The first woman chairperson of State Bank of India retired last week
Arundhati Bhattacharya, who retired last week as the chairperson of India’s largest bank—State Bank of India, said that she passed the SBI PO exam courtesy of two girls who she used to teach mental math.
Talking to CNBC TV18, Bhattacharya said, “I used to tutor two young girls who were total duds in Maths. I used to give them half an hour of mental maths a day, which in turn prepared me for the exam.”
In the same interview, she also revealed that she had chosen a banking job over IAS because the salary of a Probationary Officer at that time was slightly more than an Indian Administrative Services officer. “In those days, banking paid Rs 100-200 more from IAS. In IAS you need to know one subject till postgraduate, and that subject cannot be a language. As I did English, I was a handicap as long as IAS was concerned.”
The first woman chairperson of SBI joined the bank 36 years ago and gradually climbed the success ladder. In the process, she held many positions in various departments of the bank, such as foreign exchange, treasury, retail operations, human resources and investment banking.
“Nobody in my family was a banker. I became a banker because at that time there were very few jobs which you could get without knowing somebody,” she said explaining why banking was an easier choice.“I knew nobody, I was in a hostel, a few of us got together and decided that we would crack this exam. In those days there were no guides or coaching classes. All that we studied was from the competition master.”