Naina Lal Kidwani

Veteran Banker | Author | Thought Leader


The former head of HSBC India, Naina Lal Kidwai has several firsts to her name. She was the first Indian woman to get an MBA from Harvard in 1982, the first woman president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry - FICCI, and the first woman to head a foreign bank's operations in India.

Currently the Chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd, she is also a Non-Executive Director on the global board of Nestle, CIPLA Ltd and Larsen and Toubro. 

She is one of the Government of India's representatives on the BRICs Business Council where she has chaired the financial services working group, the INDO-ASEAN Business Council and the India Malaysia CEO Forum. She is also on the Advisory Board of ICRIER and a committee member of the Army Group Insurance Fund. She is on the Governing Board of Lady Shriram College and member of the Oxford University India Centre and Harvard Business School South Asia.

Author of three books, including the acclaimed 30 Women In Power that chronicles the success stories of 30 Indian woman CEOs from different sectors. 

Awards and Accomplishments

Awards and Accomplishments

In 2007, she was awarded ‘Padma Shri’ for her significant contribution to India’s banking and finance sector.

In 2000, the Fortune magazine declared her as the ‘Third Most Powerful Businesswoman’ in Asia. In 2002, Time magazine selected her as one of the ’15 Most-Promising Young Executives’. In 2009, she was awarded the ‘Green Globe Award’ in the business enterprise category for her commitment to environment sustainability.

She has also received All Ladies League’s ‘Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award’ 2013 for Excellence in Banking.

Why Naina Lal Kidwani?

Naina is not just a voracious reader but also a good orator. Her interests in Environment, Sanitation and Women Empowerment are reflected in her board positions of not-for-profit institutions like Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, United Nations Environment Program – UNEP and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Being a noted thought leader and a senior corporate leader who changed the face of corruption in India, her achievements are an inspiration for everyone as she intends to keep learning, and quotes George Bernard Shaw in her book: “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?”.

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