Although the Indian corporate world is ruled by men, there are a few powerful women leaders heading some of the major business houses in India as well as across the globe. Here is our take on the top 10 Indian women in the corporate world.
Beginning her career at ICICI as a management trainee in 1984, Chanda Kocchar has conquered the steps of ranks ladder and has reached the post of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank in May 2009. Under the leadership of Kochhar, ICICI Bank won the the ‘Best Retail Bank in India’ award from 2001 to 2005 and ‘Excellence in Retail Banking Award’ in 2002 by The Asian Banker. She was also awarded “Retail Banker of the Year 2004, “Business Woman of the Year 2005″ and “Rising Star Award” for Global Awards 2006 by Retail Banker International. She has been consistently figured in Fortune’s list of “Most Powerful Women in Business” since 2005. She was also ranked at number 20 in the Forbes “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list” in 2009. She was honored with Padma Bhushan Award by the Government of India in 2010.
A successful entrepreneur, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the Founder, Chairman & Managing Director of Biocon, the biotechnology company delivering bio-pharmaceutical solutions. She also holds the post of Chairperson of Syngene International Limited and Clinigene International Limited. She started Biocon in 1978 and spearheaded its growth to an internationally recognized bio-pharmaceutical company that focuses on diabetes, oncology and auto-immune diseases. She was awarded the Padmabhushan for her services and contributions to the biotechnology in 2005.
Being the first Indian woman to graduate from Harvard Business School, Naina Lal Kidwai began her career at ANZ Grindlays (1982-1994). During 1994-2002, she worked at Morgan Stanley as Vice Chairman of JM Morgan Stanley and Head of the Investment Bank in India. In 2009, she became the Group General Manager and Country Head, HSBC India. She was repeatedly ranked in the Fortune global list of Top Women in Business, 12th in the Wall Street Journal 2006 Global Listing of Women to Watch and listed by Time Magazine as one of their 15 Global Influentials 2002. She received the Padma Shri for her work in the promotion of Trade and Industry.
Named #1 on Fortune’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women” and #6 on Forbes’ list of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” in 2010, Indra Nooyi was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. She is the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. She is regarded as the primary architect of PepsiCo’s growth strategy from the time she took over as it’s President and CFO in 2001. She is a Successor Fellow of the Yale Corporation. She serves as a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, International Rescue Committee, Catalyst and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She was also considered as one of “The Top Gun CEOs” by Brendan Wood International in 2009.
Indu Jain is the Chairperson of India’s largest and most powerful media group, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd., which owns the Times of India and other large newspapers. She is an entrepreneur, a spiritualist, an educationalist, a patron of art and culture and a humanist. She also holds the post of the Chairperson of The Times Group. She addressed the United Nations in 2000 at the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders.
Dr.Swati Piramal who has a medical degree from the University of Bombay, a degree in industrial medicine and a master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University USA, is the Vice Chairperson of Piramal Life Sciences Limited and Director of Piramal Healthcare Limited. As Director of Nicholas Piramal, she is responsible for research and development, strategic alliances, communication, knowledge management, public policy, clinical research, planning and implementation of a new clinical research organization. She has been the Vice President of Assocham in 2008 and was elected as its President in 2009.
Mallika Srinivasan is the Director of Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd (TAFE). Upon completing her MA in econometrics from Madras University, she went to the U.S. and did her MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Joining the family business in 1986, she gradually converted TAFE into a hi-technology company and within a span of 2 decades, she accelerating its revenue turnover from 85 crores to 2900 crores.
Preetha Reddy is the Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals, one of the largest healthcare conglomerates of India. She is also one of pioneer businesswomen of India in the segment of healthcare industry. Under her leadership, the Apollo Specialty Hospital grown to a level of being known as a major oncology referral centre in Asia. Apollo is also considered to be one of the few places with facility to offer bone marrow transplantation. The hospital was first to perform cord blood transplantation in India. She was graduated in Chemistry from the University of Madras and has a post graduate degree in Public Administration.
Priya Paul is the Chairperson of Appeejay The Park Hotels chain of boutique hotels. She joined the company at the age of 22 after finishing her studies in Economics at the Wellesley College. With just two years of experience working under her father, she had to take charge of the hotel chain when her father Surrendra Paul was gunned down by the ULFA militants in Assam. She has been recognized by Forbes online as one of India’s 100 most powerful businesswomen. She also got many other recognitions such as Young Entrepreneur of the Year award 1999-2000, Businessperson of the year 2002-2003 etc.
Sulajja Firodia Motwani
Sulajja Motwani is the Managing Director of Kinetic Motor Company who looks after the company’s overall business developmental activities. She also heads the Kinetic Marketing Services Limited and Kinetic Finance. She has been widely acknowledged for single-handedly designing and developing the marketing strategies to spearhead the company’s growth forward. She completed B.Com from Pune University and MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg after which she joined Barra International, California, an investment consulting firm in the U.S. She was rewarded with the Young Achiever’s Award for Business in the year 2002, Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2002 and was named the “Face of the Millennium” by ‘India Today’.