On a maniac mid Monday morning in the busy Bangalore roads, a bumper sticker caught my eye and has haunted me since. Turning towards a tech park, the bumper sticker faded away but the message didn’t.
It said, “Women are great leaders, you are following one!”
Though I never caught a glance of the woman inside, I do know she was smartly dressed with intellect and was heading the division where she worked. Take any field; you’ll have a women stalwart standing toe to toe with her men counterparts. You may have a Nadella ask you to trust Karma, but women want to make their karma.
It’s again that time of the year that we take time to celebrate the leadership skill of the women reining the Indian Business Scenario.
- 1 Chanda Kochhar – MD & CEO of ICICI Bank
- 2 Naina Lal Kidwai – Chairman of HSBC India
- 3 Chitra Ramakrishna – MD & CEO of NSE
- 4 Zia Mody – Partner, AZB & Partners
- 5 Kirthiga Reddy – Facebook, Indian Operations, Hyderabad
- 6 Aruna Jayanthi – CEO, Capgemini
- 7 Vinita Bali – MD, Britannia Industries
- 8 Mallika Srinivasan – Chairman & CEO, TAFE
Chanda Kochhar – MD & CEO of ICICI Bank
Born and raised in Rajasthan before moving to Mumbai, one can say business is her family heirloom. Captivated by the joy of numbers, she pursued Cost Accountancy and Management Studies which she cleared with gold medals. Her journey into the banking sector started way back in 1984 and after successive promotions, she now leads the largest Private bank in India.
She has been featured in Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” since 2005 and Forbes “World’s 100 most Powerful Women List” since 2009. In her tenure, ICICI has seen it’s pinnacle. She was also awarded Padma Bhushan. We salute her spirit.
Naina Lal Kidwai – Chairman of HSBC India
She was the first Indian Woman to graduate from Harvard Business School in 1982 excelling in Business Administration. Also a Chartered Accountant, she pursued her degree in Arts from Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She is also the first Indian woman to reach a top spot in a foreign bank. Before she joined HSBC, she worked in the investment banking divisions of various companies like ANZ Grindlays, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Bank, Price Waterhouse & Co. She is also on the governing body of CAG India. She has also been featured in the Time List and wall street Journal. She has been awarded the Padma Shri.
Chitra Ramakrishna – MD & CEO of NSE
Apart from playing Veena, Ms Ramakrishna is instrumental in making the NSE, one of the top 3 exchanges in index and stock derivatives. She has been guiding NSE since it’s inception back in 1990’s. A chartered accountant in profession, she worked for IDBI and SEBI in her career formative years. She has been credited with making the CNX Nifty 50 most loved derivative vehicle for traders. NSE reached to the 7th largest stock exchange position in her watchful eyes.
Zia Mody – Partner, AZB & Partners
Daughter of the former Attorney-General of India, Soli Sorabjee who was honoured with Padma Vibhushan for the protection of human rights, Zia Mody turned out to be just as good as her father. She founded AZB & Partners in 1984 in Mumbai after her law degree from the Cambridge University and after having done her Masters in Harvard Law School in1979. She first started working as an attorney in New York, but returned back to India after 5 years. Today AZB & Partners are known for their expertise in corporate M&A’s and Securities law. She is also on the board of FCCI and SEBI.
Kirthiga Reddy – Facebook, Indian Operations, Hyderabad
Meet this silicon valley damsel who has been a prominent person in making India the 3rd largest population for facebook. She was the first employee to be hired in India, so one could say she actually set up the Facebook India from scratch since July, 2010. Younger of the lot, she has made her mark in the digital field by working in Motorola and Silicon Graphics in the US. She graduated from Stanford University with an MBA degree and did her MS in computer engineering in Syracuse University.
Aruna Jayanthi – CEO, Capgemini
Capgemini has crossed over 40,000 employee base in India, it’s biggest overseas operations. The French giant made Aruna, the CEO in January 2011. Ever since the company’s Indian operations have turned into a high profit generating unit. She was awarded the “India Today woman in the corporate world” at the India Today summit 2013.
Vinita Bali – MD, Britannia Industries
Before Bali joined Britannia, the company had products that were in a stagnating stage. The brand has lost it’s lustre and that’s when the Board of directors at Britannia made a good decision. They hired Vinita Bali in 2005, who was then working for the Zyman Group. She graduated from Lady Shri Ram College for Women with a B.com degree and also earned an MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. She later received a scholarship form the Michigan State University. Before Britannia, she worked at Voltas, Cadbury, Coca Cola and Zyman Group. In 2011, she debuted in Forbe’s list of “Asia’s 50 powerful Businesswomen”.
Mallika Srinivasan – Chairman & CEO, TAFE
She leads the world’s third largest manufacturer and India’s second largest manufacturer of Tractors, ie TAFE (Tractors and Farm Equipment). She is an alumni of Wharton School of Business. She is known widely for bringing a huge change in the products for easing the farming. Competing with Eicher, Massey Ferguson, TAFE is known for making the tractor more suitable for Indian farmers. She is the wife of Venu Srinivasan who runs TVS. She was the Entrepreneur of the Year by E&Y in 2011. She has been consistently featured in the Forbe’s and Fortune list of powerful business women. She also received a Padma Shri for her contribution in the manufacturing field in 2014.