Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made his debut among the world’s most powerful people, ranked 15th on the Forbes list topped by Russian President Vladimir Putin who pipped his US counterpart Barack Obama for a second year in a row.
The list of 72 most powerful people in the world also included the names of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani at 36th, Arcelo rMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal at 57th and Microsoft’s Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella at 64th spot.
On Modi, Forbes said “India’s newest rock star doesn’t hail from Bollywood. He is the newly elected Prime Minister who sailed into office in May with a landslide victory, ushering the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into power after decades of control by the Gandhi dynasty.”
Forbes described him as a “Hindu nationalist” and referred to the 2002 Gujarat riots when he was the state’s chief minister.
“The world is as impressed as the citizens of India: So far he’s toured the US and China and met with his Southeast Asian neighbours,” the magazine said.
This year there are 12 newcomers on the list, including Modi and Egypt President Abdel el-Sisi.
Alibiba founder and China’s richest man — Jack Ma also makes a first appearance on the list, as does terror group Islamic State’s chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
This is the second year in a row that Putin carries the crown.