While half of India’s women are illiterate and many who are in poverty have little power and freedom, a different picture emerges at the highest echelons of power and education in the country. In politics, government and in corporate boardrooms women abound. Here is a sampling of some names who have reached heights that their American sisters would envy. Only a few got to the pinnacle because of birth or marriage.
India’s most powerful women include
- Neelam Dhawan, 49, Managing Director of Hewlett Packard India
- Naina Lal Kidwai, 52, Country Head, HSBC India
- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, 56, Managing Director, Biocon (and India’s wealthiest self-made woman)
- Kalpana Morparia, 60, CEO of JP Morgan India
- Amrita Patel, 66 , Chairman, National Dairy Development Board
- Chitra Ramakrishna, 46, Joint Managing Director, National Stock Exchange Ltd
- Preetha Reddy, 52, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group
- Shikha Sharma, 50, CEO Axis Bank
- Renu Sud Karnad, 57, Joint Managing Director, Housing Development & Finance Corporation (HDFC)
- Jyotsna Suri, 57, Managing Director, Bharat (“Lalit”) Hotels
- Meera Shankar, 60, India’s Ambassador to the United States
- Indu Lieberhan, Secretary, Defence Finance
- Sonia Gandhi, President, Indian National Congress Party
For an “official” list of the thirty most powerful women in India today, look here.