Who Is Madhabi Puri Buch? First Woman To Become SEBI Chairperson

Madhabi Puri Buch is the first woman to become the chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Board of India. She is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Tanya Savkoor
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Image: Kunal Patil/PTI Photo

Madhabi Puri Buch is the first woman to become the chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Her career in the finance industry began in 1989 with a private bank, following which she worked as a lecturer at England's West Cheshire College. She worked with several private organisations for over a decade, helming influential positions. In 2017, she began her journey with SEBI, working on multiple portfolios including investment schemes, surveillance and investment management. In 2022, Buch was appointed as the chairperson of the SEBI, breaking the glass ceiling and making big waves at the organisation. 


Buch is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad. At a recent event at the institute, she recalled some of the toughest moments of her student life, sharing how she conquered the stress and self-doubt. "In hindsight, how to deal with being inside a pressure cooker was perhaps one of the most valuable learnings I took away," she shared.

Madhabi Puri Buch's Story

Born in 1966, Madhabi Puri Buch did her schooling at the Fort Convent School, Mumbai, and the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Delhi. She completed her bachelor's in Mathematics from Delhi's St Stephen's College before getting into the prestigious and coveted Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad to obtain an MBA. 

Buch started her career with the ICICI Bank in 1989 before she moved to England. After working as a professor at the West Cheshire College for a few years, she came back to India and rejoined ICICI (Securities) in 2006. In 2009, she held the position of Managing Director and CEO of the firm for about 2 years. Buch is one of the survivors of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks. 

In 2011, Buch moved to Singapore and began working with the Greater Pacific Capital. Between 2011 and 2017 she worked with several reputed private firms like Zansar Technologies and Max Healthcare. Buch also served as an independent director of the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM) and as a consultant for the New Development Bank (BRICS bank).

In 2017, she started working with the SEBI, working on a range of portfolios. Known for her technology and data-agnostic attitude, Buch was then appointed to a seven-member technology committee to help the firm design in-house technological systems. From 2018 to 2021, Buch was credited with several landmark regulatory orders from the Board.

On March 1, 2022, Buch was elevated to the position of chairperson, making her the first woman to helm the organisation. Within the first 100 days at the helm, Buch brought about rapid changes in the organization and regulation of the markets. She placed special emphasis on cyber security and the use of tech and data and has also been seeking additional powers from the government to monitor social media channels to crack down on front running in the markets.

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