The Business Women
Where Business Runs Around Her

Chitra Ramkrishna: A Journey Through Successes, Challenges, and Legal Battles


Chitra Ramkrishna, born in 1963, ascended to prominence as the former CEO of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), India’s leading stock exchange. Her career in the financial sector was marked by notable achievements, yet it also encountered legal hurdles and controversies that captured widespread attention.

A Career Defined by Accomplishments

Chitra Ramkrishna’s foray into the financial realm commenced in 1985 when she embarked on her journey as a chartered accountant at the project finance division of the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI). Her career trajectory saw rapid advancement, including a two-year tenure at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), where she honed her regulatory acumen.

Returning to IDBI after her stint at SEBI, Chitra Ramkrishna deepened her understanding of the financial industry. Her hard work and outstanding abilities were noticed by others, and in April 2013, she became the Managing Director and CEO of the National Stock Exchange (NSE). This was a very important moment in her career.

Navigating Controversies and Legal Challenges

Chitra Ramkrishna’s tenure at the NSE, characterised by effective leadership and managerial prowess, also brought her under the spotlight due to legal complexities.

The Co-location Controversy

In 2016, Chitra Ramkrishna was involved in a co-location case, sparking concerns regarding market fairness and integrity. Following an investigation, she was found guilty and directed by SEBI to disgorge 25 per cent of her salary from the fiscal year 2013-14 to the Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF). Additionally, she faced a five-year prohibition from engaging with a listed company or any market infrastructure institution.

The ‘Himalayan Yogi’ Revelation

A new controversy emerged in February 2022 when SEBI disclosed that Chitra Ramkrishna had been seeking advice from an unidentified ‘Himalayan yogi’ for over two decades. This revelation prompted investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), alleging the dissemination of critical business information related to day-to-day operations. Subsequently, she was arrested by the CBI on March 7, 2022.

Charting the Way Forward

Chitra Ramkrishna’s illustrious career in India’s financial sector reached its zenith during her tenure at the helm of the NSE. However, the legal challenges and controversies have cast a shadow over her legacy.

As the legal process continues, what happens will greatly affect Chitra Ramkrishna’s life and career. Her experiences highlight the tough challenges leaders, especially in the closely watched financial sector, can face. This emphasises how vital it is for integrity and ethics to be upheld in finance, where trust and credibility matter a lot.

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