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There is no power women waiting in the wings.

Anumeha Chaturvedi and twitter-logoManu Kaushik         Print Edition: Nov 28, 2010

Sonal Agrawal, CEO, Accord Group
She hails from the First Family of recruiting. Her father Bish Agrawal co-founded ABC Consulting and her husband Tarun Bali co-headed Manpower India. But Agrawal is known to have risen up the ranks simply through hard work. At her sought-after executive search firm Accord, Agrawal has helped make top hires at NM Rothschild and Deutsche Bank.

Nita Ambani, Chairperson, Dhirubhai Ambani International School
Ambani retains a strong identity outside of just being the wife of the country's richest man. She heads a non-profit organisation, the Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation, and is closely managing the Dhirubhai Ambani International School in Mumbai. Her investment in IPL team Mumbai Indians has shown her to be a savvy investor, too.

Anita Arjundas, CEO, Mahindra Lifespaces
Arjundas joined the group as Vice President, Marketing, Mahindra World City, and played a key role in its success. The sprawling city, spread over 1,550 acres, became the country's first operational special economic zone. Responsible for the business of residential, commercial, and special economic zones, she keeps a tight leash on pricing.

Punitha Arumugam, CEO, Madison Media
One of the most influential women in media is actually a Masters in Forensic Science. Clearly, that has never been an obstacle - her rise after joining Madison as Media Services Director in 2000 has been meteoric. Currently Group CEO for India, Arumugam has helped Madison grow from a two-client agency to one with over 30 blue chip clients today.

Shruti Bajpai, Country Head, HBO
Bajpai joined HBO when the channel launched in India and, over the past ten years, has learnt and grown with it. Promoted to Country Head in 2004, she has pushed HBO to diversify its programming with documentaries and original shows. Credit to her, HBO remains right up there in a market that boasts 350 channels, six DTH players and seven international movie channels.

Lara Balsara, Business Development and Diversification Manager, Madison World
The petite and pretty Lara is a sharpshooter. She identifies new opportunities for her father Sam Balsara's communications group, Madison World. Under her, Madison inked a 50:50 joint venture with UK ad agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay to launch the latter in India. Madison's advertising business will be merged into the new JV, on whose board Lara has a berth.

Anjali Bansal, Managing Partner, Spencer Stuart
The former McKinsey consultant is a member of Spencer Stuart's global board services practice and advises on CEO, senior executive search and governance and succession issues. Bansal has helped hire marquee names like Jeya Kumar, CEO of Patni Computers and Arun Tadanki, MD of Yahoo! India.

Anuradha Desai, Chairperson, VH Group
Desai took Venky's from a Rs 400-crore poultry brand in 2007, to a Rs 700-crore brand in 2010. Under her stewardship, the company also expanded its footprint outside India, to countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam. Now, to increase its international visibility, the group is set to buy the English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers.

Saagarika Ghosal, CPO, Reliance BIG Entertainment
Undoubtedly one of the most innovative and result-oriented HR practitioners in the country, this Chief People Officer's impressive working style has helped her reach the top of the corporate ladder in a career spanning over 20 years. In the past, she has worked with diverse companies such as Jet Airways, RPG and Bharti Airtel, before joining the flagship media and entertainment arm of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.

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