First woman chairperson highlights contribution to SBI

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First woman chairperson highlights contribution to SBI

The first woman chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya of the country's largest bank, who has turned author with her autobiography Indomitable - A Working Woman's Notes on Life, Work and Leadership', has mentioned the contribution of past chairmen to building the bank.

She writes, the first SBI staffer to head the bank, that the foundations had been laid by clearly delineating the values that the bank would embody.

Before Talwar, who was chairman from 1969 to 1976, the government used to depute someone from the bureaucracy to head the country's largest bank.

In the mid-eighties, D N Ghosh had the foresight to start customer segmentation and launched the commercial and industrial segment. He also established subsidiaries like SBI Capital Markets, and SBI Asset Management, as well as set up the first project for computerisation.

He was the first to get the bank rated, giving us access to the US markets, writes Bhattacharya. D Basu followed his lead, became the architect of organisational restructuring and also contributed to strengthening the bank's capital structure by conducting the first rights cum public equity issue, writes Bhattacharya, who is now Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer for Salesforce in India.

D Basu was the head of the SBI at the time between 1993 and 1995, when the country was going through the reform and liberalisation phase.

M S Verma, who Bhattacharya considers her mentor, kicked off the core banking system project by signing an agreement with Tata Consultancy Services TCS for technology implementation. After retiring in 1998, Verma had a stint with the government as chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India TRAI in 2020.

The core banking transformation was completed by OP Bhatt, who was at the helm at the time of high growth in the economy, while strengthening retail focus through various custom offerings like the'salary package'.

Bhattacharya, 65-year-old Bhattacharya, said that his business process reengineering journey and innovative mortgage products helped SBI become the largest home loan lender.

Bhatt also conducted the first two mergers of associate banks - State Bank of Saurashtra and State Bank of Indore, which provided SBI with multiple learnings. In fact, Bhatt also set up SBI Pension Fund management company and SBI General Insurance.

In 2013, Pratip Chaudhuri, who took over from Bhattacharya, had reset the relationship between the management and the Officers' Association.