Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Nykaa CEO Falguni Nayar (Image credit: Forbes)
Forbes on Tuesday announced its 18th annual ranking of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, the definitive audit of the foremost CEOs and iconic entrepreneurs, heads of state, pioneer philanthropists, and policymakers who are solving for society’s most intractable problems.
And while MacKenzie Scott tops this year’s ranking, replacing former German chancellor Angela Merkel, who ranked first for 15 of the prior 17 iterations of this list — India's Finance Minister too found a berth in the list. She ranked 37.
"She is India's first full-time female finance minister. Before her career in politics, Sitharaman held roles at the UK-based Agricultural Engineers Association and BBC World Service. She has also served as a member of the National Commission for Women," a release from Forbes stated.
The only other Indian who made it to the list was Falguni Nayar, the founder and CEO of beauty and lifestyle retail company Nykaa. Nayar is one of two self-made female, Indian billionaires.
Ranked 88, Nayar—whose net worth is $7.1 billion—is a former investment banker Falguni Nayar, quit her job to start Nykaa in 2012. The company's marquee investors include US private equity giant TPG Growth as well as billionaires Harsh Mariwala and Harry Banga.
"Nykaa sells more than 1,350 beauty and personal care brands both online and through its network of stores across the country. Nayar took Nykaa public in November 2021, becoming one of India's richest self-made female entrepreneurs in the process," stated the release from Forbes.
Speaking about being India's wealthiest self-made woman billionaire, Nayar had told Moneycontrol in an interview, "Personally for me nothing much changed between 2012 when I began this business and today. With the passion with which the entire team at Nykaa has been working, I don't see any change based on any money tag that is put on the company."
"We are trying to build a fantastic brand that lives in the minds of consumers for a very long time and build a business that is very sustainable. I think those are the motivations that the firm and I have rather than any price tag we may carry," she added.