Nita Ambani tops most powerful businesswomen in Asia list

first_imgReliance Industries director Nita Ambani and State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya have been ranked top two in Forbes’ “Asia 50 Power Businesswomen 2016″ list, which acknowledges the inroads women are making in the business world.Including Ambani and Bhattacharya, eight Indian businesswomen made the cut in the list.”In a country where billionaire wives tend to remain in the shadow of their husbands, Nita’s rising profile in the Reliance empire is unusual and earns her a debut spot on our Power Businesswomen ranking this year,” said Forbes, which also ran a separate story on her.Incidentally, a Reliance Group entity is a licensee for publishing Forbes India.”As Reliance’s non-executive director, Nita has no formal operational role in the conglomerate that her husband runs as chairman and managing director. But it’s no secret that ‘Bhabhi’ — Hindi for brother;s wife — as she is called by insiders, is a power near the throne.”Mukesh Ambani, her husband, is the group chairman.Among her achievements, the magazine said an accidental entry into sports made her the face of her group after Reliance spent $112 million for a cricket team, snatching such icons as Sachin Tendulkar. The team went on to win two titles after her induction.On the flip side, the magazine said the Ambanis have been criticised for not having personally been givers, commensurate with Mukesh’s $22-billion wealth, and for moving into a 27-storey sky palace in south Mumbai, billed as the world’s most expensive home for its $1 billion tag.advertisementOn State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya , the magazine said, “She is facing her most challenging test yet with the State Bank of India, the country’s biggest. Mounting bad loans, which stood at $11 billion in December, caused net profit to plunge more than 60 percent to 190 million in a recent quarter.””The days of promoters gaming the banking system are over,” she warned in February, before urging the arrest of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, whose defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than $1.3 billion to state-run banks.last_img

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