Caste: Upper-caste Brahmin
Age: 58 Years
Some Lesser Known Facts About Chitra Ramkrishna
Chitra Ramkrishna is an Indian chartered accountant and business executive.
She is the first female (former) Managing Director and CEO of the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). She is also the third woman to head an Exchange in the Asia-Pacific region.
Chitra comes from a family of accountants. Her father was a Chartered Accountant and her grandfather was a Cost Accountant. She said in an interview,
So it looked like a good profession to look at and so I took up commerce, quite liked what I was doing, so I went into CA.”
Ramakrishna started her career as a chartered accountant and landed in the finance sector in 1985 when she joined the Project Finance Division of the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI). Chitra then worked at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) before returning to IDBI’s treasury desk in 1990. Chitra was a part of the team that drafted the legislative framework for the securities market regulator SEBI in 1987.
Chitra has been with NSE since its inception in 1992 and has played her part in NSE’s explosive growth since then. While working with the Exchange, Ramkrishna started internet trading there in February 2000, taking leverage of the dot-com boom.
The CA was one of the five handpicked people by the late S.S. Nadkarni, who was then IDBI Chairman. She was a part of the team to set up NSE from scratch and to create a screen-based pan-Indian stock exchange, which was operational in 1994.
At NSE, her key initiatives include setting up a pan-India VSAT network, building the infrastructure and legislative framework for India’s first depositor, providing trading access to retail investors located across the country, ensuring continuous cost leadership, and creating a technological stronghold that is scalable and secure.
After 20 years of her stint at the NSE, Chitra took charge of the Exchange on 1 April 2013 as its MD and CEO. The NSE is now among one of the top three exchanges in the index and stock derivatives and ranks as the world’s largest exchange in cash market trades.
Under her leadership, NSE became a transparent market ecosystem – reaching more than 1,500 locations in India and recorded a profit of Rs. 860 crores in 2011. The Exchange launched products including futures and options, currency, exchange-traded funds, global indices like the S&P 500, and a dedicated debt platform to encourage retail investors to trade in corporate bonds. The exchange administrator was also instrumental in roping in investors like NYSE, Goldman Sachs, Temasek, and General Atlantic for NSE.
As NSE’s CEO and MD, Chitra became the highest-paid executive among salaried women in the financial year 2015-16, surpassing other top female executives like Shikha Sharma, Chanda Kochhar, and Arundhati Bhattacharya.
In November 2016, Chitra was named the new chairperson of the World Federation of Exchanges at the annual meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.
On 2 December 2016, Ramkrishna resigned from the National Stock Exchange as CEO and MD with immediate effect, citing “personal reasons.” She resigned months before the launch of keenly awaited, one of the largest IPOs in the market. Her tenure was supposed to end in March 2018.
With over two decades of experience, Ms Ramkrishna sits on several SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) committees on different policy issues, including the Secondary Market Advisory Committee and the Committee on Disclosures and Accounting Standards. She has also been actively engaged in many important committees of industry bodies like the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) National Council on financial sector development and the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) National Executive Committee and its Capital markets Committee. She was also on the committee on financial sector reforms in 2008, which was headed by Raghuram Rajan.
In 2018, Chitra Ramkrishna joined the Board of Maveric Systems as its Independent Director.