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India's 20 most powerful women in business

Last updated on: November 10, 2011 10:46 IST

Image: Chanda Kochchar.

Chanda Kochchar has been ranked as the most powerful woman in business.

Fortune India's November issue ranks India's '50 Most Powerful Women in Business', for the first time.

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

She was conferred the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian honours this year.

"Indian women span generations and today we find them in every field. Acquisitions, garnering profits, successful new ventures, pioneering concepts, snagging mega deals...all important factors, no doubt, when defining power. We looked at the changes they brought in, and the way they transformed businesses," says Dibyendra Nath Mukerjea, editor of Fortune India.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Shikha Sharma.

2. Shikha Sharma
MD and CEO, Axis Bank

Shikha Sharma became the CEO of Axis Bank in 2009. Prior to this, she was head of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co.
Sharma began her career with Industrial Credit and Investment Corp India in 1980. She played a key role in setting up the group's investment banking business.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Mallika Srinivasan.

3. Mallika Srinivasan
Chairperson, TAFE

Mallika Srinivasan joined her family business in 1986. She was the General Manager of Tafe (Tractors and Farm Equipment) Company.

In two decades, she has transformed the company through innovative products and processes.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Aruna Jayanthi.

4. Aruna Jayanthi
CEO, Capgemini India

Aruna Jayanthi has been the chief executive officer of Capgemini since January 2011.

Jayanthi oversees the operations across India and supports Capgemini Group's growth agenda.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Zia Mody.

5. Zia Mody
Co-founder, AZB Partners

Zia Mody started her own practice in Mumbai in 1984.

Today, she is a top corporate lawyer and India's 5th most powerful woman. Her firm AZB & Partners is known internationally as well.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Vinita Bali.

6. Vinita Bali
Managing Director, Britannia Industries

Vinita Bali was appointed as the managing director on May 31, 2006. Vinita joined as chief executive officer of the company in January 2005.

She started her career with Voltas, where she launched Rasna soft-drink concentrate. In 1980, Vinita joined Cadbury India, where she had a successful career.

Later she became the worldwide marketing director of the Coca-Cola Company in 1994.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Shobhana Bhartia.

7. Shobhana Bhartia
Chairperson and Editorial Director, HT Media

Shobhana Bhartia is the Chairperson and Editorial Director of the Hindustan Times group, one of India's leading newspaper and media houses.

She has also taken charge as the Pro Chancellor of Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Chitra Ramakrishna.

8. Chitra Ramakrishna
Joint Managing Director, National Stock Exchange

Chitra Ramakrishna, is likely to become the next managing director of UTI Mutual Fund, according to a Business Standard report.

A low profile executive, Chitra Ramakrishna plays a key role at the NSE.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

9. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon

Under Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw's leadership, Biocon has evolved from its inception in 1978 as an industrial enzymes company to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical enterprise.

Before establishing Biocon, she worked as a Trainee Brewer in Carlton and United Breweries, Melbourne and as a Trainee Malster at Barrett Brothers and Burston, Australia.

Besides, the Padma Shri (1989) and the Padma Bhushan (2005) awards, she was recently named among TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Frenny Bawa.

10. Frenny Bawa
Ex-Managing Director, RIM India

Frenny was the managing director at Research in Motion. She was in charge of RIM's expansion into international markets and had specific responsibility for driving growth in India and the Middle East.

Frenny has played a vital role in BlackBerry's global expansion into markets such as West Asia, Africa and most recently, India.

Prior to joining RIM in 2005, she held several leadership positions in information technology firms.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Meenakshi Saraogi.

11. Meenakshi Saraogi
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: Naina Lal Kidwai.
Photographs: Reuters.

12. Naina Lal Kidwai
Group General Manager and Country Head, HSBC India

A hard core banker, Naina Lal Kidwai worked at ANZ Grindlays from 1982-1994.

During 1994-2002, she worked at Morgan Stanley as vice chairman of JM Morgan Stanley and head of the investment bank in India.

At HSBC she has held positions as chief executive officer and deputy chief executive officer of HSBC Bank in India and managing director of HSBC Securities and Capital Markets India Private Limited.

She became the group's country head in 2009.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Preetha Reddy.

13. Preetha Reddy
Managing Director, Apollo Hospital Enterprises

Preetha Reddy is the managing director of Apollo Hospitals (Chennai), one of the largest healthcare conglomerates of India.

Under Preetha Reddy's leadership, the Apollo Specialty Hospital has emerged as a major oncology referral centre in Asia.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Amrita Patel.

14. Amrita Patel
Chairman, National Dairy 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: Harshbeena Sahney Zaveri.

15.Harshbeena Sahney Zaveri
MD and 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: Kalpana Morparia.

16. Kalpana Morparia
CEO, J.P. Morgan India

Kalpana Morparia worked for over three decades in ICICI Bank. She then joined J.P. Morgan as CEO in 2008.

Morparia leads each of the firm's lines of business - Investment Banking, Asset Management, Treasury Services and Principal Investment Management.

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.

Morparia was also named one of 'The 100 Most Powerful Women' by the Forbes magazine in 2006.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Mira Kulkarni.

17. Mira Kulkarni
MD, Mountain Valley Springs India

Mira Kulkarni founded Forest Essentials in 2000 after years of research. The company has a range of natural skin and hair care products.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Sujata Keshavan.

18. Sujata Keshavan
Co-founder, Ray+Keshavan Brand Union

Sujata Keshavan is a graphic designer and co-founder of Ray and Keshavan, India's leading brand design firm.

She is the only Indian graphic designer to be honoured twice as the Graphic Designer of the Year at the annual Advertising and Marketing (A & M) awards.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Roopa Kudva.

19. Roopa Kudva
Managing Director and CEO, Crisil

Roopa Kudva heads the ratings business of Crisil. She joined Crisil in 1992 after spending six years at Industrial Development Bank of India.


India's 20 most powerful women in business

Image: Renuka Ramnath.

20. Renuka Ramnath
Founder, Managing Director and CEO
Multiples Alternate Asset Management

Renuka Ramnath, is the Founder, Managing Director & CEO of Multiples Alternate Asset Management, which manages a $450 million sector agnostic fund.

Multiples has been backed by several local and global Institutions of repute.

Prior to this stint, she pioneered the establishment of ICICI Eco-Net Limited, a company promoted by the ICICI Bank.

ICICI Eco-net was re-structured to merge with ICICI Venture, a company floated in 1988 as a joint venture between the ICICI Ltd and the Unit Trust of India.

During her career spanning over 20 years with the ICICI Group, Renuka inititied various business programs.