Malini Agarwal tops IMPACT's list of 50 Most Influential Women, 2017

Taking native advertising to an altogether different level, Agarwal is undoubtedly one of the biggest influencers in the digital space today

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Mar 24, 2017 7:58 AM
Malini Agarwal tops IMPACT's list of 50 Most Influential Women, 2017

Malini Agarwal, Founder & Creative Director of MissMalini Entertainment, has topped IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising List, 2017 owing to the immense influence and popularity of her website,, which has a social media following of over seven million and over four million organic monthly visitors from over 200 countries. Taking native advertising to an altogether different level, Agarwal is undoubtedly one of the biggest influencers in the digital space today. She has jumped 11 places from her position on the list in 2016 to claim the top spot this year.

Some of the other names on the Top 10 of the list this year are Tanya Dubash, Executive Director & Chief Brand Officer, Godrej Group; Priya Nair, Executive Director, & VP, Home Care, Hindustan Unilever; Geetu Verma, Executive Director, Foods, Hindustan Unilever & VP Foods, Unilever South Asia; Kalli Purie, Group Editorial Director (Broadcast & New Media), India Today Group; Sonali Dhawan, Brand Director, Procter & Gamble India; Barkha Dutt, ace journalist; Anuradha Aggarwal, Chief Marketing Officer, Marico Limited; Sunita Bangard, President - Marketing, Idea Cellular and Ekta Kapoor, Joint MD and Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms. There are 10 new entrants to the list. Also, the jury has chosen to honour 14 women achievers with Special Mention, in addition to the list of 50 Most Influential Women 2017.

The list was put together by a jury of most esteemed industry leaders, led by Sam Balsara, Chairman and MD, Madison World. Other eminent names on the jury this year were Sanjay Behl, Chief Executive Officer, Raymond Limited; Nakul Chopra, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis South Asia; Shalini Kamath, Independent Board Director and Executive Coach; Joy Chakraborthy, President-Revenue, TV18 & CEO, Forbes India; Avinash Pandey, COO, ABP News Network and Anil Uniyal, CEO, Bloomberg Quint.

Summing up the jury process, jury chair Sam Balsara said, “The jury meeting was, as usual, a gruelling process. We spent over five hours - seven of us jurors, one of whom was a woman. For all those who blamed us some years ago that how can an all-male jury decide on this list, let me tell you that the woman member on the jury played a very active role in the sessions. I am also delighted that this time we have 10 new names on the list. I look forward to feedback from our advertising, marketing and media community on the list that we have put out.”

Commenting on the list, Annurag Batra, Chairman and editor-in-chief of BusinessWorld and the exchange4media Group, said, “Breaking the chains of restraint, today we find ever-motivated and inspired women who look back at nothing and are riding on the wave of success. Today, as the discourses on women’s empowerment increase in general and become more widespread, we see a new revolution in the corporate ecosystem - a revolution guided and championed by women. Miss Malini, who shot to success with her famous blog,, ranks as IMPACT’s most influential woman in the Media, Marketing & Advertising space this year. A dynamic personality, Malini Agarwal is a common household name today in India. Whilst Miss Malini stands out, others who have found their names on the list are no less and are doing wonders in the field of Media, Marketing and Advertising.”

Past toppers of IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women List include Ekta Kapoor (2016); Kirthiga Reddy, then Managing Director of Facebook India (2015); Rama Bijapurkar, market strategy consultant and acclaimed business author (2014); Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director HT Media Group (2013) and Vinita Bali, then Managing Director of Britannia (2012).

The sixth edition of IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women list was unveiled in Mumbai earlier this evening at a high level industry gathering. The presenting partner for the event was Colors, while ABP was the co-Gold partner, along with Co-partners Getty Images, My FM and SAB Group, Wellness partner VLCC, Gifting partner Colorbar, Regional Television partner PTC and Lifestyle partner NDTV Good Times.

