Three Indian women figure in Forbes` powerful women list

Boston: Three Indian women, including Pepsi Co`s head Indra Nooyi, figure in the Forbes` 100 most powerful women in the world topped by US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Nooyi, the Chennai-born CEO of Pepsi Co, ranks 6th on the list.

The other Indian women giving her company on the list are Axis Bank`s Chief Executive Shikha Sharma and ICICI Bank`s Chanda Kocchar.

Sharma is ranked 89 while Kocchar comes in at the 92nd spot.

This year, Forbes has divided the 100 power women candidates into four groups of politics, business, media and lifestyle.

It ranked the women in each group, and then group against group.

Nooyi, Sharma and Kocchar have also been ranked separately under the `business` category.

Nooyi is the second most powerful woman in the world in the field of business after Kraft Foods Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld.

Out of the 39 women listed in the business category, Sharma`s rank is 33 and Kocchar`s is 35.

Nooyi, whose total annual compensation package last year was USD 10.6 million, nudged a USD 20 million slice of the company`s USD 616-million-a-year ad budget away from traditional to social media spends.

Forbes said Pepsi`s worldwide campaign, Pepsi Refresh, allocates USD 1.3 million each month for a US project, such as the recent "Do Good For the Gulf," which offers stipends to build a shelter for animals whose owners lost their homes to the oil spill and to provide mental health services and job training.

"Brands have to speak to millenniums; young people want to make a difference," Forbes quoted 54-year old Nooyi as saying.

Referring to Sharma, Forbes said with the first year of her three-year term as CEO of India`s third-largest private bank behind her, "it`s time look forward" for the 49 year old.

For Sharma, "much of the tough transitional work is over, including fighting the very public opposition to her getting the job from outgoing Axis chairman PJ Nayak."

For some one who had never previously worked in a bank, Sharma is focusing on introducing a retail broking platform and the possibility of expanding internationally.

"Every job comes with its tough decisions, and this has not been any different," Sharma says, pointing specifically to "getting the right organisation structure in place" and "mapping the team to the best fit roles."

The upside is a net profit for Q1 2010-2011 of USD 160 million and for FY 2009-2010 of USD 542.5 million.

Kocchar, who is "the first woman to run a large Indian bank," expanded her role as chief with her recent acquisition of Bank of Rajasthan, a private sector bank with 463 branchesn and 4,000 employees.

Last month, ICICI, India`s largest private bank and the country`s fourth largest, launched its first retail branch in Singapore 48, Forbes said.

The Forbes list of the `100 Most Powerful Women` in the world in topped by US First Lady Michelle Obama, followed by Rosenfeld and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

PTI

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