After Chanda Kochhar and Shikha Sharma, another woman is going to head a bank. Arundhati Bhattacharya has been appointed as the first woman Managing Director of SBI. Bhattacharya will replace Diwakar Gupta, who leaves the charge of affairs at SBI by the end of July. With over three decades of experience at SBI, Bhattacharya has undertaken various assignments spanning credit, forex, treasury and retail operations. Bhattacharya has served as Corporate Development Officer and Deputy Managing Director at SBI. She joined SBI as a Direct Recruit Officer in 1977 and served as its Chief General Manager of Bangalore Circle. She also served as Chief General Manager of New Businesses for Corporate Centre at SBI and also served as its General Manager of Network - II, Lucknow and Chief Development Officer.
In the past, she has been actively involved in setting up several new companies and initiatives at SBI. This includes the SBI's entry in the general insurance space through SBI General Insurance, the launch of SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund, SBI SG Securities etc, and the launch of new IT platforms such as Mobile Banking and Financial Planning.
She has managed large corporate credit as well as initiatives for financial inclusion and financing of Self Help Groups. Bhattacharya had a brief stint at the Bank's office in New York. The new appointment is expected to pave the way for her to take over as the chairman of the country's lead bank as she will be the only one eligible for the chairman when the posts fall vacant later this year.
There are speculations that she would take over as chairperson of the bank after the current chairman Pratip Chaudhuri retires in September.