Honouring women who are unstoppable, exemplary in their own right and serve as models to thousands across the nation and the world, Forbes business magazine released its 2017 list of 100 most powerful women in the world.
As a matter pride for the nation, over five women in the list are Indians. These resilient Indian women have risen through times and carved a niche for themselves in their respective fields, not only garnering praise in India but also hogging limelight around the world.
ICICI bank’s CEO Chanda Kochhar is the leading Indian women this year at the 32nd rank jumping eight ranks higher than last year’s 40.
Soon to follow is, HCL Enterprise’s CEO Roshni Nadar Malhotra ranked at number 57. While Biocon Limited’s Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw bagged the 71st spot, jumping six steps higher from 2016’s 77th rank; Chairperson and Editorial Director for HT Media, Shobhana Bhartia, bagged rank number 91.
Last but certainly not the least, Actor and Producer Priyanka Chopra makes her debut at number 97.
Congratulating each of these exceptional ladies for making India proud, let’s take a trip down the memory lane and recollect their rise to power:
1. Chanda Kochhar, CEO, ICICI Bank
Leading Indian ladies on the list Chandra Kochhar ranked at 32 this year. Born in Jodhpur and raised in Jaipur, she completed her schooling from St. Angela Sophia School, Jaipur and moved to Mumbai, to complete her bachelors from Jai Hind College. After graduating in 1982, she studied cost accountancy from Institute of Cost Accounts of India and acquired a master’s degree in management studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies.
The 55-year-old banker’s journey began with ICICI in 1984. Starting off as a management trainee, she climbed the ladder steadily to become the managing director and CEO of the bank and continues to hold the post.
A leading businesswoman in India’s financial sector, she has been lauded nationally and internationally with several awards. She was conferred India’s highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2011. She is also the first Indian woman to receive the Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship in 2016. She has consistently featured in Fortune’s list of Most Powerful Women in Business since 2005 and first debuted on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list, at rank 20 to climb to the 10th spot in 2010.
She featured in Business Today’s Most Powerful Women – Hall of Fame list and Bloomberg Markets’ 50 Most Influential People in Global Finance list in 2011. Among the other honours, she received the ABLF Woman of Power Award (India) at the Asian Business Leadership Forum Awards. She was selected in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and ranked first on the Fortune List of 100 Most Powerful Women in Asia Pacific in 2015.
In 2017, Kochhar was featured in Business World magazine’s ‘BW’s Most Influential Women’ list and deemed an evergreen woman leader.
2. Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Executive Director and the CEO of HCL Enterprise
Ranked at 57, Roshni Nadar Malhotra is the Executive Director and the CEO of HCL Enterprise, is the only child of HCL’s founder, Shiv Nadar. A trained classical musician too, Roshni grew up in Delhi, studied at Vasant Valley School and graduated from Northwestern University majoring in Communication with a focus on Radio, TV & Film.
She also graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management. Within a year of her joining, she became the executive director and CEO of HCL Corporation.
She also serves as the trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which runs the not-for-profit Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering in Chennai. She was awarded NDTV’s Young Philanthropist of the Year 2014 and Vogue India’s ‘Philanthropist of the Year’ award. She also chairs VidyaGyan Leadership Academy under the Shiv Nadar Foundation.
3. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited
Born on 23 March 1953, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bengaluru and the chairperson of IIM-Bangalore.
The 64-year-old was the only woman to study Malting and Brewing course in Australia’s Federation University as early as 1974. She switched jobs in Melbourne, Kolkata and Baroda, before getting the opportunity start a joint venture with Ireland’s Biocon Biochemicals Limited. She was given the responsibility to establish its Indian arm. What began as its operations in India in the garage of Kiran’s rented house in Bengaluru in 1978, today is ruling the biotechnology scene in India. Her successful reflects on how she was single-handedly able to get independent control of the biotechnology company in a matter of 20 years.
Inspired by the need for affordable drugs in third world countries, she has developed cost-effective techniques and lower-cost alternatives for affordable healthcare. She supported the development of Arogya Raksha Yojana with Devi Shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya to establish clinics to offer care, generic medicines and basic tests for those who cannot afford them. In 2010, over 300,000 were treated by these facilities per year.
The death of her best friend and illnesses of her husband and her mother with cancer, motivated her to establish a 1,400-bed cancer care centre, the Mazumdar-Shaw Medical Foundation, at the Narayana Health City campus in Bangalore in 2009.
4. Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director of the Hindustan Times Group
Shobhana Bhartia is the Chairperson and Editorial Director of the Hindustan Times Group, one of India’s leading newspaper and media houses, which she inherited from her father, industrialist KK Birla.
She grew up in Kolkata and studied at Loreto House. She graduated from Calcutta University. When Bhartia joined Hindustan Times in 1986, she was the first woman chief executive of a national newspaper. Considered one of the forces behind the transformation of Hindustan Times ‘into a bright, young paper,’ she looks after editorial and financial aspects. She raised over Rs. 4 billion through a public equity launch of HT Media in September 2005.
She received the Global Leader of Tomorrow award from the World Economic Forum in 1996, Outstanding Business Woman of the Year in 2001 by PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and National Press India Award in 1992. She was one of the first Padma Shri award nominees in 2005 for journalism. She also served as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 2006 to 2012.
5. Priyanka Chopra, Actor & Film producer
The Indian actor, singer, film producer and philanthropist, first rose to fame after winning the Miss World 2000 pageant. She is also one of India’s highest-paid actors. She bagged numerous awards, including one National Film Award and five Filmfare Awards. The Government of India conferred upon her the prestigious Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in 2016. Time Magazine featured her on the 100 most influential people in the world list.
Her role as Alex Parrish on the 2015 ABC thriller drama Quantico, made her the first Indian to act as the protagonist in an American network drama series. Working with UNICEF for the last ten years, she was also appointed as the national and global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights in 2010 and 2016.
While her singing career has three singles out, she is also the founder of the production company Purple Pebble Pictures, which released the celebrated 2016 Marathi film, Ventilator.