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India's 20 most powerful women in business

Last updated on: November 22, 2012 17:07 IST

Image: ICICI Bank's Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar poses for a picture at the bank's headquarters in Mumbai.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters.

Chanda Kochhar has been named as the most powerful woman in business in India for the second consecutive year by Fortune Magazine.

Chanda Kochchar who heads ICICI Bank, began her career as a management trainee in 1984 and successfully rose through the ranks.

Fortune magazine credits Kochchar, MD and CEO of the ICICI Bank for balancing growth and profitability and pushing up the bank's valuation by almost two-thirds.

The Fortune list of 50 most powerful businesswomen, there are six new entrants. While 19 have moved up their places, 17 have witnessed a decline in their rankings.

"What hasn't changed is the overwhelming influence women have on India Inc," Fortune India remarks.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Mallika Srinivasan.
Photographs: Courtesy, Tafe.

Mallika Srinivasan (Rank 2)
Chairperson, TAFE

Mallika Srinivasan is a strategist known for professionalism, commitment to excellence and contribution to Indian industry and academia.

She leveraged the company's resources and competencies to increase TAFE's revenues from $20 million in 1985 to $1.6 billion in the year 2012.

TAFE is now among the three largest tractor manufacturers in the world.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Aruna Jayanthi.

Aruna Jayanthi (Rank 3)
CEO, Capgemini India

Aruna Jayanthi oversees the operations across all the business units – Consulting, Technology services and Outsourcing services in India with a focus to increase the integration and performance of a growing  employee base.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Shikha Sharma.
Photographs: Courtesy, Axis Bank.

Shikha Sharma (Rank 4)
MD & CEO, Axis Bank

Shikha Sharma started her career with ICICI, India's largest financial service provider in 1980.

In 1998, she became the Managing Director of ICICI Personal Financial services. Shikha Sharma also served as the Director of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company till April 2009.

Today, she is the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director of Axis Bank Limited and Chairperson and associate Director of Axis Asset Management company Limited since June 1, 2009. 


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Vinita Bali.

Vinita Bali (Rank 5)
MD, Britannia Industries

Vinita Bali was appointed Managing Director on 31 May 2006.  Vinita joined as Chief Executive Officer of the Company in January 2005.

She started her career with Voltas, a Tata Group company


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Sobhana Bhartia.

Sobhana Bhartia (Rank 6)
Chairperson, HT Media

Shobhana Bhartia, who has been associated with the company since its inception, took over as the Chairperson in September 2008.

She has spearheaded the company's long-term vision and strategy.  Bhartia is in charge of formulating and directing the editorial policies of the company and has more than 25 years of experience in the newspaper industry.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Preetha Reddy.

Preetha Reddy (Rank 7)
MD, Apollo Hospital Enterprises

Preetha Reddy had joined Apollo Hospitals as Joint Managing Director in 1989 and five years later, she became the Managing Director of the Group.

Preetha steers the operations of the Apollo Hospitals group and works closely with the clinicians to help introduce contemporary protocols and continually raise the bar for clinical outcomes.

She also oversees the planning, designing and funding of new projects, with a view to directing the Group towards optimum utilisation of resources and funds.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Zia Mody.
Photographs: Courtesy,

Zia Mody (Rank 8)
Co-founder, AZB Partners

Zia Mody received her Law degree from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1978.

She was enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa in 1978 and did her LLM from Harvard Law School.

Zia was admitted as a member of the New York State Bar by examination in 1980. She started her practice as a corporate associate with Baker & McKenzie in New York from 1979 to 1983. In 1984 she started her own practice and later entered into a partnership with the law firm called AZB & Partners, Advocates & Solicitors.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Chitra Ramakrishna.

Chitra Ramakrishna (Rank 9)
Joint MD, NSE

Chitra Ramkrishna is the Joint Managing Director of the National Stock Exchange of India. 

Chitra has been with the National Stock Exchange of India from its inception. In 1991, she was part of the core five- member team selected by the government of India and tasked with the creation of a modern screen-based pan-Indian stock exchange that would offer domestic and institutional investors a state-of-the-art market-place for trading and settling Indian equities. 

She is the CEO of the National Settlement & Clearing Corporation of India Ltd, and is a member of several boards & Policy Committees.



India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Roopa Kudva.
Photographs: Courtesy, CRISIL.

Roopa Kudva (Rank 10)

Roopa Kudva is Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of CRISIL and she is also Region Head, South Asia, Standard & Poor's which is the foremost global provider of financial market intelligence.

Prior to this, she was the Executive Director and Chief Rating Officer of CRISIL. She joined CRISIL in 1992 and has worked in emerging markets in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries.

