Are The Women Of Substance Being Reduced To Ashes?

By Ritika Jain in Editor's Pick 18/04/2018

Last May, Chanda Kochhar became the first Indian woman to receive the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Citizenship, joining the ranks of Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice. In the same year, she laid her claim on the prestigious list of Forbes 100 most powerful women.

Chanda Kochhar


This woman became the role model for several million other women across the globe. Her ambitious community outreach program, ICICI Digital Village, brought vocational training to over 11,000 villagers in 17 states in India and provided financial tools to aspiring entrepreneurs. She was the one personality amongst several others, who was believed to be an inspiration. In the unfortunately male-dominated top echelons of the banking world, Kochhar made a name for herself. She was a role until the other day when the celebrity status came crashing down with serious allegations of conflict of interest.



In a similar case, Shikha Sharma, the managing director and CEO of Axis Bank suffered a similar showdown due to her inefficiency of management. When Sharma took over in 2009, she was aggressive to build the bank and grow its assets in both the retail and wholesale lending. She helped the bank to be one of the best performers in the market.


Shikha Sharma, like Chanda Kochhar, became a name to be looked up to. Both these women defined woman power and that too in a sector with the scarcity of women leaders. They ruled the industry for a decade with an infrequent potential and made the world believe the power of the famine gender.


Shikha Sharma


Shikha Sharma and Chanda Kochhar are both women of substance. They are powerful, influential, dynamic and courageous women who eventually fell into the trap of insignificant worldly desires.


When instances like these occur, we do not know what and whom to blame.


Is this the value system, the upbringing, or just the feminine inclination towards their supposedly better halves?


In case of Chanda Kochhar, the latter seems to be true. Kochhar is alleged to have sanctioned a loan of more than 30 billion rupees to Videocon in exchange for a deal for her husband’s firm.


Women are very strong but while a lot of women join the organization, it’s also equally important for them not to give up and continue through that biggest life stage point where they start their families.


These were Kochhar’s words during a panel discussion on of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad. She always came across as an independent woman who believed in woman power and was motivated enough to take over the world.


It seems rather baffling when she is being accused of conflict of interest for her spouse. If these accusations turn out to be true, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it is an inherited characteristic for a woman to vouch for her husband no matter what her social or financial status be.


Though Shikha Sharma’s case is entirely different from that of Chanda Kochhar’s, it again highlights the weaknesses of women entrepreneurs. Sharma was known to take risks, she was known to built businesses. She had a good people connect and were aggressive enough to try out unconventional ideas. But, she was also the one who could not handle emotional breakdowns. It was tough for her to come to terms with a situation where things haven’t gone according to a plan.


Kochhar and Sharma are brands in themselves yet they took decisions that might lead to the downfall of not only their careers but the reputation of the banks they represent. When women like these fail for reasons that seem insignificant, it is hard to swallow. RBI has already put an end to Sharma’s career by curtailing the fourth term to December this year. But, the future is still uncertain for Kochhar.


These two women have inspired us with their diligence and leadership qualities for decades, and all we expect from them is to at least come out with an explanation. The rumors, accusations, and allegations have already created a buzz and their silence is doing nothing but flaming the fire.


Ritika Jain

Ritika has been working as a freelancer in content creation and editing for about 2 years now.Also worked as a content editor with S Chand Group of companies and have interned as an assistant content editor with McGraw Hill publications. She’s currently freelancing as a content writer/blogger with some publication houses and a few social media start ups.
Ritika has gained experience in different genres of writing while woking with these various organisations. A curious soul and an avid reader, Ritika likes experimenting with her writing style and have written various blogs and articles.


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