Vidya Chhabria, chairperson of the $ 2-billion Jumbo Group, has been reckoned amongst the 50 most powerful women in business internationally in the annual ranking, titled International Power 50 of the globally acclaimed Fortune magazine in its latest (October 2004) issue. Ranked at the 38th position, Chhabria is the only Indian to find a place in the coveted list. This is the third time in succession that she has been featured amongst the global top 50.
The only other woman from the Sub-continent to feature in the list is Musharaf Hai, Unilever Pakistan chairperson – who upon entering the list for the first time, has been ranked at 46th position.
The International Power 50 features women who have an operating role in for-profit businesses outside the US. The Fortune ranking takes into reckoning those women who are vested with operating responsibilities and not those who merely exercise shareholding power. The journal measured the attribute of ‘power’ not so much by position or pay but by the yardstick of revenues and profits controlled, influence within a company, the importance of the business in the global economy and its contribution to culture and society at large.
“The 56-year-old Chhabria, who divides her time between India and Dubai, became chairman two years ago after the death of her husband. This year she resolved a 20-year-old business dispute with UB Group, India’s largest brewer, over ownership of the liquor maker Shaw Wallace,” reads the magazine.
Dedicating the recognition to renewed enthusiasm at Jumbo Group to make a difference to the world of business, Chhabria said, “The challenge for Jumbo lies in constant reorientation of the group strategy so as to remain ever-contemporary. I see this recognition as a vindication of our strategy to meet the challenge. This will embolden us to strive further and reach higher.”
The Jumbo Group is an international industrial and trading conglomerate, comprising 28 companies and 20,000 employees in over 25 countries around the world. The interests of the Jumbo Group include consumer electronics and durables, tyres and tubes, brewing and distilling products, chemicals, machinery and equipment. The group manages a number of companies in India. These include Shaw Wallace, Hindustan Dorr-Oliver, Mather & Platt and Gordon Woodroffe with total asset value of $ 600 million.
Recently Chhabria outlined a vision statement for Shaw Wallace, the Jumbo Group flagship in India. It entails the vision to emerge as India’s most profitable liquor company with double revenues and triple profits in next three years. In consultation with McKinsey, Shaw Wallace is giving shape to the new strategy. The elements of the new strategy include strengthening brand equity of existing bestsellers, creating best-in-class time to market process and achieving lowest-cost manufacturing and purchase operation.