State Bank of India (SBI) chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya
State Bank of India (SBI) chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya [file picture]Reuters

Forbes magazine's list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women includes four Indians. The list that ranks German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the top of the world ranking also features State Bank of India (SBI) head Arundhati Bhattacharya at the 25th place, making the Indian public sector banker India's most powerful woman.

Another Indian woman banker, Chanda Kochar of ICICI, is the country's No.2 powerful woman with 40th rank globally, while entrepreneurs Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon and Shobhana Bhartia of Hindustan Times Media group ranked 77th and 93rd powerful women in the world. The four most powerful Indian women have been identified under Finance and Investments, Diversified, Healthcare and Media and Entertainment categories, respectively.

In all there are 16 categories, according to the website, namely: Automotive, construction and engineering, economy, energy, fashion and retail, manufacturing, metals and mining, philanthropy/NGO, politics, real estate, technology and service.

Bhattacharya, according to the report, is facing her toughest challenge with the state-run bank SBI's bad loans amounting to Rs.73,400 crore, pulling down the net profits more than 60 percent to Rs. 1,267 crore in the most recent quarter.

Kochar, boss of India's top private sector bank, is also facing the bad loan menace that has afflicted India's banking system. In 2015, her bank reported a double digit increase in its consolidated assets to Rs. 9 lakh crore, though net earning saw modest growth due to huge provisioning for bad debt. Her pet project of mobile banking has captured one-fifth of all the transactions by retail customers.

Mazumdar Shaw, founder of Biocon, got her pharmaceutical company's research arm Syngene to the bourses last year and the company's share is 52 percent higher than its IPO listings. Syngene's market cap today is Rs.7,339 crore and has marquee clients like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Baxter. Biocon, the insulin firm, was recently given permission to sell the generic version of AstraZeneca's cholesterol-lowering drug, Crestor, in the EU.

Bharatia, the chairperson and editorial director of India's largest media group, owns newspapers like Hindustan Times, Mint and operates four FM radio channels and many websites: shine (job portal), desimartini (cinema portal). The group recently started MintAsia in Singapore and bought social and digital media company Webitude. Studymate is a media school that has ventured into India's vast tutorial business.

Forbes Rank (Global) Name Designation Age Education
25 Arundhati Bhattacharya Chair-Managing director, State Bank of India, India 60 Bachelor of Arts / Science, Jadavpur UniversityMaster of Arts, Jadavpur University
40 Chanda Kochhar CEO-Managing director, ICICI Bank 54 Bachelor of Arts / Science, Jai Hind CollegeMaster of Arts, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies
77 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Founder-chair, Biocon Ltd. 63 Bachelor of Arts / Science, Bangalore UniversityMaster of Science, Melbourne University
93 Shobhana Bhartia Chair, HT Media 59 --
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