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Naina Lal Kidwai, The Investment Bank Guru

By Nandhini Devi

The first Indian woman graduate from Harvard Business School, Naina Lal Kidwai occupies the position of Country Head & Group General Manager of HSBC, India. She is also a member of its Asia-Pacific Board. Naina Lal is a chartered accountant, and is one among the top women entrepreneurs of India.

Her prominence in the corporate world is marked by her role in enabling functioning of a foreign bank in India. Naina Lal's other major contributions to the corporate industry include the NYSE listing of Wipro and enabling cellular phone services in India via a deal with Tata & Birla. She also played a major role in forging the joint venture between JM Financial Group and Morgan Stanley, India.

Naina Lal Kidwai has been awarded with numerous awards, including the prestigious Padmashri Award, in 2007. Fortune Magazine has repeatedly recognized her as a top businesswoman, and in the year 2000, she was recognized as the third powerful businesswoman. She was also listed as 12th in the Global Listing Of Women To Watch by Time Magazine.

On completion of her chartered accountancy course, she joint Price Waterhouse as a trainee in 1977. However, she faced discrimination as she was a woman. She then decided to get an extra degree to overcome these hurdles. Right after graduating from Harvards, Naina Lal Kidwai worked at ANZ Grindlays (1982 – 1994). She next worked at Morgan Stanley as Vice Chairman and Head of the Investment Bank. After holding position as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at HSBC, she now heads the organization as the Country Head.

Hailing from a family of achievers, Naina Lal Kidwai, was always a topper at school. Her long-time friend, Mira Nair, commented about Ms. Lal being a legend from schooldays. She is known to be a shrewd negotiator and was the highest paid banker in 2003. She also suggests that for an idea to be successful, you need the effort of a group and not the individual.

Married to Rashid Kidwai, Naina is the mother of two. She likes hearing to classical and western music. Her other interests include trekking in the Himalayas and she is also an avid nature lover. Firmly believing in the fact that one must give back to the society, what one has received, she actively participates in activities that help the community. Ms. Lal is the National Advisory Board Member of AIESEC, a youth organization that helps in developing leadership capabilities in youth.

Read more about: business personality entrepreneur
Story first published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 14:47 [IST]
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