Nirmala Sitharaman Among World’s 100 Most Powerful Women: Forbes
Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, speaks during a news conference in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)  

Nirmala Sitharaman Among World’s 100 Most Powerful Women: Forbes

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, HCL Corporation Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Roshni Nadar Malhotra and Biocon Ltd. Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw have been named among the world's 100 most powerful women by Forbes magazine.

The Forbes 2019 list of ‘The World's 100 Most Powerful Women' is topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde in the second spot and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi in third. Also on the list is Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Time magazine’s Person of The Year, Greta Thunberg, has debuted on the list.

“In 2019, women around the globe took action, claiming leadership positions in government, business, philanthropy and media. These trailblazers are not to be messed with,” Forbes magazine said.

Sitharaman, a newcomer on Forbes' most powerful women list, is ranked 34th. India's first female finance minister, Sitharaman has also served as the country's defence minister. Sitharaman is the first female to hold the portfolio full-time. Before this, former prime minister Indira Gandhi briefly took additional charge of the ministry.

Nadar Malhotra is ranked 54th on the list. As CEO of HCL Corporation, she is responsible for all strategic decisions for the $8.9 billion technology company.

Malhotra is also the chairperson of the company's corporate social responsibility committee and is a trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which is focused on education and has established some of India's top colleges and schools.

Mazumdar-Shaw, ranked 65 on the list, is India's richest self-made woman and founder of the country's largest biopharmaceutical firm. Biocon has successfully forayed into the lucrative U.S. biosimilars market, catching the attention of investors and it also became the first company to gain approval from the U.S. FDA for two different biosimilars of drugs used in certain cancer treatments.

She has invested in research infrastructure and scientific talent with the aim of building a deep R&D-based biotech firm, not a copycat generics maker, Forbes said.

The Forbes most powerful women list also includes:

  • Melinda Gates (6) of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • IBM CEO Ginni Rometty (9)
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (18)
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (38)
  • Advisor to President Donald Trump Ivanka Trump (42)
  • Artistes Rihanna (61) Beyonce (66) and Taylor Swift (71)
  • Tennis player Serena Williams (81)
  • Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg (100)

Referring to Pelosi's recent "Don't mess with me" remark to a reporter, Forbes said that could be the mantra for just about every one of the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women.

"The top-ranked woman for the ninth year in a row, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is crusading against anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe; Taylor Swift is battling industry stalwarts and private equity firms over musician song-ownership rights; and 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg, one of 23 newcomers to the list, is fighting inaction on climate change and galvanizing millions of young people around the globe.”

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