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Reading the mint leaves: Shyamala Gopinath

November 11, 2010
Shyamala Gopinath
61, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
(New on BT's Most Powerful list)

She came to Mumbai from Bangalore close to four decades ago with her grandmother. She would ride a truck to reach downtown from the suburbs during the nationwide train strikes of the seventies.

Since then, Gopinath has written regulations, managed government debt, kept an eagle eye on the exchange rate, managed foreign exchange - and even done a cushy stint at the International Monetary Fund in 2001.

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She came back to India two years later as Executive Director of the Reserve Bank- a well-timed move as the Indian economy was nearing a tipping point. "I wanted to be amidst the action," she says.

Today, Gopinath probably has one of the toughest jobs going around - of managing the government's burgeoning borrowings and also keeping an eye on the rupee, which has been appreciating against the US dollar and putting exporters in a spot. Gopinath is concerned, but not alarmed. "One can see the growth differential," she says, pointing to the widening gap in growth figures for the developed and the developing world. Also, the rupee's appreciation is an indicator that global liquidity is chasing India and other emerging markets.

If she is not alarmed, you should not be, either.
-Anand Adhikari
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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