by domestic and global publications. Fortune magazine ranked her as 2007’s 33rd most powerful woman in business — compared with 47th place in 2005.
From a management trainee to the post of the ICICI Bank's chief executive officer, it has been a winning journey for Chanda Kochhar. Work is passion for Kochhar who believes that there is no substitute to hard work. Chanda Kochhar will be ICICI Bank's new chief executive officer and managing director with effect from May 1, 2009 for a period of five years.
The 47-year old Chanda Kochhar is currently joint managing director of ICICI Bank. Kochhar heads the corporate centre of the Bank, is the chief financial Officer (CFO) and is also the official spokesperson for ICICI Bank. Chanda Kochhar recently ranked 25th in Fortune International Power 50 list, thanked the ICICI Board for its confidence in her.
Kochhar said "I would like to thank the board for the confidence they have reposed in me, and Kamath for his inspiring leadership. I am committed to working with our team and with all our stakeholders to leverage the ICICI group's strengths and capitalize on the opportunities before us. We look forward to Kamath's continued mentoring and guidance in the years ahead."