Indira Nooyi: From saving up for her first $50 business suit, Pepsi Co’s CEO Indira Nooyi has come a long way from when she joined the company in 1994. This Kolkata IIM graduate garnered herself the top position by leading the restructuring of Pepsi Co, that led to its partnering with Quaker Oats and the acquisition of Gatorade and Tropicana. We like Nooyi for staying loyal to her job and not being afraid of bringing new ideas to work.
Chanda Kochhar: The managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, Chanda started out at ICICI as a management trainee. She gradually rose among the ranks as she worked in different areas like power, telecom and transport. In 1996, she headed the infrastructure industry group, but is mainly known for spearheading the retail business in 2000. Under Chanda’s leadership, the bank won the Best Retail Bank in India award in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. She also featured in the Forbes list of World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw: This Bangalore-based chairman and managing director of Biocon is worth $900 million. Shaw set up Biocon, India’s first biotechnology company in 1978, at a time when the sector barely existed. It really was a lot for a woman to study brewery and turn it into an industry. A pioneer in her own right, she definitely made all the unconventional choices and admires others who do so. And for notable achievements in her field, she received awards like the Padma Shri (1989) and the Padma Bhushan (2005).
Shobhana Bhartia: Often known as the woman who transformed the Hindustan Times, Shobhana Bhartia received the Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year award in 2011. The granddaughter of GD Birla and daughter of KK Birla, she is behind transforming HT Media from a family-run concern to a professionally managed powerhouse. She also introduced the business supplement of the HT, Mint in a tie up with the Wall street journal. She joined HT in 1986 and took over as executive director in 1991. Shobhana is also is a Rajya Sabha member of parliament.
Neelam Dhawan: The managing director of Hewlett-Packard India, she started her career with marketing at HCL. Neelam was not shy to jump jobs as has also worked in FMCG companies like Asian Paints and Hindustan Lever. She has also worked for Microsoft, IBM and eventually Compaq before joining HP. Adapting to change has been the mantra this leader and manager has stuck by.
Preetha Reddy: Managing director of the Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, Preetha Reddy manages seven JCI-accredited hospitals in the group, the largest number in a group outside the USA. Working closely with the government for healthcare policies, Preetha is the first woman advisor on healthcare to the Indian government. She has spearheaded Apollo’s project SACH (Save A Child's Heart) - an initiative to treat under privileged children with congenital cardiac diseases.
Rajshree Pathy: This entrepreneur from Coimbatore became the first woman to be the president of the Indian sugar mills in 2004. She is the chairperson and managing director of Rajshree group of industries, which has businesses in sectors like food, energy, real estate, travel, health and arts. She also promotes the cause of performing and contemporary art through through the Contemplate Art Gallery and COCCA.
Zia Mody: One of India’s most prominent legal consultant, Zia Mody started her private practice in 1984. She went on to partner with AZB & partners, India second largest law firm where she is a senior partner.Awarded 'Business Woman of the Year, 2010' by Economic Times, Zia has been identified as a Highly Recommended Lawyer by Global Counsel 3000. Mody is also known for the support she extends towards art, the most recent being organizing an art auction for the The Research Society for the Care, Treatment and Training of Children In Need of Special Care, Sewri.
Tanya Dubash: Executive director and president, marketing, Godrej group, Tanya Dubash, is the person behind, Godrej’s new image. She worked towards making sure that the current generation connected with the brand. Touted to take over once Adi Godrej decides to retire, Tanya has a graduate degree in Economics and Political Science from Brown University, USA and has completed an Advanced Management Program from the Harvard Business School.
Kiran Nadar: She may be known as Shiv Nadar’s wife. But Kiran Nadar is much more than that. She opened the Kiran Nadar Museum that showcases her own collection by modern Indian artists. It is first of India’s philanthropic museums.
Sangita Jindal: She is another woman who is not just a corporate wife. She is the chairperson of the JSW foundation. The organisation has many projects under them that supports art, culture and heritage and restoring Hampi is one of them. It sponsors the Hampi Utsav Festival an annual gathering of local and national artists.
Indu Jain.: chairperson of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (or our boss should we say ;) The 74-year-old lady rank’s 440th on the entire list, and is the 21st richest Indian with an estimate of $2.6 B.
Savitri Jindal: India's woman billionaire, Savitri Jindal's fortune declined to $9.5 billion from $14.4 billion.
Nita Ambani: Indian business woman and the Founder-Chairperson of the Dhirubhai Ambani International School. She was the silent support for her husband Mukesh Ambani in their earlier years before becoming a successful entrepreneur herself. So, it comes as no surprise to find her on the cover of the widely read woman's magazine Femina and also in their list of "50 Indian Women who make things happen".