Celebrating The Success Of 12 Global Indian Super Women

by Priyanka Pugaokar    Aug 12, 2016

Women in Tech The technology industry has long been dominated by male. But there’s no denying the fact that women are equally capable of doing any task like their male counterparts. While the gender gap in the IT industry, especially in the senior positions is reducing, with women reaching the highest levels in their organizations and are regarded as highly successful, the  journey towards this success is certainly not easy. Women leaders such as Indra Nooyi, Padmasree Warrior, Chanda Kochhar, Chitra Ramkrishna, to name a few, have succeeded in reaching their professional goals on the basis of their extremely hard work and dedication. They have brought pride to India globally. 

This Independence Day, CXO Today is celebrating the success of 12 dynamic, super women, whose contribution to the industry has been widely recognized and lauded on a global platform.

Padmasree Warrior: Queen Of The Electric Car Biz

Padmasree Warrior When it comes to influential business tycoons in the Silicon Valley, it is largely dominated by males. But Indian origin Padmasree Warrior is a notable exception to it. Warrior, CEO NextEV USA, is one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent and powerful female executives. Best known as the “Queen of the Electric Car” business, Warrior is a seasoned professional having a rich experience in the field of technology. Warrior, who leads USA business of NextEv, has headed crucial portfolios in the companies such as Cisco Systems, Motorola, Microsoft, Box, Gap. etc. 

A smart and influential professional, Warrior fetched many crucial deals for these companies. Under her leadership in Motorola, the company was awarded National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 2004. She also played a critical role in cracking strategic deals for CISCO Systems. Warrior who is quite popular on social media, was listed as the 71st most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2014. The Economic Times ranked Warrior as the 11th Most Influential Global Indian.

Indra Nooyi: The Top Gun CEO

Indra Nooyi When it comes to powerful business titans who have transformed the companies with their visionary leadership, how can we miss Indra Nooyi. Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest food and beverage brand, Nooyi is a dynamic businesswoman. Joined in 1994, Nooyi has led PepsiCo’s global and restructuring strategy for more than a decade, including the acquisition of Tropicana in 1998 and the merger with Quaker Oats Company. While scaling the company, Nooyi also focused on converting the brand into healthier alternative. Apart from her role in PepsiCo, Nooyi heads strategic positions in the international forums. 

She serves as a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and International Rescue Committee, World Justice Project etc. She has also served as Chairperson of the U.S.-India Business Council. She has consistently ranked among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Her emotional appeal and ability to connect to a larger audience, makes her popular in the Corporate and media. 

Alka Banerjee: A True Global Indian

Alka Banerjee A seasoned professional in the global indexing business, Alka Banerjee, Managing Director, Global Equity and Strategy Indices at S&P Dow Jones Indices is well known for providing the most relevant benchmarks for companies around the world. Banerjee has pioneered a large number of initiatives at S&P DJI, ranging from developing global smart beta indices to socially responsible investing. Banerjee was instrumental for new index developments for Africa, China, Korea, India, Latin America, and throughout the Middle East at S&P DJI. 

Due to her rich experience in the indexing field, Banerjee presents at indexing and investing events worldwide. A true global Indian, she also oversees a joint venture with the Bombay Stock Exchange called Asia Index Pvt Ltd. In 2015, she was recognized as one of the twenty most influential global Indian women by the Economic Times. 

Rashmi Sinha: An Influential Entrepreneur  

Rashmi Sinha Rashmi Sinha is one of the rare entrepreneurs who decided to walk on their own path. A CEO of San Francisco-based technology company, SlideShare, Sinha, an Indian-American businesswoman who left academia at the University of California to start her own user-experience consultancy company Uzanto in 2003. At her venture, Sinha worked on assignments for companies like eBay, Blue Shield, AAA etc. Simultaneously, Rashmi launched SlideShare, a platform that allows users to share presentations on the web. Since its launch in 2006, more than 9 million presentations have been uploaded to SlideShare, which is now a part of Linkedin. 

Apart from her consultancy work, Sinha writes about social software and entrepreneurship. In 2012, Fortune named her No. 8 on its Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs list. In 2008, Sinha was named one of the World’s Top 10 Women Influencers by Fast Company. 

Chitra Ramkrishna: The Captain Of Capital Market 

Chitra Ramkrishna The first MD and CEO of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Chitra Ramkrishnais one of the most respected personalities in the financial sector. Ramkrishna was instrumental in setting up the NSE to provide a fully automated, screen-based trading system. Under her leadership Ramkrishna has undertaken several key initiatives at the NSE to scale the Exchange to new heights. She was instrumental in setting up a pan-India VSAT network and building the infrastructure and legislative framework for India’s first depositor. Due to her policy decisions, the NSE today, is known as a transparent market ecosystem that reaches out to more than 1,500 locations in the country. 

Due to her strong leadership qualities and a deep understanding of the market, the sector has recognized Ramkrishna as an institution builder and a thought leader. Her achievements have drawn accomplishments from India and abroad, and she has received awards from various organizations. 

Aisha De Sequeira: Power Woman On The Deal Street

Aisha De Sequeira Co-Country Head and Head of Investment Banking, Morgan Stanley India, Aisha De Sequeira responsible for overseeing the full spectrum of investment banking services including advisory and capital raising for Indian clients. She is credited for cracking down crucial billion-dollar deals for one of the world’s largest financial institution.One of the biggest was the $1.1-billion sale of Senvion by Suzlon to Centerbridge Capital Partners. De Sequeira also managed the $1.6-billion American Depository Receipt and Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) issues of HDFC Bank and the $1.5-billion Tata Steel bond issue. De Sequeira has focused on advising global consumer companies, with clients including Unilever, PepsiCo and May Department Stores. Under her leadership, Morgan Stanley is now focusing on cross-border mergers and acquisitions. The investment bank is also working with companies looking to tap into overseas debt markets.

