- AffiliationState Bank of India
Bhattacharya, the first-ever woman to helm India’s largest bank, has expertly steered SBI—No. 232 on the Global 500—through rough waters (an ongoing battle with bad loans) and sudden storms (India’s surprise demonetization scheme). She’s been transformative, too—dragging the sprawling, 211-year old institution into the digital era and overhauling HR for her 200,000+ employees. The complex, six-bank merger she orchestrated last year will catapult SBI into the ranks of the world’s 50 largest banks. That effectiveness, and her frank, outspoken style has been noticed: Bhattacharya, who was recently granted a rare extension to her three-year term at SBI, was, last year, considered a favorite to lead the Reserve Bank of India, and nominated for the No. 2 job at the World Bank.