On Wednesday, Former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya has been appointed as an independent additional director of the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)
“Arundhati Bhattacharya is appointed for a period of five years commencing from 17th October, 2018, subject to approval of the shareholders,” the company said in an exchange filing.
Bhattacharya, 62, comes with a vast experience behind her. She was the first woman chairman of of India’s largest lending bank, SBI. Besides her role as top boss at SBI, Bhattarcharya also has hands-on experience in India’s financial sector of working across varied roles and diverse national and international locations.
In 2016, Forbes magazine had ranked her 25th in their list of “most powerful women in the world” and fifth in “the most powerful women in finance” category.
Arundhati has also featured in the top 50 globally most powerful women Fortune List in business and also ranked among the top five in the Asia-Pacific region.
Back then, Bhattacharya was facing her most challenging test yet with the State Bank of India where bad loans were mounting, and stood at $11 billion in December. This had caused the net profit of SBI to plunge more than 60% to $190 million in the year 2016.
She had made a statement earlier in February that year,
“The days of promoters gaming the banking system are over,”
This was prior to her request of arresting liquor baron Vijay Mallya, whose defunct Kingfisher Airlines owed more than $1.3 billion to state-run banks.
SBI was among one of the first lenders to label the former billionaire a “willful defaulter.” Although, Mallya has denied the allegations and has left the country in March 2016.
Arundhati Bhattacharya started off her career at 21 years of age as a probationary officer at SBI. All to her credit, she became the first woman to head the public sector bank.
As the Chairman of India’s largest bank, State Bank of India, Arundhati Bhattacharya’s term ended in October 2017.
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