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Mukesh Ambani makes it to world's 50 greatest leaders list, but not for his money

This year's Fortune magazine's World's Greatest Leaders of 2018 is topped by 'The Students' of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and other schools of US that witnessed gun violence.

Mukesh Ambani makes it to world's 50 greatest leaders list, but not for his money

New Delhi: Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani and human rights lawyer Indira Jaising have been named by Fortune magazine as the World's Greatest Leaders of 2018.

While Ambani is at number 24, Jaising has been ranked number 20. The Fortune's 2018 ranking of the 50 greatest leaders released on Thursday also has architect Balkrishna Doshi in the list which includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and football coach Nick Saban.

To quote the magazine - "This year’s list puts an emphasis on leaders who are navigating this challenge deftly. (That has meant sidelining some perennially worthy figures, from Pope Francis to Jeff Bezos, to see past years’ lists, visit At companies, one solution is to evaluate leaders on wealth creation rather than size as conventionally measured. Leaders of mission-driven nonprofits may face fewer disincentives. Indira Jaising’s little NGO punches far above its weight because it can outsource staff and infrastructure; the Internet lets it communicate widely at low cost and enables volunteers to pitch in from around the world."

Regarding Ambani, they wrote - "In less than two years, India’s richest man has brought mobile data to the masses - and completely upended the country’s telecom market. Since Ambani, chief of the $47 billion conglomerate Reliance Industries, launched Jio - the first mobile network in the world to be entirely IP-based - in September 2016, the company has signed up a staggering 168 million subscribers. The secret? Offering dirt-cheap data and free calls (and ploughing billions of dollars into the infrastructure that transmits them). The effect, dubbed “Jio-fication,” has driven India’s higher-price carriers to drop costs (if not run them out of business), and it fueled a 1,100% rise in India’s monthly data consumption."

On Jaising, founder, Lawyers Collective, Fortune said, "When the poorest in India need a voice, they find one in Jaising, a lawyer who has dedicated her life to battling injustice. Jaising has fought on behalf of victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, helped Syrian Christian women in India win property rights equal to their male counterparts’, and helped draft India’s first domestic violence law. Her work has recently led her to Myanmar, where she was appointed by the UN to lead an investigation into the persecution of Rohingya Muslims."

This year's list is topped by 'The Students' of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and other schools of US that witnessed gun violence. Ranking Doshi at number 43, Fortune said he is the winner of this year's Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honour. Doshi has spent the bulk of his 70-year career championing accessible housing, earning the moniker 'the architect for the poor'.

On 'The Students' the magazine writes - "If 2018 becomes the year that the United States finally begins to tackle its disease of gun violence - an epidemic that steals nearly 100 American lives every day - it will be due not to the good sense of elected officials, but rather to the courage, tenacity, and sheer eloquence of students like Emma González, who bore witness to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings with an unforgettable speech, and long moment of silence, at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC."

"It will be due to 11th-graders like Cameron Kasky, who along with Stoneman Douglas classmates Jaclyn Corin and Alex Wind launched the #NeverAgain crusade and helped plan the historic rally in Washington, which was mirrored by gatherings around the world. It will be due to 11-year-olds like Naomi Wadler, who reminded millions of people on that same day of something that should never have needed a reminder: that young African-Americans who die in such overwhelming numbers from gun violence aren’t “simply statistics” but instead vibrant lives “full of potential.” It will be due to 21-year-olds like Columbia student Nza-Ari Khepra, who co-founded two efforts to bring attention to gun violence - Project Orange Tree and the Wear Orange Campaign - which she hopes will inspire other young people to engage in a conversation about this scourge."

This year's list has the #MeToo movement, which described the pervasiveness of sexual abuse, at number 3 behind Bill and Melinda Gates. Others on the list include tennis star Serena Williams, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, Larry Fink who leads the world's biggest fund BlackRock, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Engie CEO Isabelle Kocher, film director Ryan Coogler, Tencent CEO Huateng 'Pony' Ma, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Oprah Winfrey, Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and 42-year old actor/producer Reese Witherspoon. 

The World's Greatest Leaders list started only in 2015. The past lists featured global notables like Xi Jinping, Pope Francis, Jeff Bezos, Angela Merkel, Aung San Suu Kyi, Paul Ryan, Jack Ma, Milinda Gates, Gen HR McMaster, Sen John McCain, Janel Yellen, and Justin Trudeau.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi featured in the 2015 list while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on the 2016 Greatest Leaders ranking. The then State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya was on the 2017 list.

(With PTI inputs)