Naina Lal Kidwai, born in 1957, is a prominent figure in the world of finance and business.
With an impressive career that spans banking, investments, and corporate leadership, she has made a lasting impact in her field. Let's delve into the life and achievements of this remarkable Indian banker, chartered accountant, and business executive.
Naina Lal Kidwai was born into a Hindu family of the Punjabi Khatri community. Her father, Surinder Lall, held the position of CEO at an insurance company.
Meanwhile, her mother was the daughter of Karamchand Thapar, the founder of the Thapar Group of companies—a conglomerate that included prominent entities such as JCT, BILT, Crompton Greaves, and more.
Growing up, Naina experienced the proximity of great wealth and privilege.
Kidwai has one sister, Nonita Lall Qureshi, who is married to Pakistani golf champion Faisal Qureshi.
Naina herself is the second wife of Rashid Kidwai, the founder of an NGO called the Grassroot Trading Network for Women. Together, they have a daughter named Kemaya Kidwai, while Rashid also has a son from a previous marriage.
Despite her demanding career, Naina Kidwai has diverse interests. She enjoys a wide range of music genres but excludes heavy metal. She also considers herself a nature lover, often embarking on trekking adventures in the Himalayas.
Naina Kidwai's educational journey began at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, part of the University of Delhi, where she pursued a bachelor's degree in economics.
She belongs to the graduating class of 1977. With the support of her mother's affluent family, she then pursued an MBA at Harvard Business School, ultimately graduating in 1982. In addition to her MBA, Kidwai is also a qualified chartered accountant.
Kidwai's illustrious career started with ANZ Grindlays, where she held various key positions from 1982 to 1994. Her roles included Head of the Investment Bank, Head of Global NRI Services, and Head of the Western India Retail Bank.
During these years, she also served at Standard Chartered Bank, where she held the position of Chief Manager of the Retail Bank from 1984 to 1991. Her career journey continued with various managerial roles in investment banking across India.
From 1994 to 2002, Naina Kidwai served as the Head of Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley India and JM Morgan Stanley.
Her leadership abilities were recognised, and she was appointed as the Chief Manager and Head of Investment Bank India, as well as the Manager of North India of Investment Bank.
Currently, Naina Kidwai is the Chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd. Her extensive portfolio of responsibilities includes serving as the Chairman of HSBC Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd and HSBC InvestDirect (India) Ltd.
She also holds positions as a non-executive director on the boards of Nestle SA and Altico Capital Partners, among others.
Her role as chairwoman of the City of London's Advisory Council for India and Global Advisor to Harvard Business School underscores her influence in the global business community.
Naina Kidwai's affiliation with HSBC has been particularly significant. She has served as the Group General Manager of HSBC Holdings Plc since October 1, 2006, and as the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India since May 5, 2006.
Moreover, she held the position of Country Head of HSBC India from April 15, 2009. Her contributions extended to her role as the Head of Corporate & Custodial Services at HSBC Bank.
Kidwai's remarkable journey with HSBC also included serving as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Holdings Plc from May 21, 2004.
In addition to her roles within HSBC, Naina Kidwai has played pivotal roles in various advisory boards and committees, including the National Advisory Board Member to AIESEC India, the Board of Advisors of India's International Movement to Unite Nations (I.I.M.U.N.), and more.
Naina Kidwai's contributions to trade and industry have earned her the prestigious Padma Shri award. She has also received the ALL Ladies League's Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award in 2013 for her excellence in banking.
Her achievements have repeatedly earned her a place on the Fortune Global list of Top Women in Business. Additionally, she was ranked 12th in the Wall Street Journal's 2006 Global Listing of Women to Watch and listed by Time Magazine as one of their 15 Global Influentials in 2002.
Naina Lal Kidwai's journey from her formative years in a prosperous family to becoming a trailblazing leader in finance and business serves as an inspiration to aspiring professionals across the globe.
Her dedication, tenacity, and commitment to excellence continue to shape the financial landscape and influence the next generation of leaders.