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Two Indians in Fortune's top 50 corporate women

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 06, 2003 16:40 IST
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Vidya Chhabria, who successfully took over the reins of the $2 billion Jumbo Group after her husband Manu Chhabria's death last year, and Naina Lal Kidwai, the highest paid woman executive in the country, are the two Indians picked by Fortune magazine in its World's top 50 corporate women.

The 'International Power 50' is composed of women who have an operating role in business profit outside the United States.

The Fortune magazine, while selecting Chhabria for the third annual ranking of the International Power 50, has lauded the efforts of the 55-year-old industrialist in taking up the challenge of running the group.

She runs the group's 28 businesses with the help of two of her three daughters and its flagship business, the Dubai-based Jumbo Electronics, is the largest distributor of Sony Products in the world, says the magazine in its latest issue.

The group's Indian companies have interests in brewing and supply-chain management.

Chhabria has been ranked 38th in the International Power 50.

The 46-year-old Naina Lal Kidwai, who is ranked 47, is

probably the highest paid woman executive in India, says the magazine.

Fortune, which has also displayed a large photograph of Kidwai in the magazine, says she has been involved in several megadeals, including the IPO of automobile giant Maruti Udyog.

Kidwai joined the global banking giant HSBC last year after serving as vice-chairperson of J M Morgan Stanley, it said.

While selecting the women for the coveted ranking this year, the magazine says there are no strict criteria in terms of revenues or title, 'but bigger is better--and we have a soft spot for CEOs.'

"There is an effort to have a broad geographic range, and we also take nontraditional forms of power into account," the magazine said in the article.

It said women such as Donatella Versace, chief designer and CEO of Versace, and Rose Marie Bravo, the CEO of Burberry, don't run huge companies "but make the cut anyway because of their influence on mass culture."

Though there are only eight newcomers to the International Power 50, Fortune said it is keeping an eye on candidates from countries as diverse as Uzbekistan, South Africa, Pakistan and the Czech Republic.

This year's list features its first Saudi -- Lubna Olayan, the CEO of Olayan Financing Co, one of the kingdom's largest conglomerates.

The International Power 50 list has two Israelis, two Chinese, two Japanese women, two from Hong Kong, and three women from Singapore.

The list is headed by Marjorie Scardino of Britain who is the CEO of the $7-billion Pearson group.

Fortune also published a list of 'America's Power 50' women, which includes an America-based Indian, Indra Nooyi, the President and Chief Financial Officer of PepsiCo.

The magazine, however, says there is a difference in the financial strength of the companies in the International Power 50 and American Power 50.

For instance, Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett-Packard, who is ranked first in America's Power 50, heads a $72 billion-a year company.

"Don't even think of trying to join the US list without a few billion dollars under your thumb. Internationally, a few hundred million will do," the magazine says.

It says a more intriguing difference is that while 14 of the International Power 50 inherited or married into their companies, only two did in the US list.

"No doubt all 100 women would agree on the importance of being in the right place at the right time, and being part of family of wealth and power is a great way to start pounding on the glass ceiling," Fortune said.

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