Know About Odisha-Born Soma Mondal Who Featured On Forbes’ Most Powerful Women List

Bhubaneswar: Odisha-born Soma Mondal features in the Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women released on December 4. The first woman to chair the state-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has been ranked at 70.

“She’s responsible for launching an 80,000-million-rupee effort to expand production capacity,” Forbes wrote, lauding her.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, chairperson of HCL Technologies Roshni Nadar Malhotra, and Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw are other Indian women to make it to the list.

Born and raised in an Odia middle-class family in Bhubaneswar, Mondal is considered a trailblazer in India’s corporate landscape. He father was an agricultural economist. After graduating in Electrical Engineering in 1984 from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, she began her journey at NALCO, where she steadily climbed the ranks, eventually becoming the Director (Commercial).

In 2017, she joined SAIL, one of India’s largest steel producers, as Director (Commercial) and spearheaded the implementation of marketing strategies, resulting in consecutive best-ever sales volumes from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Modal created history as SAIL’s first woman chairperson in January 2021 and navigated the steel giant to record-breaking profits, soaring threefold to 120 billion rupees within her first year.

It was for the first time that the SAIL’s crossed the revenue milestone of Rs 1 lakh crore and entered the elite club of Indian companies having a turnover above Rs 1 lakh crore.

She introduced reforms in the Marketing Organization Structure, creating three verticals—Sales, Marketing, and Services—to enhance focus and micro-management. Her efforts in promoting the branding of various SAIL products led to the successful launch of new brands such as ‘NEX’ and ‘SAIL SeQR’ for PF Structural Sections and TMT Bars respectively. To tap into the potential of rural India, she organised ‘Gaon Ki Ore’ workshops across the country while promoting the branding efforts of SAIL’s products.

Mondal was honoured as ‘CEO of the Year’ at the ETPrime Women Leadership Awards in 2023, recognising her exceptional contributions to the corporate world. She was also among three female entrepreneurs from India, who made it to Forbes’ list of Asia’s Power Businesswomen 2022.

Currently, she is serving as Member, Public Enterprises Selection Board, (PESB). She is also a member of the Board of Governors, IIM Jammu.


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