8 South Asian Women on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women List

November 7, 2020

Forbes has released their 100 Most Powerful Women List this week and it features some powerful South Asian women from around the world. From politicians and writers to actresses and singers, the list includes them all. These real-life South Asian Wonder Women are versatile and they excel in their fields.

Check out the eight influential South Asian bawses who made the list:

1. Priyanka Chopra

Photo Source: Shutterstock

Chopra holds the 97th position on this list thanks to her international appeal. After rocking the South Asian continent with her acting prowess, she has shifted gears to Hollywood as she slowly conquers the world. Chopra originally made her mark in the West with her singing debut and then showed off her true skills as an actress. In a short time, she’s been able to win hearts as Alex Parrish in the ABC show “Quantico” and as Victoria in the remake of “Baywatch.” Chopra is not only a singer and actress but a philanthropist, former Miss World and film producer. She’s actually working on producing a new show on ABC that is inspired by the life of Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit.

2. Shobhana Bhartia

Photo Source: Alchetron

Shobhana Bhartia is the editorial director of the Hindustan Times Group. She holds the 92nd spot on the list. Bhartia is the first female chief executive of a national newspaper. She is the daughter of the popular industrialist KK Birla, and though she inherited the Hindustan Times Group from her father, it is under her leadership that the company has become a leading media house. She’s an inspiration to South Asian journalists everywhere. Bhartia holds several awards including the Outstanding Business Woman of the Year.

3. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Photo Source: Facebook

Chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw holds the 71st position on the list. She is a pioneer in the field of biotechnology which has placed on not on the Forbes list but also TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world and Financial Times’ top 50 women in business. Mazumdar-Shaw studied Malting and Brewing in Australia’s Federation University in 1974, she was the only woman in the course. She began operations in her garage working with Ireland’s Biocon Biochemicals Limited to establish the Indian arm and it’s only been uphill from there.

4. Roshni Nadar Malhotra

Photo Source: Facebook

Roshni Nadar Malhotra is an heiress who was mentored by her father Shiv Nadar, the founder and manager of HCL. Within a year she became the executive director and CEO of HCL Corporation, a multinational IT services company. She also manages educational initiatives and philanthropic ventures of the company for which she has received much recognition. She has made her mark in the field of technology, which led her to the 57th position on the list.

5. Nikki Haley

Photo Source: Facebook

Indian-American politician Nikki Haley has snagged the 43rd position on the most powerful women list. Haley holds a higher spot than the former Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton who is 65 on the list. Surprising, isn’t it? Haley was the first female governor of South Carolina and the second U.S. governor of Indian descent. Haley is currently the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a position President Donald Trump nominated her and she accepted though she was never “a fan” of him. Aside from the Forbes list, Haley has made TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list as well.

6. Chanda Kochhar

Photo Source: Vogue India

Chanda Kochhar is the managing director and CEO of India’s leading bank, ICICI. She holds the 32nd position on this list for her masterful skills of leading India’s financial sector and managing the nation’s economic ups and downs. Her many awards include India’s highest civilian award Padma Bhushan. Last year, Kochhar even won the Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship. She was the first Indian woman to receive the honor.

7. Sheikh Hasina Wazed

Photo Source: Dhaka Times

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed holds the 30th position on the list, a surprisingly high position for a woman leading such a small nation. It says a lot about her leadership skills. Prime Minister Wajed is not far below the list from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II who is at the 26th spot. Her legacy is one of bringing democracy to a nation filled with civil unrest. She has improved equal voting rights for all, brought more rights to the citizens of Bangladesh and brought more equality between men and women.

8. Indra Nooyi

Photo Source: Fortune

Indra Nooyi began her career at PepsiCo in 1994. She eventually moved up the ranks to CFO in 2001 and then to CEO in 2006. Under Nooyi’s direction, PepsiCo has expanded immensely from the acquisition of Tropicana to a merger with Quaker Oats Company and led to the addition of Gatorade. Fortune named Nooyi as one of the Most Powerful Woman in Business in 2014 and one of the Most Powerful Women in 2015, Wall Street Journal named her one of the 50 women to watch in 2007 and 2008. She was also TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007 and 2008. The list goes on.


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