Chetna Gala Sinha, 59
Chair, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank; founder and president, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank, Mann Deshi Foundation
Previous Rank : NEW
It is not rare for a banker to rub shoulders with a nation’s prime minister, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, two high-ranked chief executives, a scientist, and a policy expert. What makes it rare is that the banker in question runs a bank for rural women, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank, with 90,000 account holders and ₹150 crore in business. That’s why Sinha was invited to co-chair an all women panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year. “It meant that poor women’s voices and aspirations were taken seriously, and that their struggles and economic successes were recognised at Davos,” says Sinha. At Davos, Sinha also launched an impact fund which aims to raise ₹100 crore to support women entrepreneurs. Back home, Sinha was invited by the NITI Aayog to a high-level Women’s Entrepreneurship Cell tasked with creating policies benefitting women in the country.