Nadia Chauhan tops IMPACT's list of 50 Most Influential Women, 2018

Parle's Chauhan has jumped 11 places from her position on the list in 2017 to claim the top spot

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Mar 23, 2018 8:59 AM

Nadia Chauhan, Joint Managing Director & Chief Marketing Officer, Parle Agro, has topped IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising List, 2018 owing to her contribution in contemporising Parle Agro products and moving them towards market leadership. Chauhan’s marketing acumen has led to the brand taking on faces like Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra and recently Salman Khan as brand ambassadors.

The revamping of Frooti as well as Appy Fizz that made the products much more edgy, happened under her leadership. The brand claims to be the only global Indian F&B company today. Chauhan has jumped 11 places from her position on the list in 2017 to claim the top spot.

Chauhan said, “Thank You Impact and exchange4media for this honour. I remember the day when I joined Parle Agro, almost as if it was yesterday. Frooti and I are coincidentally as old as each other and we have grown together as best friends. I encourage you all to do more of what scares you, more of what pushes the limits and do more of what isn’t being done.”

Anupriya Acharya, CEO, Publicis Media India, who also features at the top of the list, said, “I am extremely elated. Seven years back when it (the awards) was started, it was a new thing in the industry. This year, we are celebrated among the top 10 list, which is fantastic. I want to thank my mother, my colleagues and my organisation but I must say there has been a remarkable improvement in the rankings in the last two years for which I must thank my organisation and the people who were there to help.”

Some of the other names at the top of the list this year are Tanya Dubash, Executive Director & Chief Brand Officer, Godrej Group, Priya Nair, Executive Director, Home Care, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Kalli Purie, Vice Chairperson, India Today Group, Ekta Kapoor, Joint MD and Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms, Sonali Dhawan, Marketing Director, P&G India and Fabric Care Unit Head, Indian Sub-continent, Malishka Mendonsa, RJ, Actor and TV Host, Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar UM and Geetu Verma, Cluster VP, Marketing - Foods, South Asia, Unilever.

Expressing her happiness, Sonali Dhawan said it felt great that she was being recognized for her work. “It feels really good, I have been coming here for a few years now. I love this event because of its validation, recognition of the great work in the industry,” she added.

Malishka Mendonsa echoed the sentiment, saying that nothing can stop her after this award. "It's absolutely fantastic. Last year was the first time they asked me if I want to nominate myself or is there someone else I would like to nominate. Thank you Impact Top 50 Women list for inspiring us. I believe nothing can stop me after this award,” Mendonsa said. 

Nandini Dias praised Impact for its initiative of awarding women achievers. "It was great that Impact had been doing this for seven years. It brings 50 disparate women together, which is a great thing. It's a great initiative,” she said. 

For Gayatri Yadav, it was an  honour  to be in the illustrious list. "This one is for all the young women leaders who will take over the world!,” Yadav said.

Anita Nayyar felt fabulous about it. “We have been on the list since the beginning. It is something that I am giving to myself because I have worked very hard to be recognized as an achiever by an eminent jury and by Exchange4media. It's been a great honour, ” she said.

Sonia Huria said, “I truly feel amazing because this year has been hectic. It's even more special because you get nominated among such great leaders, some you work with and some of them are your mentors so it's truly amazing from that standpoint. Communications is finding its space in the Top 50. It is niche profile. Going by the way advertising, media and marketing take the centrestage, communication is now being recognized on a platform like this. I am extremely grateful to this jury, exchange4media and the Impact team for giving it its place of pride."

Megha Tata, Chief Operating Office, Business Television India (BTVI), said, “It's wonderful and it's yet another year of acknowledgement. I truly thank the entire jury who thought of me being worthy to be part of the list so I am very excited. Thank you.”

There are 17 new entrants to the list. Also, the jury has chosen nine women achievers as the Women to Watch Out for, in addition to the list of 50 Most Influential Women 2018.

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 Sonal Dabral, Vice-Chairman and Group CCO, Ogilvy & Mather India, Bhaskar Das, Executive President, Dainik Bhaskar Group, Punitha Arumugam, Entrepreneur & Digital Evangelist, Gurmit Singh, Vice President & MD, India, Yahoo (Oath), Pradeep Dwivedi, CEO, Sakal Media Group, Tarun Rai, CEO, J Walter Thompson India, Roma Balwani, Director, Strategic Resources Group and Ashish Sehgal, COO, Zee Unimedia.

Summing up the jury process, jury chair Sam Balsara said, “We are doing this for the seventh year in succession. This time, we had an almost all-new jury. I am the only continuing factor. So that helped bring in a lot of new names from a lot of new areas into the consideration set. We have just now finalized the list of 50 out of which 17 are new names. So you can see that we live in a dynamic world and women are doing quite a bit to make their presence felt in the industry.”

Commenting on the list, Annurag Batra, Chairman and editor-in-chief of BusinessWorld and the exchange4media Group, said, “The Advertising, Marketing, Media and communication industry that IMPACT serves has lots and lots of women leaders at all levels. However, we still have a long way to go. In India, JWT is led by a gentleman. Ogilvy is led by a gentleman. TOI is led by a gentleman. Star TV is led by a gentleman. Zee TV is led by a gentleman. GroupM is led by a gentleman, and Madison is also led by a gentleman. I would like to see all these companies and iconic businesses to be led by women. Each of the women on the 50 Most Influential Women List have a story and an identity which is much beyond work. Today, we salute and celebrate these super women.”

