5 Indian Women Heading Global Organizations
Women in India are not just advancing, flourishing or becoming independent, but they are etching their names as leaders, successful entrepreneurs and also influential icons all over the world, leveraging their excellence in diverse fields. Indian women have come a long way from being just a homemaker to business, inventions, and leading new ideas. In the current era, women are playing a vital role in the growth of the nation and have made a big impact and got success in almost every sector. This is the scenario in the Indian business world today, where women are leading top ventures & ideas, and making the nation proud by becoming a great leader & entrepreneur. Though they have been underrepresented in most segments of professional and corporate life, women worldwide are indeed picking up fast to catch up with men. Here is a list of Five Women Leaders in India who have steered the prospects of high profile global companies towards success & profitability under their headship. Let’s have a look at their stories, which stand as the perfect muse for the budding as well as established magnates today.
Aarthi Subramanian is the Group Chief Digital Officer at Tata Sons Limited reporting to the Group Executive Chairman. Aarthi is a name to reckon with, in the corporate world. Arthi started her career as a graduate trainee in TCS in 1989 and she went on to become an analyst, project manager and then moved from Account Management roles to a Senior Executive role in TCS. She holds a B.Tech in Computer Science from National Institute of Technology, Warangal (India) and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from University of Kansas (USA).
A professional with over 30 years of experience in the global technology sector, Arthi started her career with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and worked in diverse roles in India, Sweden, the US and Canada, thereby gaining rich experience in consulting engagements and management of large-scale technology programs as well as operations. At TCS, Arthi was an Executive Director and Global Head of Delivery Excellence, Governance & Compliance. She was responsible for driving excellence in service delivery, governance of key programs & initiatives as well as enterprise-wide compliance.
Prior to this role, Arthi was the Head of Delivery for seven years with the TCS Retail & CPG Business unit, where she was responsible for several strategic accounts and major clients. She led the team to achieve excellence in customer service through relentless customer focus, rigour in service delivery, and proactive value addition focus. She played a key role in setting up the SAP Center of Excellence in Chennai. She was awarded ‘Technology Leader of the Year’ at the ETPrime Women Leadership Awards (ETPWLA) in 2019.
Aruna Jayanthi is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Capgemini India, one of the biggest business units of the Capgemini group. Aruna is responsible for operations across all the business units - Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing services in India with a focus to increase the integration and performance of over 40,000 growing employee base. Prior to stepping up to the role of a CEO in 2011, Aruna was the Global Delivery Officer for Capgemini Outsourcing, where she improved quality, productivity and profitability of Capgemini’s outsourcing operations worldwide.
Aruna has over two decades of experience in the IT services industry and has worked in both multinationals and pure-play companies. She has worked out of Europe and North America and continues to travel extensively meeting customers, analysts and Capgemini staff, getting a pulse of customer expectations and market direction. Within a short period of being appointed CEO, Aruna has quickly made her mark in the world of Indian business.
She has been ranked 3rd in Fortune India’s list of 50 Most Powerful Women in Business 2012 and has also featured prominently in Business Today’s list of Most Powerful Women 2012 for two consecutive years. Aruna was also awarded India Today Woman in the Corporate World at the India Today Women Summit 2013. She is also an executive council member of NASSCOM.
Neelam Dhawan is the Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard India. She has countrywide responsibility for revenues and profitability and ensuring the greatest leverage from HP’s Services, Personal Systems and Imaging & Printing businesses. With a portfolio that extends to offshore activities, BPO, Software Engineering, Research and IT Services, Neelam is focused on shaping the company’s overall business agenda and leading its strategy and corporate development efforts to make HP the most admired company in India. Neelam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St.Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University.
Previously, Neelam was the Managing Director of Microsoft India, a position she held from 2005 to 2008. During her tenure, she sharpened Microsoft’s strategic focus and improved its operating efficiency and execution, as well as its financial performance and customer focus. Prior to this assignment, Neelam held a variety of successful leadership positions in leading Indian IT companies, including HCL and IBM. Since 2008, she earned the position of Managing Director at Hewlett Packard India. She is also a Member of Supervisory Board of Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV since 2012 and is still on the same terms.
Neelam didn’t choose the path at which she is walking now, but what she is currently is an inspiration to women all around the globe. Like every B-school graduate, she wanted to join the major FMCG industries and companies like Asian Paints and Hindustan Lever. However, she was rejected spontaneously by both the companies. However, instead of worrying and frowning upon her failures, she never lost her will and continued the road to her hard work with determination. Her failures made her a fearless and motivating woman which she is today. Her aspiring journey is not inspiring due to her ambitions, but also of how she never stopped learning and never stopped trying regardless of what rejections and hindrances she faced.
Roshni is the daughter of HCL Technologies’ Founder Shiv Nadar. She is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director of HCL Enterprise.
Born in 1982, Roshni studied in Vasant Valley School and grew up in Delhi. She completed her graduation in Communication with a focus on Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University. She obtained her master’s degree - MBA from the Kellogg School of Management having a focus on Social Enterprise Management and Strategy. She worked as a producer in various Indian companies before joining HCL. Within a year of her joining HCL Enterprise, Roshni had also been involved in brand building across the HCL Group. She was elevated as executive director and chief executive officer (CEO) of HCL Corporation.
Prior to becoming a Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the HCL Corporation, she had been serving as the trustee of the Chennai-based not-for-profit organization, Shiv Nadar Foundation, which runs under Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering. She is ranked 54th on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list (2019). Roshni is also the richest woman in India, according to IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List (2019).
Roshni has received many prestigious awards; some of her achievements of that time included: Young philanthropist of the Year by NDTV (2014), The World’s Most Innovative People Award by the World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (2015), Vogue India Philanthropist of the Year (2017).
Vanitha Narayanan is the Managing Director of IBM India Private Limited, and the Regional General Manager for India/South Asia (ISA). She has a Master’s in Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Madras and a Masters in Business Administration in Information Systems from University of Houston - Magna Cum Laude.
Appointed to the leadership position, she is responsible for all of IBM’s sales, marketing, services and global delivery operations in the India/South Asia region, including operations in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
India remains one of the fastest-growing countries for IBM and has emerged as a strategic location within the company’s global services delivery network. Having joined IBM in the US in 1987, Vanitha has over 30+ years of experience working with multiple client sets and in several countries. Since 2009, she has been a part of the IBM ISA business, serving in roles as the Sales & Distribution Leader and recently as the Managing Partner for Global Business Services (GBS).
Prior to this, she has served as the Vice President of Communications sector, Asia Pacific, and the Global Vice President for IBM’s telecom solutions offerings. She is a member of IBM’s Integration & Values Team which is comprised of senior Global Executives who are selected by the IBM Chairman. In 2012, Vanitha was inducted into the IBM Industry Academy, a select group of experts, designed to advance IBM’s industry thought leadership and brand.
Vanitha also leads several leadership development & diversity initiatives for ISA and is the executive sponsor for developing the women’s leadership pipeline. Vanitha is a member of the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2013-14.
Apart from these five leaders that we have featured, there are many other women who have contributed significantly to the growth and development of various organizations through their phenomenal works. Moreover, these Indian leaders are an inspiration for all the working women and even homemakers to realize their ability and step up in their desired fields, where they can flourish and excel while creating history.