CFI.co Meets Chitra Ramkrishna

Chitra RamkrishnaMs Chitra Ramkrishna is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Stock Exchange, the world’s second largest `exchange in cash market trades and one of the top three exchanges in index and stock derivatives.

Over the years, Ms Ramkrishna has earned her spurs as an institution builder, policy maker and as an evangelist. She was part of a handpicked leadership team created in 1994 to set up the National Stock Exchange. In less than two decades, she has overcome strong headwinds from various quarters to create a world-class and completely transparent market institution.

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 was also closely involved in drafting the legislative framework of SEBI, in the late 1980s. 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, the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) National Executive Committee and its Capital markets Committee, where she shares her thoughts on key issues of the sector and the economy.

“Ms Chitra is evangelical about her second mission: To make the exchange a vehicle for the financial well being of people in India. This she has done by introducing a combination of products that retail investors find easy and simple to use; and by spreading investor awareness through education.”

Ms Chitra was selected as one of the top 10 women business leaders in India by Forbes in 2011, and for three successive years, she has been featured in a list of top 30 women achievers by the Business Today group.

Key exchange initiatives that bear Ms Chitra’s imprint include setting up a Pan-India VSAT network; building the infrastructure and legislative framework for India’s first depository; facilitating screen-based trading; providing trading access to retail investors located across cities and remote corners of the country; ensuring continuous cost leadership and creating a technological backbone that is scalable and unassailable.

Under her watch, NSE has launched products to suit all classes of investors, including futures and options, currency, exchange traded funds, global indices like S&P 500. Recently, NSE introduced a dedicated debt platform to encourage retail investors and institutions to trade in corporate bonds.

Ms Chitra has also invested considerable time and energy in making CNX Nifty 50 a global brand: Today Nifty ETF’s are being traded in 15 prominent international exchanges. Nifty derivatives are also being traded on the Singapore Stock Exchange and Chicago Mercantile Exchange and will be trading soon on a derivative platform of the London Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange.

Ms Chitra is a chartered accountant from the UK-based chartered Institute of Management Accountants. She is the third woman CEO to head an Exchange in the Asia-Pacific region after Sri Lanka’s Colombo Stock Exchange and China’s Shenzen Stock Exchange.


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