Women in finance: Shikha Sharma

Shikha Sharma's inclusion in FinanceAsia's series on influential women in Asian finance comes in acknowledgement of her lead role in growing Axis Bank's business lines.

As Axis Bank’s CEO, Shikha Sharma has overseen a number of impressive initiatives at India’s third largest private sector bank.

Sharma joined in 2009 and, under her leadership, Axis Bank focused on strengthening its retail presence and growing its distribution platform, two initiatives to help boost its long-term business growth.

That has allowed Axis to develop an array of products in its payments business for both retail and corporate clients.

Sharma also oversaw the bank’s upgrade of its representative office in Shanghai to a full branch in January 2014, making Axis Bank the first Indian private sector bank to set up a branch in mainland China. The branch opening means Axis Bank can take advantage of the increasing trade flow between India and China and cater to the growing number of Indian corporates operating in China.

In 2012, following its merger with Enam Securities Private, the bank formed Axis Capital to become one of India’s leading investment banks for equities and debt capital markets.
Axis Bank went from second place in the debt league tables in India in 2011 to number one for each of the years since then and so far in 2015, according to Dealogic data.

Sharma also oversees the Axis Bank Foundation, which donates 1% of the bank’s profits to help eliminate poverty and illiteracy in India. It has undertaken over 100 projects with various non-governmental organisations, which focus on educating the underprivileged and providing trauma care.

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