Power-puff Women!

indra_nooyi.jpgIndian women are ruling the circuit. Not just domestically, but also internationally. This is not just a random thought but a proven fact. Be it the business, literary or entertainment world, you will find women leading the pack! One of my favourites is the CEO of Pepsico; Indra Nooyi. Ranked no.4 on Forbes’s magazine’s annual survey of the 100 most powerful women in the world, Indra Nooyi is a force to reckon with. Presently there are only 10 Fortune 500 companies that are headed by women, and she is the 11th to break into the top echelons of power. She is a graduate in Chemistry from Madras Christian College and later went to IIM- Kolkata and Yale University! She began work at the Boston Consulting Group and then moved onto strategy positions in Motorola & ABB. Since she became CEO, the company’s annual revenues have risen 72%, while net profit more than doubled, to $5.6 billion in 2006!! Nooyi was named on Wall Street Journal’s list of 50 women to watch in 2005, and in 2007 was listed among Time’s 100 Most Influential People in The World.

Moving onto one of the most influential industries in India- entertainment, I can’t help but mention the “K QUEEN”, Ekta Kapoor! All of us will admit that we have spent countless hours with our friends poking fun at “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” and all of Ekta Kapoor’s other “K” creations. What we don’t realise is that it is her shows that thousands of Indian women (not just here but also in the US & UK) worship! Today, Ekta Kapoor dominates the Indian television scene, producing more than eight television soaps for Star Plus, India’s leading general entertainment channel. At the 6th Indian Telly Awards 2006, she bagged the Hall of Fame award for having contributed immensely to the Indian television industry.

The Beauty or Cosmetics industry is booming in India , all thanks to women like Shahnaz Hussain. At an early stage in life, she developed an interest in beauty treatments and decided to study cosmetology. In the course of her studies, she learnt of the harmful effects of chemicals on the human body. Consequently, she turned her attention to Ayurveda , which she believed was the ideal alternative to chemical cosmetics. She has trained extensively in cosmetic therapy for 10 years in some of the leading institutes of London, Paris, New York and Copenhagen. Presently the CEO of Shahnaz Herbals, her company has over 400 franchise clinics all over the world covering 138 countries! Her group’s products are sold in leading global stores including Blooming Dales (New York), Galleries Lafayette (Paris), Japan, Harrods and Selfridges (London) and La Rinaeccente (Milan). She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006.

There are so many other women that I would love to write about- Kiran M. Shaw, Arundhati Roy, Barkha Dutt, Chanda Kochhar, P.T. Usha etc. the list is endless. But the basic point I am trying to make here is that, women in India should no longer be viewed as the weaker sex. There is nothing that we cannot achieve, be it flying into space (Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams), revolutionizing the IPS (Kiran Bedi) or even climbing Mt. Everest (Bachindri Pal). All Indians, the women and the men, should seek inspiration from the personalities mentioned above. They inspire us to achieve our best, break away from outdated traditions and take pride in our identity as Indians!
Anam Mittra

[image courtesy: http://www.topnews.in/files/indra_nooyi.jpg]