The 25 most powerful women had better watch out—they have some serious competition snapping at their heels. The Rising Stars range from the CEO of a foreign bank to legal eagles and marketing whiz-kids. Some stumbled into their dream careers by chance, some are entrepreneurs and there is even a bureaucrat. The 10 rising stars chosen by BT this year are the epitome of today’s women, for whom nothing is impossible.Amisha Vora42, Group Joint MD, Prabhudas Lilladher Group
Power to me means: The ability to make a difference in my areas of influence.
My favourite life-after-work activity: A walk on the beach or in my garden with some music.
The best way to deal with a glass ceiling: Your conviction in what you communicate and your persistence.
The biggest turning point in my career was: When we started the Corporate Advisory Business in September 2005. Within 16 months, we helped companies raise $1 billion through private equity, among other things.
Mantra for maintaining work-life balance: Prioritising.
Working in an industry where women are hard to spot, this Chartered Accountant from a Gujarati family started off as an equity research analyst with JM Financials in 1988. She joined the broking firm Prabhudas Lilladher in 2000 in the midst of a slowdown and bearish market. As the market sentiment changed for the worse in the wake of the Ketan Parikh scam in 2001, she and her colleagues took a two-thirds cut in their salaries. She helped the firm expand its institutional client base from 21 in 2001 to 225 in 2008. Vora also expanded its presence in Corporate Advisory Services and set up a non-banking finance company (NBFC). In 2007, she became a shareholder, owning 25 per cent in Prabhudas Lilladher Group. But Vora has even higher goals. “I want to transform the company into a respectable global brand,” she says. Vora, who travels 15-20 days every month, says it’s the support of her husband and her 16-year-old son that keeps her going.