6 Indian women named by Forbes magazine in top 50 ‘Power Businesswomen’ from Asia

forbes - chanda Kochhar







ICICI  CEO  Chanda Kochchar

NEW YORK: Six Indian  women  CEOs and Managing Directors, including  State Bank of India  head  Arundhati Bhattacharya and  ICICI  CEO  Chanda Kochchar, have been named by Forbes magazine in its 50 ‘Power Businesswomen’ from Asia who are “knocking down” walls in the traditional male bastions.

forbes - Shikha







Axis Bank CEO and MD Shikha Sharma

The Asia’s 50 Power Businesswomen list showcases a year of accomplishments by the region’s female entrepreneurs and executives, punctuated by the midas touch of China’s Alibaba and newcomers from two rapidly growing economies where women are starting to find a toehold in business, the magazine said.

forbes - kiran mazumdar








Biocon  Founder, Chairman and MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Included in the list are women CEOs and founders who are active in the upper echelons of the business world in Asia, wield significant power and have access to robust financial resources.

forbes - akhila Srinivasan








Akhila Srinivasan, MD/Non-Executive Director of Shriram Life Insurance/Shriram Capital

Apart from Bhattacharya and Kochchar, the Indian executives on the list are  Akhila Srinivasan, MD/Non-Executive Director of Shriram Life Insurance/Shriram Capital,  Biocon  Founder, Chairman and MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Axis Bank CEO and MD Shikha Sharma and  Life Insurance Corp.  of India MD  Usha Sangwan  56 (India).

forbes - Arundhati Bhattacharya







State Bank of India  head  Arundhati Bhattacharya

Forbes said in less than a decade Srinivasan has catapulted Shriram Life Insurance into one of the top five private players in its industry in India in terms of profitability.

forbes - usha








Life Insurance Corp.  of India MD  Usha Sangwan


“Srinivasan has been with the $13.3 billion assets under management  Shriram Group  parent of Shriram Life and India’s largest financial conglomerate — for 29 years,” it said, adding that she is the only woman on the board of Shriram Capital, holding company for Shriram Group.

Forbes said Bhattacharya, 58, is referred to as the “first lady of Indian banking” and as chair of the Indian behemoth with 225 million customers and assets of $300 billion, the “SBI lifer” has had her hands full addressing bad loans and shoring up the bank’s capital.

Forbes noted that Bhattacharya offers employees at SBI the option of a 2-year sabbatical to take care of children and parents.

Kochhar, 53, is India’s second-most-powerful banker after Bhattacharya, Forbes said.

Kochhar has been boss of ICICI, the country’s biggest lender in the private sector, with assets of $100 billion, for 6 years and is now aiming at capturing younger customers with Pockets, a mobile and online service.

Forbes said that Kochhar’s drawing power was recently on display at her daughter’s wedding in Mumbai, which was attended by billionaires, bankers and politicians, including Reserve Bank of India  GovernorRaghuram Rajan.

Shaw, 61, is India’s biotech who queen built Biocon from a garage startup into India’s largest publicly traded biopharma firm, with $480 million in sales, mostly in low-cost drugs for diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Sharma, 56, is credited with giving Axis bank — India’s third-largest private-sector bank, with assets of $67 billion — a retail focus, digitizing transactions and expanding the network.

Forbes said under her command the bank’s total deposits have grown to $46 billion as of December 31 and net profit crossed the $1 billion mark for the first time in the year ended last March.

Sangwan, 56, made history two years ago at state-owned  LIC  when she was appointed managing director, becoming the first woman to occupy the post.

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