By Kanika Katyal:
Forbes brought out its 12th annual list of the 100 most powerful women that features extraordinary entrepreneurs, visionary CEOs, politicians, celebrity role models, billionaire activists and pioneer philanthropists who are “transforming the world” and have been “ranked by dollars, media presence and impact“.
The top 10 in the list include German Vice Chancellor Angela Merkel (1), US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (2), philanthropist Melinda Gates (3), GM CEO Mary Barra (5), Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (7), Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (8), YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki (9) and US First Lady Michelle Obama (10).
SBI Chief Arundhati Bhattacharya has been ranked 30th, followed by ICICI Bank Head Chanda Kochhar at the 35th spot, Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (85th). The newcomer on the list Shobhana Bhartia, HT Media Chair, is on the 93rd spot.
The SBI Chair-Managing director was ranked 36th last year and moved up six spots. Kochhar also moved up eight notches in the rankings, from the 43rd spot last year. Mazumdar-Shaw moved up from the 92nd spot.
59-year-old Bhattacharya, Chair-Managing director of State Bank of India, was named the first female (and youngest) chair at SBI in 2013. Forbes reported that she oversees 220,000 staff members in 16,000 branches and services 225 million customers at the country’s largest lender (assets $400 billion) with offices spread over 36 countries.
“Recognizing the multiple roles of working women, Bhattacharya pioneered a two-year sabbatical policy for female employees taking maternity leave or to give extended care to family,” says Forbes.
On 53-year-old Chanda Kochhar, Forbes says, “As the managing director and CEO of India’s ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar oversees nearly $125 billion in assets and recently announced a 14% increase in profits over last year. She has been credited with leading a remarkable transformation at India’s largest private sector bank, which experienced major setbacks after the 2008 financial crisis.”
Forbes notes that Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw founded Biocon in 1978, as a small industrial-enzymes company. Now Biocon is India’s largest publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, which had $460 billion in revenue last year and distributes its products in 85 countries around the world.
Shobhana Bhartia, who chairs HT Media, publisher of English daily Hindustan Times, a Hindi newspaper by the same name, and business paper Mint, has been hailed as a “media baroness” by Forbes.
Examined for years under the façade of conformity and image-driven superficiality, over the last decade, the power of an individuated Indian woman has become a force to reckon with. The presence of Indian women on the list, suggest not so much control as strength. All the women mentioned in the list serve as examples of collective growth and building, not only in their own respective quarters, but also with the growth of the nation as a whole. They do not endorse the control and command model of administration. Proudly representing Indian women on a global platform, they stand as world leaders imparting strength to others to stand on their own. With their success stories, they inspire others to chart out their own destinies built upon merit and persistence. More power to us!