Arundhati Bhattacharya Biography: Most Successful Indian Women In Banking

Arundhati Bhattacharya
Arundhati Bhattacharya

Here is a career story of Arundhati Bhattacharya: SBI’s First Woman Banker

Arundhati Bhattacharya is the first women banker at SBI – State Bank of India,  Indian public sector bank in India. Here we are sharing the success stories of Indian entrepreneurs that will inspire you.

Personal background:

Bhattacharya was born on 18 March 1956 in a Bengali family in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Her father’s name is Prodyut Kumar Mukherjee. Her mother’s name is Kalyani Mukherjee. Her father worked at Bokaro Steel Plant as an engineer and her mother was a homeopathy consultant in Bokaro.

Her husband’s name is Pritimoy Bhattacharya. He is an ex-professor of IIT Kharagpur. She did not know cooking at the time of her marriage, with the help of her mother, she learned cooking. The couple has a daughter who works in the field of Human resources named “Sukrita”.

Educational background:

Arundhati was an average student until class 5. She completed her schooling from St. Xavier’s School in Bokaro steel city. Arundhati spent her childhood in one of the planned cities of India, Bokaro Steel City.  She completed her English Literature study from Calcutta’s Lady Brabourne College.

She obtained her graduation degree from Jadavpur University. Arundhati got to know about the entrance exams of State Bank of India’ (SBI) for the probationary officer (PO) post while studying at Jadavpur University.

After completing her education, She appeared in the entrance exam of State Bank of India and got through. She cleared the subsequent rounds as well.

Career background:

In September 1977, She joined the State Bank of India as a probationary officer (PO) at the age of 22 years and posted at the main branch of Kolkata, West Bengal as a grade-1 level junior management executive.

Arundhati mainly looked into the bank guarantees department. She is so down to earth and very focused on her work schedule!

In 1983, Arundhati was shifted to the local head office in the capacity of a planner and transferred to the Nimpura branch, Kharagpur branch, which is 14 km from Kharagpur. Bhattacharya then returned to Kharagpur as a branch manager.

She received three promotions during her nine-year tenure at Kharagpur and exited as an assistant general manager. Arundhati was posted at Kolkotta’s commercial branch in 1993. She worked as vice-president branch co-ordination in the United States.

In 1996, Bhattacharya worked as vice-president branch co-ordination in the US. From 1996 to 2000, Arundhati Bhattacharya worked in the audit department in New York.

Back in India, she was posted at the Kolkata branch in a foreign department. She joined the State Bank of India as the retail operation in-charge at Lucknow branch, Uttar Pradesh.

Arundhati decided to quit the job due to managing work and personal life. She, however, dropped the idea. She transferred to Mumbai as a general manager. In 2009, she was promoted as the chief general manager of ‘SBI New Businesses’.

She also got to work in mobile banking and SBI general insurance. Bhattacharya served as the corporate development officer and deputy managing director and served a stint in Bangalore for two years.

In 2011, She transferred as the deputy MD of human resources in the Mumbai branch. In 2013, Arundhati became the CEO of SBI Capital and became the first woman chairperson of the State Bank of India.

She will join the likes of Shikha Sharma, MD, and CEO, Axis Bank; Kaku Nakhate, president and country head (India), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Naina Lal Kidwai, country head, HSBC; Shubhalakshmi Panse, CMD of Allahabad Bank, and Vijayalakshmi Iyer, CMD, Bank of India; Archana Bhargava, CMD, United Bank of India.

Arundhati Bhattacharya is the first woman to lead a Fortune India 500 company. She launched several pro-women policies including a two-year sabbatical leave policy, temporary deputation, and flexible timing which allow female employees to manage work and home simultaneously.

In 2016, Bhattacharya was listed by Forbes India as the 25th most powerful woman in the world which was her first time being ranked on the list. Arundhati retired as the SBI chairperson on October 6, 2017. She is listed on Fortune’s world’s greatest leaders list.

Arundhati has also served as the chairperson of the State Bank of Mysore, SBI Foundation, SBI Pension Funds Pvt Ltd, State Bank of Patiala, SBI Cards & Payment Services Pvt Ltd, SBI Global Factors Ltd., SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd., State Bank of Hyderabad, SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd., State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, SBI Capital Markets Ltd., SBI DFHI Ltd., and State Bank of Travancore.

During her 36-year banking career, she has served many departments and held top positions with the bank including working in treasury, foreign exchange, human resources, retail operations, and investment banking. Arundhati received the ‘Business Leader of the Year’ title in 2018, at ‘The Asian Awards.

Her interview was published on Harvard Business Review Ascend titled “Arundhati Bhattacharya: The Making of SBI’s First Woman Chairperson in 2018.

Arundhati Bhattacharya has joined an Indian multinational conglomerate company, Reliance Industries as an additional director, independent director for five years commencing October 17, 2018. 

Under Arundhati Bhattacharya’s leadership, The State Bank of India transformed from a normal public sector bank into a customer-friendly bank.

Clearly, Arundhati Bhattacharya is a role model and a powerful woman. Her success story will exalt many women. Do you find Arundhati Bhattacharya’s success story inspiring? Share your views. Tell us other such inspiring Indian entrepreneurs that exalt your spirit.

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