Remembering Meera Sanyal: The journey from CEO to a politician

Remembering Meera Sanyal: The journey from CEO to a politician

“Active Indian citizen. Author of ‘ The Big Reverse– How demonetisation knocked India out.” That is how the 57 year old suave and sophisticated Meera Sanyal, a former banker described herself to the world in her Twitter handle. Sanyal ‘s last tweet was on the night of December 31 when she wished everyone a wonderful 2019. “…and looking forward to seeing again in due course.” But sadly she won’t be around. Sanyal , daughter of a high ranking Navy officer, passed away on Sunday after a brief illness.

Sanyal was probably amongst the very few professionals who wanted to make a change in the Indian polity. She was very angry after the 2008 terror attack in Mumbai. The scams and governance failure under the UPA-2 further strengthened her resolve to play a role in cleaning up the political system. “People want honest and competent governance,” she told Business Today when she was preparing to fight the Lok Sabha election in 2014 from the South Mumbai constituency.

In fact , she first contested the 2009 Lok  Sabha  election from South Mumbai as an independent candidate. It was tough to break the national parties or  regional players as people tend to gravitate  towards bigger parties. The 2014  election  gave her some foothold as AAP candidate when she got  5 per cent of the votes. But despite not getting the votes, she never decided to get back to corporate world. She continued her participation in TV debates on various issues to put her point across.

Sanyal had long experence as a professional having worked in global names like Lazard, ANZ Grindlays, ABN AMRO  and RBS. In 2007 , when the long serving India CEO Romesh  Sobti  left the bank to join private Indusind Bank , Sanyal got the top job. She managed the job well despite challenges like senior people leaving the bank and the merging of ABN and the Royal Bank of Scotland. But she managed it well. Her interest in public life pulled her into politics. She indeed has inspired many professionals including women that they can also try to make a change in politics. Only efforts like what Sanyal  did will make the big change in future.