India's 6 Power Women From Forbes List 2015

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 28, 2015


At a time, when reports surfaced that nearly half of India’s women population have never accessed Internet, and that there are just few female executives in the boardroom, a report comes as a gentle reminder that Indian women are achievers and one cannot take them lightly. This year, six Indians CXOs have made their presence at the Forbes List of 100 Most Powerful Women, in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel topped the Forbes list of the world’s 100 most powerful women for the fifth consecutive year.Here’s a tribute.

SBI Chief Arundhati Bhattacharya

 woman1 The 59-year-old Bhattacharya has been ranked 30th on the list. On Bhattacharya, Forbes said she oversees 2,20,000 staff members in 16,000 branches and services 225 million customers at the country’s largest lender (assets USD 400 billion) with offices spread over 36 countries.

She has been involved in the launch of several new businesses such as SBI General Insurance, SBI Custodial Services and the SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund. Recognizing the multiple roles of working women, Bhattacharya pioneered a two-year sabbatical policy for female employees taking maternity leave or give extended care to family.

Bhattacharya’s efforts in targeting digital businesses is reflected in its recent arrangements with Amazon, Snapdeal and many more digital-age companies, unlike its rivals. 

The SBI Chair-Managing director was ranked 36th in 2014 having being ranked on the list for the first time. This year she moved up six spots in this year’s list. 

Pepsico CEO Indira Nooyi

woman2Indra Nooyi serves as the CEO of PepsiCo,  the second largest food and beverage business in the world by net revenue. She has consistently ranked among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. In 2015, she was ranked 15 in the list. Her company runs both a strong beverage division and Frito-Lay snack arm.

Nooyi has beeen guiding the company through various transformations over the years.  Nooyi has directed the company’s global strategy for more than a decade and led PepsiCo’s restructuring, including the 1997 divestiture of its restaurants into Tricon, now known as Yum! Brands. Nooyi also took the lead in the acquisition of Tropicana in 1998,[11] and the merger with Quaker Oats Company, which also broughtGatorade to PepsiCo. In 2006 she became the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 44-year history.

“I think the reason why PepsiCo has delivered so well is because we have a history of being very adaptable,” Nooyi recently said at a CNBC interview.

She added, “We have changed the company when we needed to in anticipation of megatrends. We have had the courage to make all the right moves, and we have delivered.”

ICICI bank head Chanda Kochhar

 kocharThe MD-CEO at ICICI Bank, India’s largest private bank and overall second largest bank in the country, Kochhar scored a 35 ranking leaving several others behind. She shifted from corporate banking to retail operations at ICICI Bank in 2000. She felt she was taking a huge risk as compared to the bank’s corporate business, retail was small. 

But she saw retail operations go from Rs 200 crore (2000) to Rs 100,000 crore (2006), encouraging her to write of those days, “I learnt to always keep my mind open to new ideas and looked at each new assignment as an opportunity to learn and prove myself. to have because life is so unpredictable and things can change overnight for any of us.” 

She stresses on the importance of dreaming big and believing in yourself. “Only if you aspire for more will you achieve more,” says Kochhar, “Practise and practise to make your dreams turn into reality.” 

Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer, Cisco


At Number 84, Warrior was referred to as “Cisco Superwoman” within the company and in the industry. Cisco head John chambers said “Warrior is one of the sharpest technology persons in the world.”

Warrior, who has taken the tech world by storm has been successful in driving some of the key initiatives at the company, including incubation of new technologies and strategic acquisitions.

A graduate from IIT-Delhi who completed masters in chemical engineering at Cornell, her achievements and creative leadership have been widely recognized in the industry. Before joining Cisco, Warrior was the CTO at Motorola, and led her team to win the prestigious National Technology Award in 2004. 

Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar- Shaw 

kiranOne of the most successful Indian entrepreneur, she is the chairman and managing director of BioconLimited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore and the current chairperson of IIM-Bangalore. In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal, for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry. She is on the Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list. 

“I faced a number of challenges whilst I built Biocon. Initially, I had credibility challenges where I couldn’t get banks to fund me; I couldn’t recruit people to work for a woman boss. Even in the businesses where I had to procure raw materials, they didn’t want to deal with women,” she said in an interview. But she also believes, as you become more successful, the gender barrier disappears. The credibility challenges you have during your growing up years starts disappearing when you start demonstrating success.

Last year, she was listed as the 92nd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. and is promoted to the 85th rank in 2015.

HT Media Chair Shobhana Bhartia

 woman5 An entrant to the Forbes List of 100 Powerful Woman, Bhartia is the Chairperson and Editorial Director of the Hindustan Times Group, one of India’s newspaper and media houses, which she inherited from her father,  industrialist KK Birla. 

She was the first woman chief executive of a national newspaper and probably one of the youngest and the recipient of many awards. 

She has also recently taken charge as the Pro Chancellor of Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (founded by her grandfather, the business legend GD Birla) and is the current chairperson of Endeavor India.

Closely associated with the Congress party, Shobhana served as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper chamber of the Indian parliament from 2006 to 2012.