Four Indian women, including SBI Managing director Arundhati Bhattacharya and ICICI Bank Managing director Chanda Kochhar, are in the new list of Forbes’ world’s 100 most powerful women who are building billion-dollar brands and calling the shots in the financial markets.
The Forbes ‘100 Most Powerful Women’ in the world list 2016, topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, includes PepsiCo Chief Indra Nooyi, Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and HT Media head Shobhana Bhartia.
Forbes said this year’s most powerful women are the “smartest and toughest female business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, philanthropists and CEOs making their mark in the world today.
“They’re women who are building billion-dollar brands, calling the shots in the financial markets, and crisscrossing the globe to broker international agreements and provide aid,” the magazine said.
Bhattacharya, 60, ranked 25th on the list, is facing her “most challenging test” yet with State Bank of India facing mounting bad loans, which stood at USD 11 billion in December, Forbes said.
Kochhar comes in on the 40th spot and Forbes said as boss of the country’s largest private-sector lender, Kochhar, 54 has to contend with the “current bane of India’s banking system: bad loans.” In a bid to retain female staff, Kochhar launched ‘iWork@home’, which allows employees to work from home for a year.
Mazumdar-Shaw is ranked 77th on the list. The 63-year old “self-made” business leader positioned Biocon as a large player in insulin and her company is the only Asian firm ranked among the top 20 biotech employers worldwide by Science magazine.
Bhartia is ranked 93rd on the list and the 59-year-old media baroness serves as chairperson and editorial director for India’s largest listed media company, HT Media. Nooyi is ranked 14th on the list and Forbes said in May 2016, she successfully sidestepped a proxy war with activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund, which had pressured the company to split, by adding another board member.
The list also includes Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the second spot, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen (3), Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (7), US First Lady Michelle Obama (13), Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi (26), Queen Elizabeth II (29), Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (36), Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari (52) and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova (89).