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Satheesh Krishnamurthy, 38

Senior Vice President and Head

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It's all about strategy for this chess enthusiast. When he joined Axis Bank in July 2014, its private banking business was close to eight years old, had nearly 200 relationship managers (RMs), but no results to show. Krishnamurthy was given a free hand to fix what calls "a startup within Axis". He roped in McKinsey to devise best-in-class offerings and relaunched the business under a new brand, Burgundy; RMs were sent back to the classroom. Client feedback was shared with RMs and their managers within 24 hours. And clients were given upfront loyalty points to compensate for any shortcomings in service. As a Citibank veteran of 13 years trying to shake up an Indian private bank, it was a tough board for Krishnamurthy: 20% of the RMs left the bank in the wake of the changes. But his moves are paying off. Assets under management have grown over 2.25 times to over $5.2 billion, and the number of RMs has swelled to 400.

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