International Women's Day: A look at some of Indian 'Sheroes'
Even today, few Indian woman are emancipated, educated, independent and doing what they want. But they wish to, and that's a big leap forward. This change has largely come about because they know that it's achievable, thanks to the admirable women who have relentlessly blurred the boundaries and shown what is possible. This Women's Day, we celebrate some of them, our indigenous sheroes.
Chanda Kochhar, Shikha Sharma
ICICI Bank's CEO-MD, Chanda Kochhar is the de-facto poster girl of Indian women in banking. Instrumental in shaping India's retail finance, she joined ICICI in 1984 and is credited for spearheading its infrastructure finance and corporate banking business. Meanwhile, Sharma, Axis Bank's CEO-MD since 2009, is known for boosting the bank's retail lending franchise, investment banking and advisory capacity, and developing its payments space.
Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman
Arguably India's most-loved politician, Sushma Swaraj is the second Indian woman to become External Affairs Minister, after Indira Gandhi. A Supreme Court lawyer, she became the youngest Haryana CM of in 1977 at 25. She has been MP seven times and MLA three times. Similarly, Sitharaman is also the second woman to hold defense portfolio after Gandhi. She has previously been the Commerce/Industry Minister.
The MD of Kalaari Capital, a Bengaluru firm investing in young start-ups, Vani Kola is known for building strong global organizations. After enjoying entrepreneurial success in Silicon Valley for 22 years, she returned to India to invest in and nurture several game-changing companies including Snapdeal, Urban Ladder, Zivame, YourStory, Popxo and StalkBuyLove. In a space largely dominated by men, she stands out.
Suneeta Reddy, Roshni Nadar Malhotra
The MD of Apollo Hospitals, Suneeta Reddy is a frontrunner in integrated healthcare. Responsible for the group's finance and strategy, she was instrumental in introducing FDI in Indian healthcare and taking Apollo to international equity markets. Meanwhile, Roshni Malhotra, HCL's CEO-Executive Director, is the driving force behind the $7.5 billion tech-giant. Through her Shiv Nadar Foundation and VidyaGyan, she is making education more accessible.
The joint MD of Balaji Telefilms, a production studio credited for changing the face of Indian television (for better or worse), Ekta Kapoor now wants to disrupt the web space. A celebrated game changer, she launched her own streaming platform ALTBalaji last year and plans to invest Rs. 400 crore in it. She already has on board A-list TV actors and Reliance Industries.