Neelam Dhawan: A Tech Super Woman

Neelam Dhawan Neelam Dhawan, managing director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) India, is one of the first generation entrepreneurs who managed to convert challenges into opportunities in a turbulent market conditions. Heading the India operations of the world’s one of the largest IT hardware vendor, HP since 2008, Dhawan played a key role in pushing the HP’s focus towards solutions and services which is the future of the industry. She has held a variety of leadership positions at Microsoft, HCL and IBM in India. 

Dhawan was truly a founder of the channel ecosystem in India. In the 1990s, nobody knew of distribution channels. Dhawan set up India’s first channel network for Tier-II towns, to sell IBM machines. Under her leadership HP has emerged as the complete solutions company by diversifying into various domain. Dhawan has heavily concentrated on large and transformational projects to bring HPE at the top spot in the country. 

Vanitha Narayanan: A Tranformer and Growth Driver

Vanitha Narayanan Vanitha Narayanan a seasoned technology professional having an experience in the technology business field over 30 years, is one of the entrepreneur in the league of a handful of women to head a technology company in the country. Appointed to the position of managing director in January 2013, Narayanan is responsible for IBM’s sales, marketing, services and global delivery operations in the India and South Asia region. Narayanan has headed profiles as Sales and Distribution Leader and Managing Partner for Global Business Services at IBM. She has been playing a crucial role in the growth and transformation of IBM. 

Narayanan has taken the IBM growth story to many industries beyond telecom. After she took over the reins of the company, IBM has reported significant wins in strategic business accounts such as Sun Life, Asian Paints and Godrej Consumer Products etc. Narayanan is dedicated to bring women leaders to the forefront and is the executive sponsor for developing the women’s leadership in the industry.

Also Read: Women In Technology: Still A Long Way To Go

Naina Lal Kidwai: Best Banker, Shrewd Negotiator

Naina Lal Kidwai A recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award for her contribution to the Indian trade industry, Naina Lal Kidwai is the well-known name in the BFSI sector. Kidwai was the first Indian woman to graduate from Harvard Business School and also the first woman to guide the functioning of a foreign bank in India. 

One of the best bankers and shrewd negotiators, Kidwani became the first woman to head the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in December 2012. She is currently serving the Group General Manager and Country Head at HSBC India. Apart from HSBC, Kidwani has headed top positions in the leading financial institutions and banks. For her contribution to the industry, Kidwani has won many awards and recognition and has repeatedly ranked in the Fortune global list of Top Women in Business.

Chanda Kochhar: From Trainee To MD 

Chanda Kochhar From a trainee to managing director of India’s largest commercial bank, the journey of Chanda Kochhar is phenomenal and an inspiration to many women executives who aspire to fly high in their careers. The youngest CEO and first woman to head ICICI bank, Kochhar oversees assets of over $93 billion, more than 2,750 branches in India and the bank’s presence in over 19 countries. Kochhar is widely recognized for her role in shaping retail banking in India. 

Kochhar was instrumental in building the nascent retail business at ICICI bank focusing largely on technology, innovation, process engineering and expansion. Under her leadership, ICICI bank was declared as the best retail bank in India for five consecutive years.  Apart from her role in ICICI, Kochhar also heads strategic positions in global financial institutions. Kochhar was conferred with the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors, for her contribution in the banking sector in 2011. 

Kochhar has also consistently figured in Fortune’s list of “Most Powerful Women in Business” since 2005. Kochhar was ranked first in the Fortune List of 100 Most Powerful Women in Asia Pacific in 2015. 

Shikha Sharma: A Born Banker 

Shikha Sharma Women have clearly shown their dominance in the BFSI sector and Shika Sharma, MD and CEO of Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank, is another notable name in the list. Joined in 2009, Sharma was instrumental in transforming Axis bank and bringing it among the top banking institutes in the country. Under her dynamic leadership, Axis bank strengthened itself in the Corporate and Retail Banking segment in India. 

At Axis, Sharma focuses on strengthening its retail lending franchise, enlarged its investment banking & advisory capabilities and developed a comprehensive portfolio of products in the payments space. Under Sharma’s leadership, Axis Bank has received many awards, notably ‘Bank of the Year in India’ for the year 2014 by The Banker Magazine, Financial Times. The Bank was conferred the Certificate of Recognition for excellence in Corporate Governance by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), for the year 2015. 

Arundhati Bhattacharya: A Collaborative Leader

Arundhati Bhattacharya The list of most powerful women in the BFSI sector further continues with Arundhati Bhattacharya Chair-Managing director of the State Bank of India. Joined SBI in 1977, Bhattacharya is the first woman to be the Chairperson of SBI. She is also the first woman to lead an India-based Fortune 500 companies.

She has held several positions during her 36-year career with the bank, including working in foreign exchange, treasury, retail operations, human resources and investment banking. At SBI, she was closely involved in the launch of several new businesses such as SBI General Insurance, SBI Custodial Services and the SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund and SBI SG Global Securities Services, as well as the launch of IT platforms such as mobile banking. She introduced a two-year sabbatical policy for women employees for child or elder care. In 2016, she was listed as the 25th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

The List does not end here. Indian women are increasingly taking big roles in the organizations and proving their leadership capabilities across the industry verticals. However, this momentum requires more boost so that more number of women come forward and explore their talent. 

(Image Courtesy: Saurabh Poonia, Google Images, Linkedin)