Six Indians Named in Forbes’ List of 100 Most Influential Women in Middle East

Forbes' list of 100 most influential women in the Middle East featured 16 expat women, including Landmark Group CEO Renuka Jagtiani, Majid Al Futtaim CFO Shrimati Damal, and Zulekha Healthcare group's Zanubia Shams.


Six Indian women living in the United Arab Emirates and rest of the Arab world have been named in Forbes’ recent list of “Middle East’s Most Influential Women” for 2018. This is the first time when the magazine has included expats in the list to recognize their successes. A total of 16 expat women featured in the list, which included a total of 100 women.

Indian national Renuka Jagtiani, the CEO of Landmark Group, emerged at the third place in the list. Jagtiani took the top spot among all expats. Overall, the list was topped by Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Al Olayan, the CEO of Olayan Financing, followed by UAE’s Raja Easa Al Gurg, the Managing Director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group.

Besides Jagtiani, five other Indian women were placed on this list — Shrimati Damal, CFO of Majid Al Futtaim; Zanubia Shams, Co-Chairperson of Zulekha Healthcare group; Poonam Bhojani, CEO of Innoventures; Shafeena Yusuff Ali, CEO of Tablez Food Company; and Kritika Rawat, Co-Founder, K Kompany.

Damal was placed at the 40th position while Shams took the 58th spot in the list. Bhojani, Ali, and Rawat were at No. 65, 77, and 97, respectively.

The list shows how women in the Middle East are taking leading positions in various sectors, including business, education, banking or media. It also included 10 women who are heading governmental departments.

“The region is undergoing a paradigm shift with women-led businesses dominating major sectors. Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia have showcased most gender diverse cabinets and the landscape is ever evolving,” Khuloud Al Omian, editor-in-chief of Forbes Middle East, said.

The list of top 10 women who are heading various government departments was topped by Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, the Minister, Chair of Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development; Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi and twofour54.

The expat women featured on the list are from India, Malaysia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, United States and South Africa. Besides them, the list consists of women from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Palestine, Kuwait, Oman, Morocco, Tunisia.

The publication considered revenues of the company, title, scope and impact of the role, experience and growth of firm into account while preparing the list of most influential businesswomen.

For the list of top 10 women government department heads, it considered the GDP of their country and the scope of their department.

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