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Agro Woman: Schauna Chauhan

November 11, 2010
Schauna Chauhan
34, CEO, Parle Agro

The year 2009 was the one in which Parle Agro took on giants like PepsiCo and ITC on their own wicket. In March that year, the Mumbai-headquartered food and beverages company, best known for its Mango drink Frooti, launched LMN - a lemon-based drink in the Rs 1,500-crore non-carbonated segment (Pepsi launched its own lime- based drink Nimbooz around the same time). A few months later, the company forayed into the Rs 6,500-crore branded snacks segment, dominated by PepsiCo's Kurkure and ITC's Bingo, by launching Hippo, a baked health snack.
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Leading Parle Agro's charge is 34-year-old Schauna Chauhan, its CEO and the eldest daughter of Prakash Chauhan, its founder. "In the past year, we have made additions to our portfolio by adding new brand extensions (like Hippo Round-Round, and Saint Apple juice)," says Chauhan, who runs the Rs 1,500-crore company with her sisters, Alisha and Nadia.

Schauna has been associated with the business since 1999 when she joined the company's board as a director at age 22. Since she took over as CEO in 2006, the group has diversified into areas like confectionery, pure fruit juices and baked snacks, and has rapidly expanded its global presence, with exports to over 20 countries. "We have doubled our international presence by stepping up exports and by entering new partnerships to create a strong international presence for our brands," she adds. Chauhan, who is married to actor Bikram Saluja, looks up to her father and the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, as her role models.

-T.V. Mahalingam

The 30 Most Powerful Women
1. Schauna Chauhan
2. Zarin Daruwala
3. Lynn de Souza
4. Tanya Dubash
5. Shyamala Gopinath
6. Vinita Gupta
7. Kaku Nakhate
8. Vedika Bhandarkar
9. Manisha Girotra
10. Lalita Gupte
11. Usha Narayanan
12. Akhila Srinivasan
13. Leena Nair
14. Vinita Bali
15. Chanda Kochhar
16. Roopa Kudva
17. Naina Lal Kidwai
18. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
19. Zarina Mehta
20. Zia Mody
21. Kalpana Morparia
22. Vishakha Mulye
23. Swati Piramal
24. Meher Pudumjee
25. Madhabi Puri Buch
26. Chitra Ramkrishna
27. Preetha Reddy
28. Shikha Sharma
29. Mallika Srinivasan
30. Sangeeta Talwar

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