Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Usha Ananthasubramanian: First CMD of all-women Bharatiya Mahila Bank specializes on statistics, ancient culture…

BANKER Usha Ananthasubramanian has duel masters on diametrically opposite subjects: one on statistics and the other on ancient Indian culture. On the top of it, she understands branding. So, when finance minister P Chidambaram was on a lookout for a candidate to head India’s first all-women bank, Bharatiya Mahila Bank, he spotted…
Ananthasubramanian, who not only has a 31-year-long experience in banking, but is also a repository of knowledge on diverse subjects such as statistics and ancient Indian culture. On Tuesday, Ananthasubramanian assumed charge as the first chairman and managing director (CMD) of the first all-women bank for which the government has approved Rs 1,000 crore seed capital. It was Chidambaram who had announced in his last Budget speech that an all-women bank would be set up as a step towards empowering women.
In February 1982, Ananthasubramanian joined as a specialist officer in the planning stream of Bank of Baroda. Some of her key assignments in the bank included zonal head of southern zone, life insurance joint venture formation and secretary to the Board of Directors. She is still remembered for her spirited work in rebranding the bank a few years ago. She also took some innovative HR initiatives in the BoB.
She attended leadership development programme at Gurgaon-based MDI, leadership and corporate excellence management programme at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago, and the top management programme at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
Before joining the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) as its chief executive, Ananthasubramanian was serving as the executive director of Punjab National Bank. The New Delhi-headquartered bank is expected to launch its operations this month with six branches.
In the last few months, finance ministry has chosen a number of women bankers to head PSU banks and other government financial institutions, the most high-profile appointment being that of 57-year-year old Arundhati Bhattacharya who recently joined country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) as its chairperson. The other women bankers who are heading PSU banks include Allahabad Bank’s Shubhalakshmi Panse, Bank of India’s VR Iyer and Archana Bhargava of United Bank of India. Only last week, another woman Sunita Sharma was appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LIC Housing Finance Ltd.

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