Indians among Forbes list of world’s 100 most powerful women

Washington, Oct 7 (Calcutta Tube) Two Indian women have made it to Forbes list of world’s 100 most powerful women with US First Lady Michelle Obama at the top and India-born Pepsico chief in sixth place.

Axis Bank chief executive Shikha Sharma, 49, ranked 89th while ICICI Bank chief executive Chanda Kocchar, 48, was in the 92nd place in the magazine’s annual list.

Kraft Foods boss Irene Rosenfeld came second. media mogul Oprah Winfrey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton completed the top five.

Singers Lady Gaga (7) and Beyonce Knowles (9) made the top 10 in this year’s list based ‘less on traditional titles and roles and more on creative influence and entrepreneurship,’ Forbes said.

Obama had ‘given a new generation of girls and women around the world a role model’, the magazine said. Last year Forbes ranked the first African-American first lady at 40 while Merkel topped the list.

Nooyi, the head of beverage giant PepsiCo, ‘nudged a $20 million slice of the company’s $616-million-a-year ad budget away from traditional to social media spends,’ Forbes said.

‘It blurs the line between philanthropy and advertising,’ says Nooyi, whose total annual compensation package last year was $10.6 million.

With the first year of her three-year term as CEO of India’s third-largest private bank behind her, Shikha Sharma says it’s time look forward.

‘The upside is a net profit for Q1 2010-2011 of $160 million and for FY 2009-2010 of $542.5 million,’ notes Forbes. ‘Next up? Introducing a retail broking platform and the possibility of expanding internationally.’

Kochar, the first woman to run India’s largest private bank and the country’s fourth largest, has expanded her role as chief with her recent acquisition of Bank of Rajasthan, a private sector bank with 463 branches and 4,000 employees. Last month, ICICI launched its first retail branch in Singapore.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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