India’s largest private bank has made empowering talent at an early age a cornerstone of its leadership development philosophy. Their leaders attribute the bank’s success to its appetite for risk-taking – “Identifying people with leadership potential early and entrusting them with challenging jobs ahead of time” says Chanda Kochhar, MD, ICICI Bank. “The biggest contributor to my development was that the organization always gave me new opportunities, and I used each of them to learn.” The bank has invested in a culture of grooming and nurturing talent across every level through various signature development initiatives like the Leadership Mentoring Program and the Young Leaders Program. The former has elements of ‘group mentoring’ where the seniors as well as the peer group comes together to mentor the individual. The latter gives select employees the opportunity to procure an MBA degree in collaboration with Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies. Offering a large spectrum of experiences across the bank as well as other ICICI entities is another strong pillar of ICICI’s leadership strategy. It believes in creating leaders with cross-functional experience and exposure to diverse perspectives as against only domain expertise. And what would be a better example of this than Ms. Kochhar herself who began as a management trainee and has moved through project finance, corporate banking and retail banking in the span of her career.