From ICICI Bank to JP Morgan , Kalpana Morparia CEO JP Morgan

Surprise to many that a woman is the Chief Executive Officer of JP Morgan, India. Not only that, the fact that in 2016 her position was elevated to a regional role ie, to oversee seven other branches is just as astounding. This stellar personality has also been a part of another renowned firm, namely the ICICI Bank. How did she get there?

Meet Kalpana Morparia, an Indian female banker. Her connection with ICICI bank spanned over 30 years. Now she is an Independent director of the Indian extension of a 2.1 trillion dollar company called JP Morgan. In 2008, she featured on Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women at the 16th rank. In the global arena, Ms. Morparia is a constituent of JP Morgan’s Asia Pacific Management Committee.

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Kalpana was born on 30 May 1949 in a middle class family from Gujarat. She grew up with three sisters. Her father passed away when she was very young. She aimed at completing her education after which she planned to get married. At 16 she completed her schooling. She graduated from Sophia College for Women, a prestigious institution in the city of Mumbai with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1970.

Her career began as a teacher after she graduated. She developed a speech complication and took an 11 month long hiatus. Following the example set by her elder sister Parul Thakker, Kalpana decided to pursue law. She joined the famous Government Law College, Bombay.

In the meantime, she got hitched. Her husband and mother in law were a supportive factor in her life. After completing her studies she joined the firm Matubhai Jamiyatram and Madon. One day she heard that the ICICI Legal Department was recruiting and after giving it some thoughts she decided to take a chance and send in her application.

She was selected after the interview procedure in the year 1975 that landed her a job with the reputed ICICI Bank. Kalpana was entrusted with the duty of representing a 20-member legal team of the company. In 1991 she was sent to the USA to study capital market. For a three month tenure she worked for the globally acclaimed international law firm namely Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York.

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Kalpana initially felt that joining the financial services industry with a background in law was a setback. But her dedication and hard work yielded fruit when the former CEO of the bank K.V. Kamath , who had an eye for talent, gave her career a boost. He gave her the duty of supervising the southern region office within 15 months of her joining ICICI. Now, working in the financial service industry has equipped her with skills related to taxation, corporate communications and other related subjects. Kalpana admitted that until she joined ICICI, she never dreamt big. But after joining the association she became ambitious.

After an outstanding career in ICICI she landed an illustrious position at JP Morgan, India.

Before Hindustan Unilever appointed Kalpana Morparia as an independent director, she had been an influential contributory  in ICICI Group’s important corporate initiative of merger between ICICI Limited and ICICI Bank in order to create India’s second largest bank – the SBI features first on the list.

There has been no looking back for this woman who has been breaking stereotypes for women by her stellar rise in the finance services industry. She is exemplary for every boy or girl who hopes to make it big in this sector.

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