It seems like eons ago when I met Naina Lal at ANZ Grindlays Bank, in Bombay. She had just joined as head of Merchant Banking. On my very first meeting with her, I was thoroughly impressed – someone whom I instantly admired but was a tad in awe of. My meeting with her, as a Client Service Executive, was in connection with a brochure my ad agency would be producing for the Bank. A long time after that she made headline news when she was offered what then seemed like a mind-boggling high joining package (especially for a woman) by Morgan Stanley. I was mighty pleased for her then.
Strangely, I missed the news but it just caught my attention that Naina Lal-Kidwai, currently Country Head of HSBC India, was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007, for her commendable contributions in Trade & Industry. “Congratulations to you, Naina! This is indeed well-deserved. You have earned this honor!”