Shikha Sharma is an Indian economist and banker, who served as the Managing Director and CEO of Axis Bank from 2009 to 2018.Sharmas nine-year-long stint at Axis Bank made her the longest-serving woman CEO in the financial sector. The Times of India.Shikhas father was a brigadier in the ordnance corps of the Indian Army and an ammunition expert who had fought two India-Pakistan wars in the past.Being an Army brat, Shikha attended almost 7 schools in different cities across the country before finishing her schooling at Loreto Convent in Delhi. The Economic Times.The former CEO revealed that Physics was her first choice for her bachelors; however, one of her uncles recommended her Economics at Lady Shri Ram College, which eventually made her the CEO of Indias third-largest private lender.The banker has also learned classical music along with her daughter, after being inspired by her mother-in-law.Shikha, the soft-spoken daughter of an Army officer, revealed in an interview that during the placement period after completing her MBA from IIM-A, she didnt get placed till about 10 days, but ICICI gave her a break. Business Today She said, Foreign banks rejected me. I was losing confidence. I was good at academics, but an introvert. I was self aware enough not to get dejected. But I still felt bad..Shikha joined the ICICI group in 1980 and spent 29 years of her career there. She handled diverse functions including investment banking, retail finance businesses, and setting up personal services units and its insurance company. In 1992, she set up ICICI Securities a joint venture of ICICI and J.P. Morgan. Eventually, she returned to the bank and took charge of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance as Managing Director and CEO in December 2000. Forbes Business Today.Shikha left ICICI bank for Axis when Chanda Kochhar was announced to head ICICI Bank. Business Standard.During her initial years at the bank, Shikha worked under the mentorship of K.V. Kamath, CEO and MD of ICICI Bank, and Mark Tucker, the former CEO of Prudential Plc. and current Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc.