Indra Nooyi again tops Fortune’s Power 50

By Arun Kumar, IANS

Washington : Indra Nooyi, Indian American chairman and the chief executive officer (CEO) of PepsiCo topped Fortune magazine’s 10th annual list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business for the second year in a row.

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Besides Nooyi, who beat competition from Xerox’s Anne Mulcahy and eBay’s Meg Whitman to retain the top spot in the US, the global power list released Monday features three Indian women at the 33rd, 38th and 50th positions.

ICICI Bank’s Chanda Kochhar jumped four ranks from last year to 33rd in this year’s international list. HSBC India chief executive Naina Lal Kidwai improved her ranking by three positions to 38, but Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw slipped two spots to land at 50.

About Nooyi, the magazine says: “All the arrows are pointing in the right direction, with revenues ($35.1 billion), operating profits ($6.4 billion), and earnings per share ($3) all rising strongly last year.

The 2001 Quaker Foods acquisition, in which Nooyi played a key role, is working out well and Pepsi International, a priority for the company and a particular interest for the Indian-born Nooyi, is coming on strong too. Its revenues rose 14 percent, to $13 billion and operating profits rose 21 percent to $1.9 billion. Oh, and in May, Nooyi added the title of chairman to her own portfolio.”

Chanda Kochhar (33), deputy managing director ICICI Bank, it says, “has added ICICI’s international business to her corporate banking brief, giving up retail responsibilities. Now she oversees more than half the bank’s $6.7 billion revenue, its presence in 18 countries, and its involvement in most overseas acquisitions by Indian companies. Kochhar, 45, is one of two women on the bank’s board and is seen as a strong CEO candidate in 2009.

Naina Lal Kidwai (38), CEO of HSBC India, heads India’s fastest-growing major bank with net profits up 64 percent to $192 million on $1.1 billion in revenue for the past fiscal year. Kidwai, 50, launched a life insurance joint venture and plans to expand retail and small-business banking.

About Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (50), chairman and managing director of Biocon, the magazine says: “Founder of the company that made her India’s richest self-made businesswoman, Mazumdar-Shaw, 52, is proud that 1,000 cancer patients have been treated in the past year with BIOMAb, Biocon’s first proprietary drug. Revenues rose 28 percent to $227 million and profits 18 percent to $46 million.”

Fortune said it ranked these women at for-profit companies based on the size, importance, and health of their business in the global economy, career momentum, and social and cultural influence.