Sunday, December 21, 2008

Female CEO (Chanda Kochhar); the implications to India’s No.2 bank

Mr. Kamnath has found a female successor for ICICI who incidentally became the first young female CEO of Indian banking industry. However, the time is not so easy for Ms. Kochhar due to the global economic slowdown. She needs to do lots of home work before starting the career as CEO. Congrats to Ms. Kochhar and I am eager to look forward in how she manages the shark of Indian private banking industry.

Nevertheless, ICICI Bank is not the only one who appointed female to manage business in recent time. Why is management suddenly falling towards female to manage them? What is the reason for big industry to appoint female at top position? Why there is sudden shout from top management to bring more female in top management?

Hofstede’s study on five major cultural dilemmas identified each and every country to have its own cultural traits. Based on that west was identified to be Egalitarian and Assertive. What does these terms mean? The western business allowed individual to take responsibility. This is termed as Egalitarian. The opposite term for this is collectivism. Generally countries from Asia can fell in this category. The other term can relate to the strategies a business manager follows. Assertiveness is often related with short term aggressive strategy. As it is known the other term is long term conservative strategy. In general Anglo-Saxon model follows short term strategy. I have to accept that there are exceptions to this generalisation. Again countries from Asia can be termed to have long term strategy to business with exceptions.

Now consider the metaphor of mother to female; Mother is one who cares the family and children, takes care of all the members of family, shares common values and beliefs to have a closed knit family. Kinship is a term that can fit very well with mother.

Coming back to Ms. Kochhar, considering her gender, the general of properties of mother can be expected out of her. If she brings in these values to business then this has the potential to neutralise the western culture of ICICI’s business model. This again has the potential to bring in a flavour of Indian culture to the business which is widely expected by the customers in this part of the world.

However, is all the women bring these traits to business? Look at the management style of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Margaret Tatcher. Are they influenced by the style of male who dominated the management or they lost their feminine style? Why did they fail to show their feminine management style? Is it fear of failure that resisted them from showing them? Will the same affect Ms. Kochhar too? Well, the answer to the last question can be answered by the future.

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