The Business Women
Where Business Runs Around Her

Naina Lal Kidwai: Guiding the Future of Finance and Business


Naina Lal Kidwai, a prominent figure in finance and business, has left an indelible mark on the industry through her leadership and innovation. As Chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd, she has navigated a remarkable career path characterised by excellence and vision. Let’s explore the life and achievements of this exceptional Indian banker and business executive.

Early Life and Personal Background

Born into a Hindu Punjabi Khatri family in 1957, Naina Lal Kidwai grew up surrounded by privilege and influence. Her father’s position as CEO of an insurance company and her mother’s association with the Thapar Group provided a foundation of financial acumen and ambition. Kidwai’s diverse interests, including music and a love for nature, further enriched her upbringing, with trekking adventures in the Himalayas shaping her character.

Education and Early Career

Kidwai began her educational journey at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, earning a degree in economics in 1977. Pursuing her passion for finance, she obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1982, complemented by her qualification as a chartered accountant. Her academic pursuits laid the groundwork for a stellar career in finance.

Career Highlights

Kidwai’s career commenced at ANZ Grindlays, where she held pivotal roles in investment banking and global NRI services. Subsequent positions at Standard Chartered Bank and Morgan Stanley India further solidified her reputation as a leader in the finance industry. Noteworthy contributions include her tenure as Group General Manager of HSBC Holdings Plc and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India, where she played a pivotal role in shaping the bank’s trajectory.

Outstanding Leadership at HSBC

As Deputy Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Holdings Plc and Head of Corporate & Custodial Services at HSBC Bank, Kidwai demonstrated exceptional leadership acumen. Her strategic vision and innovative approach contributed significantly to HSBC’s global prominence and success.

Recognition and Awards

Kidwai’s contributions have earned her prestigious accolades, including the Padma Shri Award and the Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award. Fortune Global consistently recognises her among the Top Women in Business, while the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine have hailed her as one of the Global Influentials.


Naina Lal Kidwai’s journey from a privileged upbringing to trailblazing leadership in finance and business is a testament to her dedication and tenacity. Her visionary approach and commitment to excellence continue to shape the financial landscape, inspiring future generations of leaders. Kidwai’s legacy serves as a beacon of inspiration, illustrating the transformative power of leadership and determination in driving industry progress and societal impact.

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