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80:20 Vision: Akhila Srinivasan

November 11, 2010
Akhila Srinivasan
49, Managing Director, Shriram Life Insurance
(Number of times in BT's Most Powerful list: 2)

Akhila Srinivasan devotes roughly 80 per cent of her time to managing Shriram Life Insurance, one of the companies in the Rs 40,000 crore Shriram Group. Just 20 per cent for other activities may appear inadequate to achieve any major goal, but Srinivsan packs a punch even when she is not overseeing operations of Shriram Life Insurance, where she is Managing Director.

The Shriram Foundation started by Srinivasan, of which she is the Managing Trustee, runs a free school and a community college to train the outlying village students and youth south of Chennai.

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The school provides free Montessori system of education, breakfast and lunch to around 600 students up to the eighth standard; the college provides subsidised courses across verticals such as farming, vehicle maintenance and finance course tailored to requirements of non-banking finance companies. "1 am passionate about education,'' says Srinivasan who two years ago founded an organisation, within the Foundation, called "Give Life". It currently gives educational support to the underprivileged students from other schools.

Srinivasan is also President of the Shri Shri Ravishankar University in Orissa, an honorary position. She is responsible for setting up the University from scratch, to be completed in phases by 2017. Srinivasan is targeting July 2011 to flag off an MBA course from the university; this will be followed by engineering, health sciences, law, and other curricula in the years ahead. "This university will become the Nalanda of modern India, incorporating ancient and modern wisdom,'' she says.
-Nitya Varadarajan
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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