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CA Naina Lal Kidwai: A banking woman of many firsts

In this edition of Jobaaj Stories, we bring to you the inspiring story of Padma Shree honored, Indian banker, Chartered accountant, and Business executive, CA Naina Lal Kidwai.

An advocate of women empowerment and environment preservation, she currently enjoys the fruits of her long and dedicated career of banking and finance by now working for the morals that she believes in, and that is working for the upliftment of rural women and dedicate her efforts for women empowerment.

As we shall read ahead in the article, this woman’s hard work deserves the applause of the highest regards, for the standards that she set as a working woman shall be an inspiration to every woman in the country.

To show you a small glimpse of her achievement, She was the former group general manager and the country head of HSBC India along with also being the former President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The academic journey of CA Naina Lal Kidwai

Like a lot of great minds of the country, CA Naina Lal Kidwai did her graduation from Delhi University getting her bachelor’s degree in economics from Lady Shree Ram college for women in 1980. She went on to attain her MBA from Harvard Business School, thus becoming the very first Indian female to have graduated from that prestigious institute. As mentioned above, She is a lady of a lot of firsts, and truly so, for she was also the first Indian woman to guide the functioning of a foreign bank in the country.

Moving up on the professional ladder

Her work life after her MBA was very driven and dedicated.

To sum up,

  • From 1982-1994 she worked in ANZ Grindlays, where she rose through the ranks to become the Head of the Investment Bank, the Head of the Global NRI Services, and Head of Western India, Retail Bank. 
  • From 1994 to 2002, Kidwai worked at Morgan Stanley India and JM Morgan Stanley as the head of investment banking.
  • She served as the Manager of Investment Bank, West India, based in Bombay from 1984 to 1987.
  • And she also worked at Price Waterhouse & Co. from 1977 to 1980.

Career highlights and becoming awesome

CA Naina Lal Kidwai worked majorly for the HSBC for the prime professional years of her life. She has been serving as the Group General Manager of HSBC Holdings plc. Since 2006. Apart from that, she has also been working as the CEO of HSBC India and since 2009 as the country head of the HSBC.

Currently, she works on the following projects;

  • Working as the chairman of Max financial services Ltd.
  • Working as the Chairman of HSBC Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd and HSBC InvestDirect (India) Ltd.
  • As the non-executive director on the board of Nestle SA and Altico Capital Partners.
  • On the governing boards of several firms such as NCAER, as the Audit Advisory Board of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and on the National Executive Committee of CII and FICCI.
  • She also works as the independent director of Essar oil limited(now called Nayara energy limited).

Accolades and philanthropy

Her professional acumen and her dedicated and career-driven attitude have brought home many accolades for her.

For her exceptional service in the field of banking, she has received ALL Ladies League’s Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award 2013.

Most importantly, she has secured the prestigious Padma Shri award for her contributions in the areas of trade and industry.

She has also been repeatedly featured in fortune global list of women in business.

As a successful woman in business, she strongly believes in the principle of women empowerment and has contributed a great portion of her efforts to that cause. She is also an advocate for environmental preservation and youth upliftment associations.

This inspirational story is brought to you by Jobaaj Stories in association with

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