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3 Indians among WSJ top 50 women

world Updated: Nov 10, 2008 16:55 IST
PTI
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Led by Pepsico Chief Indra Nooyi, three Indians have made their way into the Wall Street Journal's global list of 50 women to watch for this year.

Cisco's Chief Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior and INX Media's Chief Executive Indrani Mukerjea are the other two women who made the cut.

Ranked at second spot, snacks and beverages major Pepsico Chief Nooyi is the lone Indian in the top 10. Warrior and Mukerjea are ranked at 31st and 41st positions, respectively.

At the top of the heap is Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair. Barbara Desoer, who is the President, Mortgage, Home Equity & Insurance Services, at the Bank of America, is placed at the third position.

Writing on Nooyi, the publication said that confronted this year by high commodity prices, a downturn in US beverage sales, and other consequences of the souring economy, the Pepsico Chief did not shy from some bold steps.

"She has been pushing the Purchase, NY, company in new directions since arriving 14 years ago as head of corporate strategy.

"Her drive to get Pepsi to buy Tropicana and Quaker Oats helped shift the company's soda-and-potato-chip-dominated portfolio toward healthier drinks and snacks," WSJ said.

Others in the top 10 are People's Bank of China's Deputy Governor Hu Xiaolian (4th), French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde (5), Kraft Foods' Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld (6), Temasek Holdings' Chief Hon Ching (7), DuPont President Ellen Kullman (8), Xerox Chairman Anne Mulcahy (9) and Laura Tyson (10), who is the Professor of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Further, writing on Nooyi, the Wall Street Journal added that most of the savings from cost-cutting will be used for expanding in the fast-growing emerging markets, the US beverage business, and accelerating development of new beverages and snacks.

On 47-year-old Warrior, the report noted that she must help identify acquisition targets for Cisco, as well as emerging technology trends to exploit. Further, she must also communicate Cisco's technology strategy to corporate customers and industry partners, the report added.

"Through a Cisco spokeswoman, Warrior says she's developing a technology system that will be accessible to all the company's engineers, managers and executives. She plans to use the system to communicate with Cisco employees, allowing her to cut through the bureaucracy to make decisions on strategy...," the Wall Street Journal noted.

Describing 36-year-old Mukerjea as India's first female media mogul, the report pointed out that INX Media, founded in 2007 with funding from private-equity firms Temasek Holdings and New Silk Route Advisers, is betting on growth in a country with 120 million television homes and millions more who still don't own one.

Presently, INX Media runs three channels in India, including news and general entertainment channels and the 9XM video music channel. Mukerjea plans to launch nine more channels by the end of 2009, the report added.

"While everyone else is talking about outspending each other, I think the way to survive in this business is to tighten your belt. In the middle of the global economic meltdown, that helps you be looked upon as a prudent leader," Mukerjea was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.