Every year, the prestigious ‘Fortune India MPW (Most Powerful Women) Summit’ celebrates India’s foremost women executives and entrepreneurs, alongside discussions of ideas and issues related to gender, women in the workplace, the economy, and the society at large. This year, the Fortune India MPW (Most Powerful Women) Summit was held in Mumbai on 8th November, 2019, and recognized the excellence of three extraordinary Zoroastrian women – Zarin Daruwala – CEO, Standard Chartered Bank (India); Nisaba Godrej, Executive Chairperson, Godrej Consumer Products; and Meher Pudumjee – Chairperson, Thermax – amongst India’s foremost fifty women, who made it to Fortune India’s 2019 Annual ranking of the most powerful women in business who are making an impact by virtue of their business acumen and social and cultural influence.
“In a country where women are still up against several socio-economic challenges, the 50 women who make our 2019 MPW list are examples of how determination, drive, creativity, and compassion can make a potent recipe for success. These women have proven themselves to be role models in diverse fields, charting out their own paths and, in the process, shattering the glass ceiling. As they do so, they are bound to inspire millions of other women—who are battling their own surroundings across the length and breadth of the country—to follow their path and realise their dreams. This, in the truest sense, is why we call them “powerful” women—they have the power to make several others take the road less travelled,” read Fortune India’s statement, having collated a list as diverse as it was interesting, given that it has representation from various sectors, including banking, technology, law, media, entertainment, hospitality, manufacturing and more!
The leadership of CEO Zarine Daruwala helped the Standard Chartered Bank, which was struggling until a few years ago, turn the corner, ensuring a consistent and sharper trajectory of growth and profitability, an improved credit culture, and a focused approach on priority sector lending. The Bank’s net profit for FY19 rose 13.5% to ₹2,169 crore, at a time when the banking industry is besieged with bad debt, keeping the Non-Performing Assets under check.
The daughter of Adi Godrej – Godrej Group Chairman, Nisaba Godrej is steering the flagship company of the consumer goods-to-real estate conglomerate at a time when the macroeconomic situation has turned unfavourable for consumer growth. Under her leadership, the company plans to focus on innovations and enhancements to drive profitable growth in India and overseas. Despite the headwinds, the company managed to grow sales in the first quarter of FY20.
Trained in Chemical Engineer, Meher Pudumjee joined Thermax in 1990 and took over as Chairperson in 2004. Last year, she led the company in its expansion and increased its product footprint despite a global economic slowdown; with revenue from the international business rising 20% this year. Under her tutelage, Thermax inaugurated its manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh in 2019.