Revitalizing State Bank of India

Case Solution

Srikant M. Datar, N. M. Bhatta, Rishikesha Krishnan, Rachna Tahilyani
Harvard Business School ()

The State Bank of India is the oldest and largest bank in India with the Indian government as the majority shareholder. Arundhati Bhattacharya, a 35-year veteran of the bank, will be appointed chairman in October 2013. His appointment coincides with Moody’s downgrading of the bank’s debt due to increased distressed assets. She is committed to enhancing the bank’s risk-taking and management skills, ensuring a consistent customer experience, and promoting greater collaboration across different industries. Her efforts will help the bank reduce its distressed assets and improve its profitability. Bhattacharya knows, however, that without the development of a skilled workforce that can quickly and creatively address the problems of the 21st century industry, these advances will be fleeting. This requires the transformation of SBI into a performance-based bank supported by a new compensation and career development system. Bhattacharya wonders if trying to change the culture of a gigantic 206-year-old organization is feasible or just a pipe dream.

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