Naina Lal Kidwai (born 1957) is an Indian banker, chartered accountant and business executive. She was formerly a Group General Manager and the Country Head of HSBC India. She is also a former President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Education and early years
Kidwai holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College for Women University of Delhi (1977 batch) and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1982. Kidwai was the first Indian woman to graduate from Harvard Business School and also the first woman to guide the functioning of a foreign bank in India. She is also a qualified chartered accountant.
From 1982-1994 she worked ANZ Grindlays, where her assignments included Head of the Investment Bank, Head of Global NRI Services and Head of the Western India, Retail Bank. From 1994 to 2002, Kidwai served as the Head of Investment Banking in Morgan Stanley India and JM Morgan Stanley. She also served at Standard Chartered Bank from the year 1982 to 1994 and as Chief Manager of Retail Bank from 1984 to 1991. From 1989 to 1991, Kidwai was the Chief Manager and Head of Investment Bank India and as Manager of North India of Investment Bank from 1987 to 1989. Kidwai has also served as the Manager of West India of Investment Bank based in Bombay from 1984 to 1987. From 1977 to 1980, she worked at Price Waterhouse & Co.
She is currently Chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd. Along with serving as the Chairman of HSBC Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd and HSBC InvestDirect (India) Ltd, her other positions include being a non-executive director on the board of Nestle SA and Altico Capital Partners, Chairwoman, City of London’s Advisory Council for India, Global Advisor, Harvard Business School. She is on the Governing Board of NCAER, Audit Advisory Board of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and on the National Executive Committee of CII and FICCI. She is independent director of Nayara Energy Limited ( Formerly Essar Oil Limited )
Kidwai serves as a Group General Manager of HSBC Holdings Plc since 1 October 2006. She also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India of HSBC Holdings Plc since 5 May 2006. Since 15 April 2009, Kidwai also served as the Country Head of HSBC India. She also served as the Head of Corporate & Custodial Services of HSBC Bank. Kidwai also served as the Group General Manager of HSBC India until 15 April 2009. Kidwai also served as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Holdings Plc since 21 May 2004. Besides, she also served as Managing Director of HSBC Securities and Capital Markets India. She has also served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of HSBC from November 2002 to 5 May 2006.
Naina Lall Kidwai was born into a Hindu family of the Punjabi Khatri community, the daughter of Surinder Lall, the CEO of an insurance company. Kidwai’s mother was the daughter of Karamchand Thapar, founder of the Thapar Group and sister of Lalit Mohan Thapar. The Thapar group was one of India’s most prominent conglomerates, comprising JCT, BILT, Crompton Greaves, Avantha, Oriental Bank of Commerce, The Pioneer newspaper, etc. Kidwai has one sister, Nonita Lall Qureshi, who is a former amateur golf champion and is married to Pakistani golf champion Faisal Qureshi. Naina Lall Kidwai is married to Rashid Kidwai who runs an NGO named Grassroot Trading Network for Women. They have one daughter together. Her husband also has a son from his previous marriage.
Kidwai has repeatedly ranked in the Fortune global list of Top Women in Business, 12th in the Wall Street Journal 2006 Global Listing of Women to Watch ad listed by Time Magazine as one of their 15 Global Influentials 2002. Kidwai’s interests include microfinance and livelihood creation for rural women and environment. She also supports the world’s largest youth driven organization – AIESEC as a National Advisory Board Member to AIESEC India. Kidwai reveals that she listens to “all music except heavy metal” and claims to be a nature lover who loves to go on trekking tours to the Himalayas.
For her praiseworthy work, Kidwai has also secured many accolades. Kidwai has secured the distinguished Padma Shri award for her contributions in the areas of trade and industry. She has also received ALL Ladies League’s Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award 2013 for Excellence in Banking.