Naina Lal Kidwai has several firsts to her name. She was the first Indian woman to get an MBA from Harvard in 1982, the first woman president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and the first woman to head a foreign bank’s operations in India. These days, however, she works for causes closer to her heart: environment, sanitation, access to water and women’s empowerment, to name a few. Her humility and modesty camouflages a spirit that has fuelled her rise, and a three decade-long career that has set remarkable benchmarks along the way. In this exclusive with Her Circle, she has not just spelt out her mantra for success but also been up close and personal about the number of trials and challenges she overcame to achieve a number of firsts in her career.