There was a time when people thought that women should only become teachers and take up humanities. They were considered weak for faring well in complex subjects like mathematics and finance. But with changing times, the women power of our country has proved these conjectures completely wrong and inappropriate. They have turned around this scenario in the past decade with their unprecedented academic success. But, this situation did not change in one day, it took a long time to prove that women are no less.
Today, we introduce you to a woman who now represents one of the world’s largest financial firms JP Morgan in India solely because of her capabilities. We are talking about the success of Kalpana Morparia, the Chief Executive Officer of JP Morgan, India.
Kalpana was born in a middle-class Lohana family of Gujarat and was the youngest of the three siblings. It was surprising to her parents that she was quite ambitious from a very young age.
Her father had died was she was little. Her mother was devastated by this sudden demise and all she wished was to provide proper education to her children. “She had a feeling that my siblings and I would suffer a lot if we do not get proper education. My only aim was to finish my studies and then settle down after marriage,” says Kalpana.
At the age of 16, Kalpana completed her schooling and then went to Sophia College for Women, Mumbai for her graduation in chemistry. After completing her college, Kalpana chose the teaching profession like any ordinary woman, but after working for 11-12 months, she developed some speech complications. She decided to do something bigger and worked at home to develop her speaking ability. After spending nearly 10 months at home, Kalpana followed her elder sister and enrolled in a law college. In the meantime, she got married.
Now there was a change in Kalpana’s vision. She realized how true her mother was. After completing her studies of law, in the year 1974, she started her career with a law firm ‘Matubhai Jamiyatram and Madon’. In the beginning, there was no salary for her work and she worked without pay. Kalpana wanted to work in a big company and someone suggested her to work in ICICI. Initially, she did not take it seriously but a few days later, she sent her application to ICICI. She received a response only after three months.
In 1975, after several rounds of interviews she got a job with ICICI. In those days, the main area of operation of ICICI was to offer loan for businesses. Kalpana was given the charge to represent a 20-member legal team of the organization. After this Kalpana never looked back and became one of the renowned personalities in the financial system of this country. In 1991, the management sent her to the United States to study the capital market of America. During this tenure, she worked in New York’s Davis Polk and Wardwell for three months. You will be surprised to know that the credit for starting the ICICI Bank goes to this wonderful woman.
Currently, Kalpana is the CEO of JP Morgan. She has in-depth knowledge about taxation, corporate communication, HR and investor relations. Apart from this, Kalpana is also operating as an independent director with Dr Reddy’s Lab, Bennett & Coleman, and in CMC Limited of Tata Consultancy. The philanthropic work of Bharti Foundation, run by Sunil Mittal of Airtel, is also under the leadership of Kalpana.
Kalpana has built a legacy based on her own capability leaving behind all negative thoughts and speculations. Women like her not only made a mockery of the questions raised by the society about women’s potential but also became an example for the future generation.