Business People

The 4 Indian Women who stormed into the Forbes ‘Most Powerful Women 2016’ List

A ranking of ‘The 100 Most Powerful Women In the World’ was recently released by Forbes. India being male-dominated in the line of business, these women are making waves with their achievements. These are the four incredibly talented Indian women commanding tremendous influence and authority right now. Also, they are among the most powerful women on the planet. They are: Arundhati Bhattacharya(30), Chairperson of SBI bank; Chanda Kochhar (40), MD and CEO of  ICICI Bank; Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (77), Chairman and MD of Biocon; and Shobhana Bhartia (59), Chairperson and Editorial Director of HT Media Ltd.


Ranked 25th on the list, Arundhati Bhattacharya joined the State Bank of India when she was 21 and worked as an intern, ranked 25th on the list. Today she leads the 200-year-old bank!

Along with being an achiever as the first woman Chairperson to lead the bank, she is also the youngest person to reach this position. She completed her graduation from Jadavpur University as an English Honours student and her background has nothing to do with banking or finance. On the way, she became an icon for every banker in the country.


Chief Executive of ICICI Bank Ltd., Ranked 40th on the list. Chanda Kochhar, born in Jodhpur and dreamt of becoming an IAS officer. She has led a remarkable transformation at India’s largest private sector bank, that had experienced major setbacks after the 2008 financial crisis.


Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw was born in Bangalore. She transformed a small industrial enzymes company into India’s largest publicly traded biopharmaceutical company.

She joined Biocon Biochemicals, but before that she started her professional career as a trainee brewer in Carlton & United Beverages. The company’s operations has been taken to a new dimension due to Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s hard work. It was the first Indian biotech company that received US funding for proprietary technology. Biocon today, distributes its products in over 85 countries and is also a pioneer in the field of biopharmaceuticals and clinical research.


Shobhana Bhartia is the chairperson of Hindustan Times Media and made her debut on the Forbes list with her impressive work. She ranked no 93 on the list.

She is the daughter of renowned industrialist KK Birla and granddaughter of GD Birla, her newspaper was started with the intention of helping with the freedom struggle in pre-independence India. Known as India’s most well-connected women, and is married to Shyam Bhartia of the Jubilant Bhartia Group.

Her news supplements that she started included lifestyle, fashion and food. HT Media is the 13th largest media company in India in terms of market capitalization. It ranges from newspapers and radio stations to online job portals and education.

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