Since Raghuram Rajan announced on 18 June that he wouldn’t be seeking reappointment as RBI governor, rumours have been flying regarding his successor. Rajan’s tenure is set to end in September and sources indicate that the Central Bank may just receive its first woman governor – Arundhati Bhattacharya, reports Daily Bhaskar.
Born in Kolkata to a Bengali family, Arundhati studied English literature at the city’s Brabourne College and Jadavpur University. Her husband is an ex-professor of IIT Kharagpur. The couple have a daughter.
Arundhati started working in the SBI in 1977. She had joined the bank back then as a probationary officer. Her tenure has witnessed outstanding developments at the bank as it surpassed the heights of success. Currently, she is serving as the Chairperson of the bank.
During her tenure as Chief General Manager of the bank, she undertook various initiatives for the common masses in the form of establishing SBI General Insurance, SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund and SBI SG Global Securities Private Ltd. Further, she also introduced services such as financial planning and mobile banking. She is considered to be a visionary and the first woman in SBI’s history to be appointed as its chairperson in 2013. This automatically also made her the first woman in the country to ever lead an Indian Fortune 500 company.
Forbes Magazine recognized Arundhati’s excellent work in 2016 when it ranked her 25th in the list of the world’s 100 most powerful women. Under Arundhati’s amazing leadership, SBI challenged liquor baron Vijay Mallya in 2014 and sent him a notice to declare Kingfisher Airlines as a ‘willful defaulter’. In March, 2016 the bank asked the Debt Recovery Tribunal to arrest Mallya, confiscate his passport and present entire record of his assets.
She had succeeded Pradeep Chaudhuri as Chairperson of SBI on 7 October 2013. In 2015 she was ranked amongst the FP Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine. Further, she was also named as the 4th most powerful woman in Asia Pacific by Fortune.
During her tenure as Chairperson of SBI, she introduced a two-year sabbatical policy for women employees for child or elder care.