Success like her's is the staple of dreams that school children dream, but Chanda Kochhar is one that would have hardly had the time for such fantasies. A diligent student, Kochhar was busy collecting gold medals in management studies and cost accountancy when others were wiling away time -- all of which she channelised to get to the top post of India's largest private sector bank ICICI Bank.
Kochhar spent her college years playing badminton and polishing her elocution skills -- which would come handy later in the hardball game of boardroom negotiations. Soon after completing her masters in management studies (finance) and cost accountancy, this Jodhpur girl joined the erstwhile industrial finance company ICICI in 1984 as a management trainee.
In 1993, when the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India decided to enter commercial banking business, Kochhar was deputed to ICICI Bank as a part of the core team to set up the operations.
She was instrumental in setting up, as well as scaling up, the retail business for ICICI. In 2000, by when Kochhar had already started rising from the ranks to become a key player in the top management, ICICI Bank formally entered retail banking business and within five years became the largest private sector financer in the country. The bank became the leader in car and two-wheeler finance, home finance and card business - a super achievement by a woman who has been named among the world's most powerful women by Fortune.
A doting mother, she cared for the bank as much, if not more, for her two children and believed in the institution so much that she continues to park her entire savings in the bank.