Nita Ambani has been named the most powerful businesswoman in Asia by Forbes, leading a list of 50 women leaders from the region that includes eight from India and State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya have been ranked top two in the list. Nita Ambani, wife of Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, who’s rising profile in the Reliance empire is unusual has earned her a spot in this year’s ranking. She also features on the cover of the April issue of Forbes Asia.
Describing her as the “first lady of Indian business”, Forbes said Ms Ambani, 52, is a “power near the throne” and makes her debut on the list because of her rising profile in Reliance Industries, led by her husband and India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani.
4G service doesn’t deploy the Reliance name in its branding but is simply called Jio, which translates to “Live life” in Hindi. The well-recognized roundel logo of the parent has also been dispensed with. “This is a brave new world for us, so we decided, after much debate, to break away from the old,” explains Nita from Reliance’s headquarters in south Mumbai.
“Nita provides the software to Reliance’s hardware culture to create a capability that works. As Reliance becomes more consumer-facing, her soft touch assumes importance,” says Adil Zainulbhai, a former chairman of McKinsey in India.
State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya has also featured in the power businesswomen 2016 list. Eight other Indian businesswomen who have made it to the list include Chanda Kochhar, Dipali Goenka, Ambiga Dhiraj, Vinita Gupta, Vandana Luthra, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
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,” says Naazreen Karmali of Forbes in the lead article on the debut topper