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The 25 most powerful Asian executives; 6 Indians in list

Last updated on: April 29, 2011 11:31 IST

The 25 most powerful Asian executives; 6 Indians in list

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The Fortune list of Asia's most powerful people in business has many unfamiliar names. The list highlights the power shift in Asia, from Japan to China, India, and beyond.

Toyota's Akio Toyoda tops the list of 25 most powerful people in the business world. Six top executives from India also make it to the Fortune list.

1. Akio Toyoda

One of the most influential businessmen in the world, Akio Toyoda is the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation.

Grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro, Toyoda joined the company in 1984.

He joined Toyoto's board of directors in 2000. Toyoda has played a key role in boosting sales and promoting the brand image of the company.

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Image: Akio Toyoda.

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2. Ratan Tata

Chairman of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata is one of the most powerful business leaders in India.

In 1981, JRD Tata stepped down as Tata Industries chairman, nominating Ratan as his successor.

Ratan Tata is also the chairman of the major Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels and Tata Teleservices.

Under his leadership, the group's revenues have grown nearly 12-fold, totalling $67.4 billion in 2009-10.

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3. Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, is an ace dealmaker. He has acquired assets in telecom, petrochemicals to expand $45-billion-a-year empire, says Fortune.

He initiated Reliance's backward integration journey from textiles into polyester fibres and further into petrochemicals, petroleum refining and going up-stream into oil and gas exploration and production.

He created several new world class manufacturing facilities that have raised Reliance's petrochemicals manufacturing capacities.

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4. Kun-Hee Lee

Son of Samsung Group founder Lee Byung-chull, Kun-Hee Lee is the chairman of Samsung Electronics.

In 1996, Lee also became a member of the International Olympic Committee.

With an estimated net worth of $7.4 billion, Kun-Hee Lee and family rank among the Forbes richest people in the world.

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Image: Kun-Hee Lee.

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5. Ren Zhengfei

Ren Zhengfei is the president of Huawei Technologies. With private assets worth $124 million, Ren is among the richest people in China.

Ren founded Huawei Technologies Co in 1988 to specialise in the development, production, and sales of telecom equipment.

Time magazine included Ren Zhengfei in its list of 100 most influential people in 2005.

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6. Terry Gou

Taiwanese tycoon Terry Guo heads Hon Hai Precision, a company that manufactures electronic products on contract for other companies.

It is one of the largest electronics manufacturing companies in the world, with factories in several countries.

Gou founded Hon Hai in Taiwan in 1974 with ten workers to make plastic parts for television sets.

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7. Gao Xiqing

Gao Xiqing is the vice chairman, president, and chief investment officer of CIC.

In the 1990s, he served as deputy chairman and CEO of the Bank of China International (Holdings).

Gao Xiqing was a key architect of Chinese Securities Law. He obtained a law degree in 1986 from Duke University's Law School and became the first Chinese citizen to pass the New York State Bar Exam.

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8. Wang Xiaochu

Wang Xiaochu is the chairman and CEO of China Telecom.

He played a key role in the development of China Telecom's telephone network management systems and other information technology projects.

Wang has nearly three decades of experience in the telecommunications industry.

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Image: Wang Xiaochu.

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9. Jiang Jiemin

Jiang Jiemin, president of PetroChina has nearly 3 decades of experience in China's oil and gas industry.

Jiang was appointed deputy governor of Qinghai Province in June 2000. He was appointed as vice president of CNPC in April 2004 and president of CNPC in December 2006.

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Image: Jiang Jiemin.

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10. Mong-Koo Chung

Chung Mong Koo is chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, the largest carmaker in South Korea.

When the Hyundai Motor Group split in 1999, Monk Koo Chung took over the Hyundai Motor business.

Chung Mong Koo is credited with improving the reputation and sales of Hyundai vehicles.

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Image: Mong-Koo Chung.

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11. Sunil Bharti Mittal

Sunil Bharti Mittal is the founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, one of India's leading business groups with interests in telecom, retail, financial services, realty and agri-products.

Bharti has joint ventures with several global leaders; Singtel, Wal-Mart, AXA and Del Monte.

Mittal founded Bharti in 1976 after his graduation. Today, Bharti Airtel, the flagship group company, has a market capitalisation of over $26 billion with over 30,000 people.

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Image: Sunil Bharti Mittal.

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12. Fu Chengyu

Fu Chengyu joined the China National Offshore Oil Corporation in 1982.

He has over 30 years of experiences in the oil industry in China, and was appointed president of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation in 2003.

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13. Jiang Jianqing

Jiang Jianqing is the chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC).

