Career: Managing Director, CEO, Axis Bank
Starting her career with the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) in 1980, Shikha Sharma was picked to head the life insurance division of ICICI when it became the first bank in the private sector to get a license to carry out the business of insurance. She was able to maintain a lead from the first day which helped the organisation to remain the largest private sector life insurance company in India. Considering ICICI as her second home, she worked towards the development of the organisation, the growth of which can be considered parallel to hers. Born to an Army officer, Shikha Sharma maintained discipline in her life and this disciplined showed right through her career too. In a male dominated financial world, she carved a niche for herself. She is the kind of person who considers every job that comes towards her as a challenge. It's no wonder then that she was chosen as the CEO of Axis bank, almost unanimously.
Shikha Sharma was born to a soldier who travelled all over India, before settling down in Delhi. She completed her school education at the Loreto Convent in Delhi and graduated in economics from the Lady Sreeram College, Delhi. She finished her post graduate diploma in software technology from the National Institute of Software Technology, Mumbai. She also completed her Masters in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmadabad.
Shikha Sharma started her career with ICICI, India's largest financial service provider in 1980. She joined ICICI right after graduating from IIM, Ahmadabad. In her 28 year association with ICICI Group, she set up various businesses. In 1992, she set up ICICI Securities which is a joint venture of ICICI and J.P. Morgan. She started setting up various group businesses for ICICI which included investment banking and retail finance. In 1995, she moved to ICICI Securities and was deputed to J.P Morgan. In 1997, she rejoined ICICI as the General Manager in charge of Strategic Planning and Development. In 1998, she became the Managing Director of ICICI Personal Financial services. Shikha Sharma also served as the Director of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company till April 2009 and was the Independent Director of ACC limited December 2006 to May 2009. She is the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director of Axis Bank Limited and Chairperson and associate Director of Axis Asset Management company Limited since June 1, 2009.
Shikha Sharma made ICICI Prudential what it is today. It is the organization she built from scratch; the leading player in the life insurance business .In her 28 year old association with the ICICI Group, she was instrumental in setting the foundation for the bank's personal financial services business. Here, she also launched an innovative micro insurance cover of 1 dollar a month for poor people in India. In December 2008, under her leadership, ICICI Prudential commanded a market share of 13 %.
Shikha Sharma is one of the two women entrepreneurs who are at the helm of a private bank in India. In a male dominated banking and insurance sector, she, with her exceptional leadership qualities, made ICICI Prudential, the largest private insurance company in the country. She has left behind a legacy which is followed by millions of women aspirants.
Awards and Accolades
'Woman Business Leader' by CNBC TV18, 2007
'Business Woman of the Year' by Economic Times, 2009
Ranked 89th in the list of 'World's 100 Most Powerful Women' by Forbes magazine, 2010
1980: Shikha Sharma started her career with ICICI as a project officer.
1992: Set up ICICI Securities which was a joint venture of ICICI and J. P Morgan.
1995: Moved to ICICI Securities and was deputed to J.P. Morgan.
1997: Rejoined ICICI as the General Manager in charge of Strategic Planning and Development.
1998: Became the Managing Director of ICICI Personal Financial Services.
2009: Became the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director of Axis Bank Limited and Chairperson and Associate Director of Axis Asset Management Company Limited.