The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 91-100https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others-do-not-use/the-most-powerful-indians-in-2012-no-91100/

The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 91-100

Chanda Kochhar tempered the aggression at ICICI Bank after the global financial crisis.

91. Chanda Kochhar, 50

MD & CEO,ICICI Bank

Rank ’11: 47

WHY

She tempered the aggression at ICICI Bank after the global financial crisis. Her decision to pare unsecured loans,focus on retail deposits and push corporate banking business paid off well. In 2010-11,the bank’s advances,deposits and total assets rose after shrinking in the previous two years.

POWER PUNCH

She emerged from KV Kamath’s shadow to hold her own despite high-profile exits such as those of Shikha Sharma

and Nilesh Shah from the ICICI Bank group.

WHAT NEXT

With the economy slowly gaining momentum,she will keep the focus on retail.

BY THE WAY

She is a Hindi movies buff.


92. Jaggi Vasudev,54

Spiritual leader

Rank ’11: 97

WHY

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Urbane and sophisticated Jaggi Vasudev combines spirituality with contemporary concerns. The jet-age guru drives through the Himalayas at 135 km/h. He is one of the new generation gurus who doesn’t carry the baggage of religion. His non-religious,not-for-profit,public service Isha Foundation’s work in afforestation has been successful in planting hundreds of thousands of saplings so far.

POWER PUNCH

Initiated by Isha Foundation,Project GreenHands,which aims to plant a total of 114 million saplings,remains the biggest such organised effort in India.

WHAT NEXT

The guru corporate India listens to will focus on his ambitious plan, Action for Rural Rejuvenation.

BY THE WAY

He turns up at places where you least expect a spiritual guru—the World Economic Forum,the Australian Leadership Retreat,TEDIndia and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.


93. Karan Johar,39

Film maker

Rank ’11: 81

WHY

Director,producer,television host and style icon,Karan Johar rules. He continues to introduce young and fresh talent in the industry by backing films directed by his assistants. His Dharma Production’s remake of Agneepath,the Amitabh Bachchan cult classic,reinforces his image as a winner.

POWER PUNCH

In an industry that is divided into camps,Johar belongs to none and yet to all. That allows him to get everyone to come on his chat show and bare their fangs in public against their colleagues,like he did in the 2011 edition of ‘Koffee with Karan’.

WHAT NEXT

For the first time since he started working with Shah Rukh Khan,Johar is directing a film without him in the lead role. Student of the Year will see three industry kids make their debut.

BY THE WAY

Hrithik Roshan likes calling him Pappu,even at public events,despite Johar feeling embarrassed.


94. Shikha Sharma,49

CEO,Axis Bank

New on the list

WHY

She quit ICICI Prudential Life Insurance to become CEO of Axis Bank,filling the shoes of PJ Nayak,a former bureaucrat with a larger-than-life image in the banking sector. Her biggest feat was clinching the Enam deal despite nervous moments with the RBI.

POWER PUNCH

Despite RBI objections and several rounds of discussions,she went ahead with the Enam deal. A final clearance from the regulator is awaited.

WHAT NEXT

Increasing the bank’s growth in equity and investment banking once the deal gets the RBI’s nod.

BY THE WAY

A classical singer,she doesn’t miss her practice.


95. AR Rahman,46

Musician

New on the list

WHY

India’s biggest export to the West,

A R Rahman is the unofficial brand ambassador of the country. After his Oscar and Grammy wins,many international musicians and Hollywood directors have been lining up to work with him.

POWER PUNCH

Was invited by none other than The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger to join Superheavy,a group featuring world musicians. Also returned to his roots with the highly acclaimed score for Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar.

WHAT NEXT

A mix of Bollywood,Tamil and Hollywood projects and his tour with Superheavy.

BY THE WAY

Every Friday,he gives food to beggars—in fact,every time he sees a beggar on the road,he stops and gives some money.


96. Devi Prasad Shetty, 58

Cardiac surgeon

Rank ’11: 91

WHY

He was awarded a Padma Bhushan and was featured on the BBC’s ‘The Health Show’ for the charity component at his Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospitals in Bangalore. He is also a great innovator. He opened a branch of his hospital chain in the Cayman Islands to cater to American health tourists. He is now pushing for a change in government policy for health insurance for all.

POWER PUNCH

He has started a programme in West Bengal to provide scholarship to poor rural children to enable them to follow an education path that leads to a career in medicine.

WHAT NEXT

“Every year we want 2,000 children from rural India to join medical colleges,” he says.

BY THE WAY

A black belt in karate,he was a martial arts instructor in his youth.


97. Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, 40

Spiritual leader

New on the list

WHY

He mediated between the government and Anna Hazare when nothing seemed to break the deadlock. Even before the Anna incident shot him to limelight,this unlikely religious guru who plays tennis and cricket,had dabbled in modelling and travels in a white Mercedes SUV,was no less a celebrity. His list of followers reads like a veritable who’s who. Many powerful national and state-level politicians flock to him for advice at his sprawling ashram in Indore.

POWER PUNCH

Bhayyuji’s decade-old relationship with Hazare,some advice on key words to be incorporated in the draft readied by Salman Khurshid and Kapil Sibal,and the suggestion to Anna to nominate Medha Patkar and Prashant Bhushan to negotiate with the government to balance the rigid stance of Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi,caused the thaw.

WHAT NEXT

Rehabilitation of girls belonging to the Bachara community,where the eldest daughter is forced into prostitution to support the family.

BY THE WAY

He likes driving,and can drive for 12-13 hours in a day.


98. Pradeep Kumar,62

Central Vigilance Commissioner

New on the list

WHY

Because as head of the Central Vigilance Commission,he is the power behind the institutional fight against corruption. Because he is the man most equipped to fight corruption in high places.

POWER PUNCH

When he successfully thwarted attempts by civil society groups to subsume the CVC in the proposed Lokpal.

WHAT NEXT

Kumar has an increasingly greater role to play in the prevailing anti-corruption wave in the country. The institution of Lokpal,as and when it comes into being,and the recent Supreme Court verdict on the 2G spectrum case have only strengthened the hands of the CVC.

BY THE WAY

For his evening walk,he prefers Tughlaq Road to Lodhi Gardens,a favourite haunt of VIPs.


99. Abul Qasim nomani,72

Head of Dar ul Uloom,Deoband

New on the list

WHY

The current head of Dar ul Uloom,Deoband,emerged as the winner in the bitter battle for control that started when a Gujarati cleric,Maulana Vastanvi,was appointed to the job but attracted controversy over his comments on Modi. Nomani,the cleric from Varanasi,schooled in Deoband,emerged as the new Mohtamim.

POWER PUNCH

The ouster of Vastanvi,who seemed firmly entrenched last year,was the ace of spades dealt by Nomani and the group backing him.

WHAT NEXT

Since Indian Muslims are now

asserting for basic rights more than religious issues,Deoband will have to reinvent itself.

BY THE WAY

Though he has shifted base to Deoband from Varanasi,he remains a big fan of the Banarasi paan.


100. AK Seth,59

Cabinet Secretary

New on the list

WHY

Because this low-profile officer now holds the most powerful bureaucratic position in the country. The non-controversial and straight-talking Seth is known to crack the whip if it is required.

POWER PUNCH

He surprised many by becoming the Cabinet Secretary. The post was being eyed by a number of more high-profile and better-networked officials.

WHAT NEXT

Seth’s biggest challenge would be to manage a good working balance with the Prime Minister’s Office where his batchmate Pulok Chatterji has emerged as another power centre.

BY THE WAY

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He shuns media. Under him,the Cabinet Secretariat has put just one circular on its website.

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