New York: Sonia Gandhi and soft drink giant PepsiCo’s India-born Chairman Indra Nooyi have been named among the world’s ten most powerful women by the US-based business magazine Forbes.
Gandhi has jumped to sixth rank this year, up from 13th in 2006, with the magazine attributing the election of her choice Pratibha Patil as the country’s President another testimony of her growing power. Nooyi has been ranked at the fifth position, down from fourth last year.
“The 100 Most Powerful Women” list compiled by Forbes has been topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the second year in a row.
Another Indian-origin businesswoman Vidya Chhabria, Chairman of UAE-based Jumbo Group, was ranked 97 in the list.
However, two other Indian women, Lalita Gupte and Kalpana Morparia of ICICI Bank, ranked at 93rd position last year, have moved out of this year’s list. Vidya Chhabria has also moved down two ranks from 95th position last year.
In an accompanying list, Forbes named President Pratibha Patil among the most powerful “Women Behind Women”, whom it described as those women wielding behind-the-scenes power. The magazine said as female leaders were making it increasingly into the public eye, a growing number of their aides were female too.
“Gandhi, the Italian-born leader of India’s most powerful political party, has come far since entering politics in the 1990s. Lawmakers recently elected Gandhi’s choice for president, Pratibha Patil, in a historic vote seen as a step forward for India’s women and girls who endure daily discrimination,” Forbes said.