Here is the full list of winners this year:

1 Malini Agarwal Founder & Creative Director, MissMalini Entertainment
2 Tanya Dubash Executive Director & Chief Brand Officer, Godrej Group
3 Priya Nair Executive Director & VP, Home Care, Hindustan Unilever
4 Geetu Verma Executive Director – Foods, Hindustan Unilever & VP Foods, Unilever South Asia
5 Kalli Purie Group Editorial Director (Broadcast & New Media), India Today Group
6 Sonali Dhawan  Brand Director, Procter & Gamble
7 Barkha Dutt Ace journalist and author 
8 Anuradha Aggarwal Chief Marketing Officer, Marico Limited
9 Sunita Bangard President - Marketing, Idea Cellular Ltd
10 Ekta Kapoor Joint MD and Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms
11 Shereen Bhan Managing Editor, CNBC-TV18
12 Nadia Chauhan Joint MD & Chief Marketing Officer, Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd
13 Apurva Purohit President, Jagran Prakashan Limited
14 Anupriya Acharya CEO, Publicis Media India
15 Jasmin Sohrabji Chief Executive Officer, OMG India and South East Asia 
16 Nandini Dias CEO, Lodestar UM
17 Sangeeta Pendurkar Managing Director, Kellogg India 
18 Gunjan Soni CMO and Head, International Brands Business, Myntra & Head of Jabong 
19 Malishka Mendonsa RJ, RED FM 93.5 
20 Lara Balsara Vajifdar Executive Director, Madison World
21 Deepika Tewari GM Marketing, Jewellery Division, Titan Company Limited
22 Richa Arora COO (Consumer Products Business), Tata Chemicals
23 Bindu Sethi Chief Strategy Officer, JWT India
24 Nina Elavia Jaipuria Sr EVP & Business Head - Kids Cluster, Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd
25 Ritu Dhawan CEO & Managing Partner, India TV
26 Preeti Reddy CEO, Kantar Insights, South Asia 
27 Manisha Sharma Head of Programming, Colors, Viacom18
28 Sapna Chadha Head of Marketing, Google Southeast Asia and India
29 Navika Kumar Managing Editor, Times Now
30 Anurradha Prasad Chairperson & Managing Director, BAG Films and Media
31 Tista Sen National Creative Director, JWT India
32 Prema Sagar Vice Chair, Burson-Marsteller, Asia Pacific & Principal/Founder, Genesis Burson-Marsteller
33 Gayatri Yadav President of Consumer Strategy & Innovation, Star India
34 Preethi Herman Country Director,
35 Hephzibah Pathak Global Brand Director, Ogilvy & Mather, India
36 Meenakshi Menon Founder & Chairperson, Spatial Access Pvt Ltd
37 Divya Radhakrishnan Managing Director, Helios Media Private Limited 
38 Anita Nayyar CEO, Havas Media Group, India & South Asia
39 Vanita Keswani CEO, Madison Media Sigma
39 Sonia Huria Gupta Sr VP, Head - Communications & CSR, Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd
40 Anamika Mehta CEO- Global Brands, IPG Mediabrands India 
41 Sapangeet Rajwant Senior Vice President - Marketing, Colors, Viacom18
42 Suparna Mitra CMO, Watches and Accessories, Titan
43 Divya Karani CEO, Dentsu Media
43 Shavon Barua Managing Partner, PHD India
44 Ashwini Deshpande Co-founder & Director, Elephant Design Pvt Ltd
45 Madhu S Dutta Head-Marketing, Raymond Limited 
46 Swati Bhattacharya Chief Creative Officer, FCB Ulka
47 Purnima Lamba Head, Innovation, Lakme
48 Renu Basu Global VP - Sales, Indian Hotels Company Ltd, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
49 Monica Tata Chief Operating Officer, BTVi
50 Rakhshin Patel Managing Director - Pi Communications Pvt. Ltd.,
  SPECIAL MENTION (In Alphabetical order)
  Akshali Shah VP- Strategy, Sales & Mktg , Parag Milk Foods Ltd
  Avani Davda CEO, Godrej Nature's Basket
  Delna Sethna Chief Creative Officer, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi Private Limited
  Elizabeth Venkataraman Executive Vice President - Marketing, Kotak Mahindra
  Kanika Kalra CMO, Snapdeal
  Khushnooma Kapadia Area Director, Marketing, South Asia, Marriott International
  Manmeet Vohra Director – Marketing and Category, TATA Starbucks Private Ltd.
  Mayoori Kango Managing Director, Performics.Resultrix, Publicis Media
  Nina Lekhi Founder, Baggit
  Pallavi Singh Head- Marketing, Harley Davidson
  Rajiee Shinde Director & CEO, PTC Punjabi Network
  Shalini Raghavan Chief Marketing Officer, Consumer Products Division, L’Oréal India
  Shubhra Chadda Co-founder, Chumbak
  Uma Talreja Chief Digital Officer, Raymond Limited


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