“How Indian Business Leaders are shaping the World”
From the indomitable steel baron, whose extravagant wealth continues to stun the world, to the man the richest person in the world trusts; from a homegrown intellectual, the epitome of old world grace in an increasingly aggressive race of ideas, to the reigning queen of fizz, Indians abroad have made the nation a brand often at odds with the scam-ridden domestic reality. And it’s not just old world academics or bricks-and-mortar businessmen. The Indian elite has conquered the mindscape. There’s the chief medical correspondent at CNN, an award-winning popular journalist who hosts world leaders and celebrities on his prime-time television
show, and a banker who bails out bankrupt nations. India Today’s list of the Top 10 Overseas Indians is a charmed circle that crosses continents with classic ease.
1) L N MITTAL :
Because as the owner of the world’s largest steel company, ArcelorMittal, he is the fifth richest person in the world, with a personal wealth of $28.7 billion, and is 44th on the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people.
Because he wields enormous influence as the vice-chairman of the World Steel Association and as a board member of the prime minister’s Global Advisory Council of Overseas Indians.
Because Karnataka has rolled out the red carpet for him to set up his first steel plant in India, as he brings in an investment of Rs.30,000 crore and the potential for employing 10,000 people.
Because he is fuelling India’s Olympic dream by setting up the $9-million Mittal Champions Trust, which supports promising athletes who are potential world champions.
Because in addition to his three mansions on Billionaire’s Row in London’s Kensington Palace Gardens, he now plans to convert a 340-acre country estate in Surrey bought for 5.25 million pounds into his personal, eco-friendly haven at a makeover price tag of 25 million pounds.
Did you know That his wife Usha, the daughter of a moneylender, was his first financial adviser?
2) AJIT JAIN :
60, Business Executive (2)
Because he is tipped to inherit the legacy of the world’s third richest person and legendary reinsurance giant, Warren Buffet, who says he has “added billions of dollars to the value of Berkshire”.
Because Buffett, named one of the most influential global thinkers in Foreign Policy’s 2010 report, believes that even kryptonite bounces of the “irreplaceable” Jain and says he gets smarter by merely speaking with him every day.
Because under him, Berkshire Hathaway’s profits have risen from $5.19 billion in 2009 to $7.9 billion in 2010.
Because he takes risks that others avoid-he insured the Sears Tower in Chicago, America’s tallest building, after 9/11.
Because he has just spent $14.65 million on an amazing new home at One Beacon Court in midtown Manhattan.
Power quote “Jain has created an insurance business with a float of $30 billion and significant underwriting profits, a feat that no CEO of any other insurer has come close to matching,” says Buffet.
Did you know That Jain often does his travel reservations himself?
3) AMARTYA SEN :
78, Economist and Philosopher (3)
Because though he has Prime Minister Manmohan Singh undivided loyalty, he doesn’t shy away from voicing his dissent over his policies.
Because an embattled prime minister treasures a character certificate from him.
Because at a time when India swears by the maximal mantra, he ridicules India’s fixation with China’s growth rate and calls for “justice” alongside growth.
Because as the New Statesman’s 43rd most influential person in 2010, he is a globally acknowledged influential opinion maker.
Because his radical research has influenced the UN’s Human Development Report, and his opinion is sought after by government organisations, both in India and abroad.
Did you know That he is a self-proclaimed atheist?
4) INDRA KRISHNAMURTHY NOOYI :
56, Entrepreneur (4)
Because she tops Fortune’s list of 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2010 and is one of America’s highest paid CEOs with a pay package of $13.97 million.
Because she is one of the names tipped to succeed Tata Group’s chairman Ratan Tata.
Because despite her proximity to US President Barack Obama, she rejects America’s anti-outsourcing moves to fight unemployment- “Globalisation cannot be reversed,” she claims.
Because she invented a new language when she said, “We see the emerging opportunity to ‘snackify’ beverages and ‘drinkify’ snacks as the next frontier in food and beverage convenience.”
Because, in 2010, Fortune magazine listed her as one among the eight visionaries who are being seen to lead their industries in the years ahead.
Did you know That as a “poor Indian student”, she did summer jobs in saris. Once she went for an interview in a $50 business suit and orange snowboots like “the ultimate country bumpkin”?
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