Included in the list are women CEOs and founders who are active in the upper echelons of the business world in Asia, wield significant power and have access to robust financial resources. Apart from Bhattacharya and Kochchar, the Indian executives on the list are Akhila Srinivasan, MD/Non-Executive Director of Shriram Life Insurance/Shriram Capital, Biocon Founder, Chairman and MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Axis Bank CEO and MD Shikha Sharma and Life Insurance Corp. of India MD Usha Sangwan 56 (India). Forbes said in less than a decade Srinivasan has catapulted Shriram Life Insurance into one of the top five? private players in its industry in India in terms of profitability. ”Srinivasan has been with the USD 13.3 billion assets under management Shriram Group parent of Shriram Life and India?s largest financial conglomerate ? for 29 years,” it said, adding that she is the only woman on the board of Shriram Capital, holding company for Shriram Group.
Forbes said Bhattacharya, 58, is referred to as the “first lady of Indian banking” and as chair of the Indian behemoth with 225 million customers and assets of USD 300 billion, the “SBI lifer” has had her hands full addressing bad loans and shoring up the banks capital.
Forbes noted that Bhattacharya offers employees at SBI the option of a 2-year sabbatical to take care of children and parents. Kochhar, 53, is India’s second-most-powerful banker after Bhattacharya, Forbes said. Kochhar has been boss of ICICI, the country’s biggest lender in the private sector, with assets of USD 100 billion, for 6 years and is now aiming at capturing younger customers with Pockets, a mobile and online service.