Forbes names Nirmala Sitharaman and five other Indian women among its most powerful women

Nirmala Sitharaman, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Falguni Nayar and Biocon executive chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw are among six Indians on Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

It’s Sitharaman’s fourth time on the list. In 2021, the 63-year-old minister was ranked 37, 41 in 2020, and 34 in 2019.

Roshni Nadar Malhotra of HCLTech (rank: 53), Madhabi Puri Buch of SEBI (rank: 54), and Soma Mondal of Steel Authority Of India (rank: 67) make up the other Indians on the list.

Malhotra, Mazumdar-Shaw, and Nayar made a list last year, too at 52nd, 72nd, and 88th places.

In this year’s Forbes list, Mazumdar-Shaw ranks 72, while Nayar ranks 89.

39 CEOs, 10 heads of state, and 11 billionaires worth a combined USD 115 billion make a list.

In highlighting Nayar’s profile, Forbes noted that the 59-year-old businessman “led IPOs and helped other entrepreneurs achieve their goals for over two decades.” She started Nykaa and invested USD 2 million of her own money into it. As a result, she became India’s richest self-made woman in 2021.

Forbes says Malhotra, 41, is responsible for all strategic decisions at the USD 12 billion company.

The company was founded by her dad, Shiv Nadar, in 1976 and became a central part of India’s IT boom.
Earlier this month, Buch became the first female chair of SEBI, which oversees India’s more than USD 3 trillion stock market.

Mondal, 59, became the first woman to head SAIL in January 2021, and has led the company to record financial growth. According to Forbes, her first year at the helm saw the company’s profits triple to 120 billion rupees.

In the article, Mazumdar-Shaw was described as one of India’s richest women. In 1978, she founded India’s largest biopharmaceutical company by revenue. The company has successfully entered the lucrative US market. It has Asia’s biggest insulin factory in Malaysia’s Johor region.

Four main metrics were used to make a list: money, media, impact, and spheres of influence. GDP and population were weighed for politicians; revenues and employee counts were weighed for corporate leaders, and media mentions and reach were weighed for all. This results in a collection of women who fight the status quo.

In Forbes’ 19th annual World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen sits atop the list for her leadership during the Ukraine war and handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“She’s unique in that she figures out policy on behalf of 450 million people – but she’s not unique in her commitment to a free and democratic society. The website emphasized that Von der Leyen was just one face of the biggest storyline of 2022: women stoking democracy.

Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, ranked second, and Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States, ranked third.

Posthumously, Iran’s Jina “Mahsa” Amini made it to the influential list. After her death in September, a women-led revolution erupted in the Islamic country.

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