The times are changing at the State Bank of India (SBI). The government has appointed Arundhati Bhattacharya, 57, as the new chairman of SBI for a three-year period, making this the first time a woman has occupied the corner office at the bank.
A thoroughbred State Banker, Bhattacharya has already made her intentions clear, saying that one of her major tasks would be to keep a close watch on non-performing assets (NPAs) at the bank. In her first media interaction after taking charge, Bhattacharya, who succeeded Pratip Chaudhuri, said if anything, the focus on NPAs will intensify. Company managements that fail to perform will be put on notice, she warned.
The Reserve Bank of India Governor, Raghuram Rajan, had also said after taking charge that the central bank would keep a close watch on NPAs and errant promoters. Bhattacharya is certainly on the right track.