Previously, she worked at Industrial Development Bank of India for six years in the Project Finance department.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Kirthiga Reddy.

Kirthiga Reddy (Rank 11)
India Head, Facebook

Kirthiga Reddy is the Director of Online Operations and Head of Office India at Facebook India. 

She heads the Facebook's operations in India, supporting the company's growing number of users, advertisers and developers worldwide who are capitalizing on Facebook's global service to foster relationships with people and reach out to new customers locally and internationally.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Naina Lal Kidwai.
Photographs: Reuters.

Naina Lal Kidwai (Rank 12)
Country Head, HSBC India

Naina Lal Kidwai, a chartered accountant by profession is currently the Group General Manager and Country Head of HSBC India. Kidwai was the first Indian woman to graduate from Harvard Business School.

From 1982-1994 she worked at ANZ Grindlays, where her assignments included Head of the Investment Bank, Head of Global NRI Services and Head of the Western India, Retail Bank.

She is on the Governing Board of NCAER, Audit Advisory Board of the Comproller and Auditor General of India, and on the National Executive Committee of CII and FICCI.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Harshbeena Zaveri.
Photographs: Courtesy,

Harshbeena Zaveri (Rank 13)
MD & President, NRB Bearings

Harshbeena Sahney Zaveri joined NRB Bearings as a management trainee in 1986. 

She was first appointed as executive assistant to the chairman and MD. Later, she became manager, corporate planning and purchase.

She was appointed whole time director by the Board in 1994 with functional charge of marketing and later given additional charge of materials, and corporate quality. In 1999, she was promoted as President of NRB Bearings Limited. 


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Amrita Patel.

Amrita Patel (Rank 14)
Chairperson, National Diary Development Board

Amrita Patel heads the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), founded in 1965 to empower rural people.

NDDB began its operations with the mission of making dairying a success story for grassroots milk producers. 
Its mission 'Operation Flood', saw India grow as the world's largest milk producing nation.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Kalpana Morparia.

Kalpana Morparia (Rank 14)
CEO, J.P Morgan India

Kalpana Morparia is Chief Executive Officer of J.P. Morgan, India. Morparia leads each of the firm's lines of business - Investment Banking, Asset Management, Treasury Services  and Principal Investment Management.

She also has responsibility for Service Groups  operating in India, including Global Research, Finance, Technology and Operations.

Internationally, Morparia is a member of J.P. Morgan's global strategy team headquartered in New York and the J.P. Morgan Asia Pacific Executive Committee. Morparia serves as an independent director on the Boards of several leading Indian companies.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Rank 16)
MD, Biocon

Under Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw's leaderhip, Biocon has evolved from its inception in 1978 as an industrial enzymes company to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical enterprise encompassing a well balanced  business portfolio of products and services. 

Her pioneering efforts in biotechnology have drawn global recognition both for Indian Industry and Biocon.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Prabha Parameswaran (inset).

Prabha Parameswaran (Rank 17)
MD, Colgate-Palmolive India

Prabha Parameswaran joined Colgate-Palmolive, India in 1995. She has since, held a series of significant positions in New York in Global Business Development Oral Care and in Global Toothbrush Division.

She was responsible for developing oral care strategies and new products where she provided critical leadership to subsidiaries in setting category and commercial strategies.

With her strong leadership and proven marketing skills, Prabha, in her current role, will continue to drive growth in the Indian market.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Mira Kulkarni.
Photographs: Courteys,

Mira Kulkarni (Rank 18)
MD, Mountain Valley Springs

A leading manufacturer of ayurvedic cosmetics and baby care products, Mountain Valley Springs was founded in 2000.

The company uses pure essential oils and natural plant extracts in its range of skin, body and hair care products.

According to Kline & Company, the company holds an 18.4% share in the Indian spa market, which is expected to grow by more than 13% annually through 2012.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Meenakshi Saraogi.

Meenakshi Saraogi (Rank 19)
Joint MD, Balrampur Chini Mills

Meenakshi Saraogi serves as Joint Managing Director of Balrampur Chini Mills Ltd. 

She has over two decades of experience in the business and was awarded the 'Padmashri' in 1994 for her contribution to the sugar industry. 


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Aisha De Sequeira.
Photographs: Courtesy,

Aisha De Sequeira (Rank 20)
MD, Morgan Stanley India Investment Banking

Aisha de Sequeira is a Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking, India responsible for overseeing the full spectrum of investment banking services including advisory and capital raising for Indian clients.

She joined Morgan Stanley in 1995, where as a Managing Director she executed financial advisory assignments, including cross-border engagements, across a wide range of industries.