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The complete banker: Zarin Daruwala

Zarin Daruwala started her career, in the late eighties, working with eminent chartered accountant Y.H. Malegam, who later advised her to join ICICI Ltd

Print Edition: Nov 28, 2010

Zarin Daruwala,
45, Group Executive, Wholesale Banking, ICICI Bank
(New on BT's Most Powerful list)

A woman can be known by her mentors. In that department, few can match Zarin Daruwala. She started her career, in the late eighties, working with eminent chartered accountant Y.H. Malegam, who later advised her to join ICICI Ltd (before it became a bank).

At ICICI, her first boss was Lalita Gupte, one of the stalwarts of the ICICI group. In a few years she was working in the office of N. Vaghul, then chairman of the development financial institution.

Biggest achievement in 2010: Elevation to Group Executive where she manages more than 4,000 corporate clients

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All that guidance seems to have worked well. Today, Daruwala is a key member in CEO Chanda Kochhar's new top team, entrusted three months ago with a portfolio that accounts for a little over half of ICICI Bank's bottom line.

A glance at her various stints explains why Kochhar chose her for this key role. After working in Vaghul's office, Daruwala got married and shifted to Delhi in 1992 with ICICI Securities, where she developed skills in managing bond issues, public issues and M&As. Five years on she was back in Mumbai - in corporate banking. That stint gave her the confidence to mingle directly with promoters and the managements of topnotch corporates. "I can now engage with anybody at any level in any organisation," says Daruwala, who meets at least three clients a day.

The all-round experience was complete when in 2002 she was given ICICI's rural portfolio. By 2005, she was back in corporate banking. The key to her successful journey? "At the end of the day, the client should respect you." Some 4,000 of them do.

-Anand Adhikari
The 30 Most Powerful Women
1.Schauna Chauhan
2.Zarin Daruwala
3.Lynn de Souza
4.Tanya Dubash
5.Shyamala Gopinath
6.Vinita Gupta
7.Kaku Nakhate
8.Vedika Bhandarkar
9.Manisha Girotra
10.Lalita Gupte
11.Usha Narayanan
12.Akhila Srinivasan
13.Leena Nair
14.Vinita Bali
15.Chanda Kochhar
16.Roopa Kudva
17.Naina Lal Kidwai
18.Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
19.Zarina Mehta
20.Zia Mody
21.Kalpana Morparia
22.Vishakha Mulye
23.Swati Piramal
24.Meher Pudumjee
25.Madhabi Puri Buch
26.Chitra Ramkrishna
27.Preetha Reddy
28.Shikha Sharma
29.Mallika Srinivasan
30.Sangeeta Talwar

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