Meera Sanyal

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Meera H Sanyal
(née Hiranandani)
Personal details
Born (1961-10-15) 15 October 1961 (age 55)
Kochi, India
Nationality Indian
Spouse(s) Ashish J Sanyal
Residence Mumbai, India
Alma mater The Cathedral & John Connon School
University of Mumbai
Harvard Business School

Meera Sanyal (née Hiranandani, 15 October 1961) is the former CEO & chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland in India. The daughter of a highly decorated Naval officer, late Vice Admiral Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani, she was involved in banking for over 30 years before stepping down from RBS to stand as the Aam Aadmi Party candidate in South Mumbai in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, which she lost. She had earlier contested as an independent candidate in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from the Mumbai South constituency.

She serves as a non-executive Director on the board of Pradan an Indian NGO that works to empower women through entrepreneurship and on the International Board of Right to Play, a global organisation that has helped over 1 million children through the transformative power of play. She is also on the Board of Jaihind College and the Indian Liberal Group.[1] She is a member of various national Committees at the CII and FICCI. She is the former Chairperson of the Indian Advisory Board of AIESEC, the world's largest student organisation.

Early life[edit]

Sanyal was born in 1961 to Indian Navy officer, Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani, and his wife, Banu Hiranandani. Her father was the mastermind of Operation Trident, the crippling Naval attack on Karachi, Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.[2]

Sanyal graduated in commerce (B.Com.) from Sydenham college Mumbai in 1982 with an MBA from INSEAD, France in 1983 and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2006. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (UK).[3]

Professional and public life[edit]

After a 30 year banking career, Sanyal stepped down from her position as CEO and Chairperson of Royal Bank of Scotland India, in 2013, to focus on public service.[4] During her time at the bank, Meera mentored the MicroFinance program, which financed over 650,000 women in rural India. She also chaired the bank's Foundation, providing livelihood assistance to 75,000 women-led households in threatened ecosystems.[5] Her banking career was distinguished both in India and overseas. She was the Head of Corporate Finance and later the COO for ABN AMRO in Asia. She also started and led the global BPO and ITes for ABN AMRO / RBS in India.

Sanyal is a board member of PRADAN,[6] a member of the International Board of Right To Play, a global NGO that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Meera is also a Board member of LiberalsIndia for Good Governance – the Indian Liberal Group, and serves on the Supervisory Board of Jaihind College. She is a member of various National Committees of both FICCI and CII. In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, invited her as the sole Indian representative on her International Council on Women's Business Leadership.[7]

She has been invited to speak at global seminars such as:[8]

  • Climate Summit in Copenhagen;
  • Swedish Agency for Economic & Regional Growth[9]
  • Women of the Future summit in the UK[10]
  • Asian Institute of Finance, Kuala Lumpur[11]
  • Nikkei Summit for Asian Women Leaders, Tokyo
  • Global Competitiveness Summit, Seoul, Korea

Political life[edit]

The daughter of Admiral Hiranandani, a highly decorated naval officer, Sanyal stood in 2009 as an independent candidate for the Lok Sabha elections in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks but lost the election.[12] Along with her husband, she campaigned and raised funds for the AAP in the 2013 Delhi elections.[13] She is a member of AAP's National Committee on Economic Policy.[14]

In May 2014, Sanyal contested 2014 Lok Sabha election from the Mumbai South constituency, as an Aam Aadmi Party candidate.[15] She lost, receiving 5.2%[16] of the vote cast in South Mumbai constituency, trailing at fourth position behind Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena candidate, winner), Milind Deora (INC candidate) and Bala Nandgaokar (MNS candidate).[17]


External links[edit]