Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank, 54
Even rival bankers acknowledge that Kochhar is a visionary. After seven years at the helm of India’s largest private sector lender, with consolidated assets of $139 billion, she has overhauled the nation’s consumer retail business. Though bad loans took a toll on income growth this year, Kochhar has engaged turnaround experts to help ditch those distressed assets, and in August she went a step further, signing an MoU with US-based buyout fund Apollo Global Management to set up an asset reconstruction company. This year, she also hired a chief technology and digital officer to help maintain the bank’s digital edge and recently launched apps that can book train tickets, pay taxes, and even do remittances. She also unveiled iwork@home this March enabling female employees to work from home for a year.