Arundhati Bhattacharya

Former Chairperson of State Bank of India

Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya has 40 years of rich experience in India's financial sector working across varied roles and diverse national & international locations.

During her four years tenure as the first-ever woman Chair of State Bank of India, a Fortune 500 company, she has stamped her imprint on the financial world not just in India but globally as well. Ms. Bhattacharya has expertise and deep understanding of all aspects of banking spanning the domains of credit, forex, treasury, retail operations, mergers and acquisitions besides the capital & bond markets.

She is credited with upscaling the Bank's technology initiatives in order to give this 212 year old largest bank of India (22% market share) a digital edge that has been acknowledged by Industry as path breaking. Her work in the area of Human Resources with special focus on the status of women and "challenged" members of the work force, has also been of special significance. Under her leadership of the bank was adjudged one of India's top 3 Best Places to work in India by leading Global Job site ‘Indeed' based on their 15 million reviews globally for most highly rated reviews on overall employee experience.

Other notable initiatives during her Chairmanship include the overhauling of the Bank's risk structure and implementation of various technology tools for this purpose, as well as enhancing enterprise wide risk awareness and sensitivity, through various training initiatives. During her tenure the other Companies in the Group also benefitted notably on account of focus on value creation and collaboration.

She also engineered the merger of the mother Bank with its six Associate banks creating an entity three times the size of its nearest competitor. The entire exercise was executed smoothly over a period of six weeks and was credited with being an operation that was completed with minimal or no disruption of customer service across its network of 22000 branches and 56000 ATMs as well as over 5000 franchisee outlets.

Forbes magazine has ranked her 25th in their list of "Most Powerful Women in the World" and 5th in "The Most Powerful Women in Finance" category in 2016. She has also been featured in the Fortune List of Top 50 globally most powerful women in business and ranked among the top 5 in the Asia-Pacific region. She was included in the top 100 Global Thinkers in 2014 by Foreign Policy Magazine and was one of the two Indians on the list. She has been ranked 26th in the fourth edition of Fortune's World 50 Greatest Leaders list, becoming the only Indian corporate leader to be featured in the list.

Before taking charge as Chairman, Ms. Bhattacharya had a short stint as MD & CFO of the Bank. During this period she worked assiduously to improve investor relations and improve matters such as data quality in reporting. She has been outspoken in her views of not being driven by quarterly numbers to the detriment of long term strategy and goals.

She was MD & CEO of SBI's investment banking arm, SBI Capital Markets. Earlier, as Dy. Managing Director in SBI, she headed the largest Human Resources Department of the Banking Industry consisting of a work force of over two hundred thousand plus employees, which includes 65,000 Officers. As Chief General Manager (New Businesses), Ms. Bhattacharya was involved in setting up several new companies / initiatives of the Bank including SBI General Insurance, SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund, SBI SG Securities Ltd, etc., as well as the launch of new IT platforms such as Mobile Banking and Financial Planning in the Bank.

In her extensive service in the Bank, she has had the opportunity of working in Metro, Urban and Rural areas across the length and breadth of the country. As Chief General Manager, Bengaluru Circle, she took keen interest in promoting Financial Inclusion and financing of Self Help Groups. She also had a stint in the Bank's New York office where she was in charge of monitoring branch performance, overseeing External Audit and Correspondent Relations.

Ms. Bhattacharya is a postgraduate degree holder in English. She is also an Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers.

She is also associated with various initiatives and institutions for empowering the challenged and differently abled with the aim of integrating them in the society.

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