Past toppers of IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women List include Malini Agarwal, Founder & Creative Director, MissMalini Entertainment (2017), Ekta Kapoor, Joint Managing Director and Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms (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 seventh edition of IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women list was unveiled in Mumbai on Thursday at a high level industry gathering. The presenting partner for the event was &tv and it was co-powered by ABP, while TLC was the co-Gold partner and Modi Motors was the Luxury Auto Partner.

  Nadia Chauhan Joint Managing Director & Chief Marketing Officer, Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd 1
  Tanya Dubash Executive Director and Chief Brand Officer, Godrej Group 2
  Priya Nair Executive Director & VP – Home Care, Hindustan Unilever 3
  Kalli Purie Vice Chairperson, India Today Group 4
  Ekta Kapoor Joint Managing Director and Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms 5
  Sonali Dhawan  Marketing Director, P&G India and Fabric Care Unit Head, Indian Sub-continent 6
  Malishka Mendonsa Radio Jockey at 93.5 RED FM 7
  Anupriya Acharya CEO, Publicis Media India 8
  Nandini Dias CEO, Lodestar UM India 9
  Geetu Verma Cluster VP Marketing - Foods, South Asia, Unilever 10
  Navika Kumar Managing Editor- Politics, Times Now 11
  Faye D'souza Executive Editor, Mirror Now 11
  Anuradha Aggarwal Chief Marketing Officer, Marico Limited 12
  Suparna Mitra CMO, Watches and Accessories, Titan Company Limited 13
  Deepika Tewari Head of Marketing, Jewellery Division, Titan Company Limited 14
  Gayatri Yadav President of Consumer Strategy & Innovation, Star India 15
  Malini Agarwal Founder & Creative Director, MissMalini Entertainment 16
  Preeti Reddy President of Kantar IMRB & CEO, Kantar Insights, South Asia  17
  Bindu Sethi Chief Strategy Officer, JWT India 18
  Ashwini Deshpande Co-founder, Director, Elephant AD Pvt Ltd 19
  Kainaz Karmakar Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy India (West) 20
  Shereen Bhan Managing Editor, CNBC TV18 21
  Prema Sagar Vice Chair, Burson-Marsteller Asia Pacific & Founder, Genesis Burson-Marsteller 22
  Abanti Sankaranarayanan Chief Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer, United Spirits Ltd & Chairman, ASCI 23
  Manisha Sharma Head of Programming - Colors, Viacom18 24
  Sapangeet Rajwant Digital & Marketing Head - Colors 24
  Lara Balsara Vajifdar Executive Director, Madison World 25
  Prathyusha Agarwal  Chief Marketing Officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited 26
  Vanita Keswani CEO, Madison Media Sigma 27
  Delna Sethna Chief Creative Officer, Law&Kenneth Saatchi&Saatchi 28
  Nina Elavia Jaipuria Senior Executive Vice President & Head - Kids Entertainment Cluster, Viacom 18 29
  Tista Sen Senior Vice-President & National Creative Director, JWT India 30
  Ritu Dhawan CEO & Managing Partner, India TV 31
  Gunjan Soni Chief Marketing Officer and Head, International Brands Business, Myntra and Head of Jabong 32
  Hephzibah Pathak Global Brand Director and Board Director, Ogilvy and Mather India 33
  Anurradha Prasad Chairperson & Managing Director, B.A.G Films and Media, Chairperson, AROI 34
  Raji Ramaswamy CE0, Contract Advertising 35
  Neena Dasgupta Chief Executive Officer, Zirca 35
  Anita Nayyar CEO, India & South Asia, Havas Media Group 36
  Himani Kapadia CEO, SapientRazorfish & DigitasLBi, India 37
  Virginia Sharma Director- Marketing Solutions, Linkedin 38
  Babita Baruah Managing Partner, GTB India. Global Team Blue/ WPP 39
  Meenu Handa Director, Corporate Communications, Google India 40
  Shweta Rajpal Kohli Country Director - Government Affairs & Public Policy, India & South Asia, Salesforce 41
  Mythili Chandrasekar National Planning Director, J. Walter Thompson 42
  Swati Bhattacharya Chief Creative Officer, FCB Ulka 43
  Aparna Bhosle Business Cluster Head – Premium and FTA GEC Channels, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd 44
  Minari Shah Director- PR, Amazon 45
  Vasuta Agarwal General Manager, India Business, InMobi  46
  Shalini Raghavan Chief Marketing Officer, Consumer Products Division, L’Oréal India 46
  Valerie Pinto Chief Executive Officer, Weber Shandwick, India 47
  Megha Tata Chief Operating Office, Business Television India (BTVI) 48
  Madhu S Dutta Head Marketing - Raymond Limited 48
  Sonia Huria SVP & Head, Communications & CSR, Viacom Media Pvt. Ltd 49
  Deepali Naair Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, IIFL Investment Managers 50
  Women to watch out for    
  Akshaara Lalwani CEO and Founder, Communicate India  
  Anita Kotwani Leader, Client Leadership, Mindshare West  
  Avani Davda CEO, Godrej Nature's Basket  
  Madhu Chibber CEO , Madison PR  
  Mayoori Kango Managing Director, Performics.Resultrix, Publicis Media  
  Meera Iyer Head - Marketing,  
  Pooja Jauhari CEO, The Glitch  
  Ritu Gupta Marketing Director, Dell India  
  Swati Mohan Business Head India, FOX Networks Group   

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