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Humans of finance: Arundhati Bhattacharya

Updated: May 19, 2022

Arundhati Bhattacharya is a retired Indian banker and the first woman to chair the State Bank of India. Originally aspiring to be a journalist, she casually took the entrance exam for SBI and succeeded. On March 18, 1956, she was born in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, and graduated from Jadavpur University in Kolkata. In 1977, when she was studying at Jadavpur University, she heard about the entrance exams for the probationary officer (PO) post in the 'State Bank of India' (SBI) through her friend. She entered as a probationary officer after passing an entrance examination. She was only 22 years old when she joined the SBI.

She defined the start of her beneficial profession in banking, which has spanned 4 decades, as "natural chance". She was posted as a grade-1 management executive at the Alipore branch (Kolkata main branch) of the West Bengal Central Bank before she got transferred to the Kharagpur Branch, where she worked for nine years and was promoted three times. When she left, she was Assistant General Manager. In addition to leading the bank from the front, she was involved in a variety of areas within the bank, including retail operations, human resources, foreign exchange, treasury, and investing.

Initially, she was the first woman to hold one of the top positions at the State Bank of India. According to Forbes, she was ranked as the 25th most powerful woman in the world in 2016. Fortune's list of the world's greatest leaders includes only one Indian leader at 26.Mrs. Bhattacharya became the first SBI chief to be granted a fixed term of 3 years beyond retirement age. She was also named among FP's Top 100 Global Thinkers by the Foreign Policy magazine.

According to the magazine 'India Today', Mrs. Bhattacharya was ranked number 19 in the '50 most powerful people' of 2017. Currently, she is the chairperson and CEO of a cloud-based SaaS company, Salesforce India. San Francisco is the headquarters of the US-listed SaaS company. Mrs. Bhattacharya said she wanted to show that India could be the land of dreams. All one needs is the right attitude and ideas.

Watch out this space for more on the series: humans of finance :)

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