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3 Indian women in Fortune power list

india Updated: Oct 12, 2006 03:07 IST
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Three Indian women—ICICI Bank Deputy Managing Director Chanda Kochhar, HSBC India CEO Naina Lal Kidwai and Biocon head Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw—have been named among the world's 50 most powerful businesswomen by the Fortune magazine.

The global recognition for the country's three businesswomen comes close on the heels of Indra Nooyi, the India-born head of global soft drink giant PepsiCo, being named as the most powerful business woman in the US by the same magazine.

Her name does not figure in this global list of 50 published in the magazine's latest European edition as she has been named in the American list.

Chanda Kochhar, who belongs to India's largest private sector bank, has been ranked 37 in the Global Power 50 list published in the October 16 issue of the CNN-Time Warner group business magazine.

She has moved up ten positions from her 47th rank in the previous year's list.

HSBC India Chief Executive Officer Kidwai has been ranked 41, while Chairman and Managing Director of biotechnology major Biocon, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, has grabbed the 48th rank in the same list.

Mazumdar-Shaw has moved down four positions from 44 in 2005, while Kidwai has returned to this list after a gap of two years. However, another Indian woman, Jumbo Group's Vidya Chhabria had figured in the 2005 list at the 49th position.

Kochhar, 44, who was promoted to her new position in ICICI Bank in April, has added the bank's fledgling corporate banking operation to her retail responsibilities, the magazine said.

Kochhar is one of three women on the bank's board and is said to be a strong candidate to take over as CEO in 2008, the magazine added.

Kidwai, 49, has returned to the list after two years, having become the head of all of HSBC's operations in India in March.

Her focus is on expanding the retail and small-business operations of the bank, which saw net profits in India rise 53 per cent last year, to $114 million on net revenue of $5.2 billion.

The magazine said that Mazumdar-Shaw, 53, the founder of India's largest biotech company, increased research-and-development spending by 76 per cent last year and built a $250 million facility to produce Biocon's first proprietary drug, for head and neck cancer.

The company's sales rose 9 per cent to $170 million, but profits were down. Now India's richest self-made woman must convince investors she can deliver profits as well as innovation and one of her strategies could be to break into the US generics market, it said.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, who has moved to top position of the US list from her 11th rank last year, is a powerful force behind the consumer giant's strong profit pipeline and $108 billion stock market valuation, the magazine said.

Formerly CFO and president, the India-born strategist reached the top even though she never ran a line operation at Pepsi, it added.

The magazine says that Nooyi believes in constant reinvention, quoting her: "The minute you've developed a new business model, it's extinct, because somebody is going to copy it."

The international list has been led by Patricia Russo, CEO of French telecom major Alcatel Lucent, who has made her debut on the annual ranking of the world's most powerful business women.

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