Shikha Sharma, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Axis Bank, is the Business Standard Banker of the Year for 2014-15.
She was selected by a five-member jury headed by Rakesh Mohan, former deputy governor of the RBI, and former executive director of the IMF, for building a formidable capital market business and having a strong balance sheet.
The other jury members were Edelweiss Group chairman and CEO Rashesh Shah, Ican Investment Advisors chairman Anil Singhvi, Bank of Baroda's former chairman M D Mallya, and Ambit Capital CEO (institutional equities) Saurabh Mukherjea.
The jury shortlisted a couple of bankers from a list of 10 on parameters such as asset and liability growth, efficiency ratios, asset quality and employee productivity. Aspects like financial inclusion, corporate governance standard, customer service and technology innovations were also taken into consideration. After deliberating for more than an hour, the jury zeroed in on two candidates. It wasn't an easy choice as both had a similar record of success, prompting the jury to closely examine the 'intangibles'.
The Business Standard Banking Annual, a special 52-page magazine being distributed with Thursday's edition, carries a detailed profile of and interview with Sharma.
Sharma took charge of Axis Bank in April 2009, a few months after the Lehman crisis broke out. After a year and a half, she acquired Enam Securities, which has turned the bank into an investment banking powerhouse today. Sharma also undertook an asset-liability correction in the early years. The bank's compounded annual net profit growth rate was above 20 per cent in the three years ending 2014-15.