RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, tennis star Sania Mirza, actress Priyanka Chopra, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and founders of Flipkart Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal have been named by Time magazine in its list of the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’.
Time’s annual list, released on Thursday, includes pioneers like American composer Lin Manuel-Miranda, leaders like IMF head Christine Lagarde and icons like Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio who are “exploring the frontiers of art, science, society, technology and more.”
Terming Rajan as “India’s prescient banker,” Time said he is among a rare breed of “economic seers” who has “steered” India through the global crisis and fallout, “playing a large role in making it one of the emerging-market stars of the moment.
While serving as the youngest chief economist of the IMF from 2003 to 2006, Time said Rajan predicted the subprime crisis that would lead to the Great Recession, standing up to critics like former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who labeled him a “Luddite”.
“Since then, more and more of the economic establishment has come to share Rajan’s view that debt-fueled growth is just a saccharine substitute for the real thing,” Time said.
In a profile for Mirza, cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar writes that her “confidence, strength and resilience reach beyond tennis” and she has inspired a generation of Indians to pursue their dreams ” and to realize that they can also be the best.”
Tendulkar described Mirza, who recently was awarded India’s third highest civilian honour the Padma Bhushan, as an “inspiration” on the court. He lauded her “dedication and willpower” to reinvent herself fully as a doubles player when her singles career was cut short by wrist injuries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was among the probable contenders for the list, was not in the final list determined by Time’s editors. Modi was among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world last year.
On Chopra, who was awarded the Padma Shri this year, actor Dwayne Johnson said she is a “star rising higher” and lauded her “drive, ambition, self-respect, and she knows there’s no substitute for hard work.”
Time said Flipkart founders Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal may have come across as arrogant when they told investors the company they started in 2007 as an online bookstore could be worth USD 100 million in a decade.
“It turned out to be modesty: Flipkart now has 75 million users and a USD 13 billion valuation,” Time said.