Influential Indians

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Indians on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list

America’s Time Magazine has announced its annual list of “The 100 Most Influential People” in the world and there are a number of Indian and Indian origin personalities who have made the cut.

The weekly news magazine celebrates global icons across politics, sport, pop culture, science, technology and charitable affairs.

Time magazine.Indian Link

Notable figures in each field pay tribute to each person selected through a series of short essays and videos.
There are six different covers available including one featuring Bollywood darling Priyanka Chopra.

Priyanka Chopra, Actor 

In a video interview with the magazine, Chopra said, “I don’t want to be called an actor. I don’t want to be called a star. I don’t want to have labels. I want to have a legacy.”
She went on to speak about suffering from low self-esteem when she was younger and setting goals helped her to become a strong and successful actress.
“I want to break stereotypes,” she said. “I want to go where no man or woman has gone before.”

Fellow actor Dwayne Johnson who stars with Chopra in the upcoming film Baywatch wrote in his reflection on her: “She has drive, ambition, self-respect, and she knows there’s no substitute for hard work.”

Sunita Narain, environmentalist and political activist 

Narain has been with the India-based Centre for Science and Environment since 1982.
In the era of climate change and debates about the state of the environment, Narain is often in the media arguing for international equity with regard to trading mechanisms and any international agreements.
Time magazine influential indians.Indian Link
She has been awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India as well as the Stockholm Water Prize.
In 2014 she gave a talk at the Australia India Insitute in Melbourne on ‘Reinventing Growth Without Pollution: Can India Find Answers?’
As Indian author Amitav Ghosh wrote in his piece, “Sunita Narain’s ideas have shaped some of the key debates of our time.”

Sundar Pichai, Google CEO

Pichai became Google CEO in 2015. He has worked across Google projects include Chrome and Gmail, and was the lead in the launch of Google Drive.
Time magazine.Indian Link
Born in Chennai to a middle class family, Pichai is a picture of the Indian dream of success.
According to science educator and author Bill Nye, “Sundar Pichai has helped change the world.”

Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal, Entrepreneurs 

The two Bansals (no relation) founded Flipkart in 2007 and ran the business out of their apartment in Bangalore. Today, the online market place has 75 million users and a $13 billion valuation.
Time magazine.Indian Link
In September 2015, each man entered the Forbes India Rich List debuting at  86th position with a net worth of $1.3 billion.
As India’s economy continues to expand, these men have positioned their business as India’s “best” website to buy a wide range of products online.

Raghuram Rajan, RBI Governor

The economist currently serving as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Rajan has helped steer the Indian economy through the Global Financial Crisis and helped it emerge as one of the strongest international economies.
Time Magazine.Indian Link

Sania Mirza

Currently ranked no.1 in the world women’s doubles rankings alongside partner Martina Hingis, Mirza is India’s most successful female Indian tennis player ever.
Earlier this year, the pair’s shock loss at the Qatar Open ended their 41 match winning streak.
Mirza also undertakes charitable work alongside her sporting commitments and is the first South Asian woman to be named a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.
Sachin Tendulkar wrote about Mirza, “Sania’s confidence, strength and resilience reach beyond tennis. She has inspired a generation of Indians to pursue their dreams—and to realize that they can also be the best.”

Time Magazine.Indian Link
Aziz Ansari

The actor behind hit series Master of None, Aziz Ansari often examines his Indian heritage, and ethnicity more generally, and the impact it has on people’s careers.
Ansari recently wrote an essay for The New York Times reflecting on his “split cultural identity” on a trip to India.
Time Magazine.Indian Link

Raj Panjabi

Panjabi was born in Liberia and was forced to flee the civil war aged nine. After studying medicine in the US, he returned to Liberia aged 24 to help save the lives of those living in remote villages by co-founding an NGO, Last Mile Health. When Ebola stuck the region in 2014, Panjabi again returned and helped train 1300 locals to help contain the epidemic.
Time magazine.Indian Link
As former US President Bill Clinton wrote in praise of Panjabi, “To spend time with Raj Panjabi is to see up close what happens when someone with uncommon courage and compassion puts himself on the front lines of the world’s most complex challenges.”
Photos via Time Magazine

Kira Spucys-Tahar
Kira Spucys-Tahar
Kira has a passion for politics, and enjoys puzzles, bad jokes and cuddles with her cat.

What's On