Business Today

Three Indians in Forbes' powerful women list

The list, topped by US First Lady Michelle Obama, has Pepsi's Indra Nooyi. Axis Bank's Shikha Sharma and ICICI Bank's Chanda Kocchar representing India on the list.

twitter-logo PTI   Boston     Last Updated: October 7, 2010  | 16:16 IST

Three Indians, including Pepsi Co chief Indra Nooyi, are in Forbes' 100 most powerful women in the world list, topped by US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Nooyi, the Chennai-born CEO of the beverage maker, ranks sixth on the list.

The other Indian women giving her company are Axis Bank Chief Executive Shikha Sharma and ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kocchar.

Sharma is ranked 89, while Kocchar comes in at the 92nd spot.

This year, Forbes has divided the list into four groups of politics, business, media and lifestyle. It ranked the women in each group, and then group against group.

Nooyi, Sharma and Kocchar have also been ranked separately under the 'business' category.

Nooyi is the second most-powerful woman in the world in the field of business, after Kraft Foods Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld.

Out of the 39 women listed in the business category, Sharma's rank is 33 and Kocchar is at 35.

Nooyi, whose total annual compensation package last year was $10.6 million, nudged a $20-million slice of the company's $616-million-a-year ad budget away from traditional to social media spends.

Forbes said Pepsi's worldwide campaign, Pepsi Refresh, allocates $1.3 million each month for a US project, such as the recent 'Do Good For the Gulf', which offers stipends to build a shelter for animals whose owners lost their homes to the oil spill and to provide mental health services and job training.

"Brands have to speak to millenniums, young people want to make a difference," Forbes quoted 54-year old Nooyi as saying.

Referring to Sharma, Forbes said with the first year of her three-year term as CEO of India's third-largest private bank behind her, "it's time look forward" for the 49-year-old.

For Sharma, "much of the tough transitional work is over, including fighting the very public opposition to her getting the job from outgoing Axis chairman P J Nayak."

For some one who had never previously worked in a bank, Sharma is focusing on introducing a retail broking platform and the possibility of expanding internationally.

"Every job comes with its tough decisions, and this has not been any different," Sharma says, pointing specifically to "getting the right organisation structure in place" and "mapping the team to the best fit roles."

The upside is a net profit for first quarter of 2010-2011 at $160 million and for FY 2009-2010 of USD 542.5 million.

Kocchar, who is "the first woman to run a large Indian bank," expanded her role as the chief with her recent acquisition of Bank of Rajasthan, a private-sector bank with 463 branches and 4,000 employees.

Last month, ICICI, India's largest private bank and the country's fourth-largest, launched its first retail branch in Singapore.

The Forbes list of the '100 Most Powerful Women' in the world is topped by US First Lady Michelle Obama, followed by Rosenfeld and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

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