Jiang has served as governor of the Shanghai Bank and the Pudong Subsidiary Bank.

His research interests include theoretical and practical bank innovation, and corporation theory of both industrial and financial capital.

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14. Ho Ching

Ho Ching is the chief executive officer of Temasek Holdings.

She began her career as an engineer with the ministry of defence. She later joined Temasek Holdings in May 2002. In 2007, she was picked as one of the '100 most influential men and women' who shaped the world by Time magazine.

She married Lee Hsien Loong, who later became Singapore's third Prime Minister in August 2004.

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15. Hu Maoyuan

Chairman of the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, Hu Mao Yuan is also a senior economist and engineer.

He began his career in the automotive industry in 1968 and became a member of the Communist Party of China in 1980.

Hu Maoyuan has been involved in manufacturing, operations management and international cooperation.

He initiated some advanced corporate management concepts such as zero-defect management, integrated management etc.

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16. Bon-Moo Koo

Bon-Moo Koo is the chairman of LG Group, Korea's 4th largest conglomerate by assets.

LG manufactures electronics and telecommunications products and operates subsidiaries like LG Electronics, LG Display, LG Telecom and LG Chem in over 80 countries.

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Image: Bon-Moo Koo.

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17. Chanda Kochhar

Chanda Kochhar joined ICICI as a management trainee and climbed up the ladder to become the managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank.

Kochhar has consistently been ranked in Fortune's list of 'Most Powerful Women in Business' since 2005.

In 2009, she was ranked 20th in the Forbes 'World's 100 Most Powerful Women list'. She was honoured with Padma Bhushan Award for her services to the banking sector in 2010.

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Image: Chanda Kochhar.

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18. Robin Li

Robin Li is a Chinese entrepreneur, co-founder of China's most popular search engine Baidu.

In 2000, he founded Baidu with Eric Xu. He has been the CEO of Baidu since January 2004, which was listed on Nasdaq in August 2005.

Robin has turned the company into the largest Chinese search engine, with over 70 per cent market share, and the third largest independent search engine in the world.

He was listed in the CNN Money annual '50 people who matter now' in 2007.

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19. Takanobu Ito

Takanobu Ito is the CEO of Honda Motor Co. Ito joined Honda in 1978, and began his career in its automobile research and development operations, as an engineer specialising in chassis design.

Ito has also held key managerial roles in developing small cars in the early nineties, and he has American work experience as well, having been Acura's executive vice-president from 1998 to 2000.

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20. Masayoshi Son

Masayoshi Son is a Japanese businessman and the founder and current chief executive officer of SoftBank Capital.

He lost about $70 billion in the dot-com crash of 2000.

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21. Li Xiaolin

Li Xiaolin is the CEO of China Power International Development. She is the only daughter of former Chinese Premier Li Peng.She was trained as a power generation engineer at Tsinghua University.

She has also spent time as a visiting scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Currently, she is the only female CEO of a Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed company.

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22. Lefei Liu

Lefei Liu serves as chairman and chief executive officer of CITIC PE.

Liu successfully led a number of equity investments in many large-scale milestone projects, including China Southern Power Grid, Guangdong Development Bank, China Minsheng Bank and China Securities, with total investment exceeding RMB 60 billion.

These investment projects not only generated remarkable investment returns, but also had significant influence on the Chinese capital market.

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23. Liew Mun Leong

Liew Mun Leong is president and CEO of CapitaLand Group. He joined the board of Pidemco Land as director on January 1, 1997. Pidemco Land merged with DBS Land to form CapitaLand in November 2000.

Liew is currently chairman of Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd. He is also Director of Singapore Exchange Limited (listed on the SGX-ST) and Singapore China Foundation Ltd.

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24. Anand Mahindra

Anand Mahindra started off at Mahindra in 1981 when he joined Mahindra Ugine Steel Co (MUSCO) as executive assistant to the finance director.

In 1989, he was appointed president and deputy managing director of the company.

Under his leadership, the company forayed new business areas like real estate and hospitality management.

He initiated a comprehensive change program to make the company an efficient and aggressive competitor in the new liberalised economic environment in India. In 1997, he was promoted to managing director, and in 2003 he also became vice chairman.

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Image: Anand Mahindra.

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25. Ronnie Screwvala

Ronnie Screwvala is the CEO and founder chairman of UTV Group (UTV Software Communications, UTVi, and UTV Motion Pictures) which recently partnered with Walt Disney, Fox Searchlight, Sony and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment production company, expanding its global reach.

In September 2008, he was named among Esquire's list of the '75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century'.

In 2009, he was ranked among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.


Image: Ronnie Screwvala.

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