Bhubaneswar: Soma Mondal, a 60-year-old native of Odisha, has secured the 70th position on Forbes’ list of the most powerful women globally. Among the four Indian women featured, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claimed the 32nd spot, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCL Technologies, secured 60th place, and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Head of Biocon Limited, ranked 76th.
Born in Bhubaneswar to Dr. Hari Kumar Dasgupta, an agricultural scientist, and Aparna Dasgupta, Soma had a middle-class upbringing. She completed her schooling in Bhubaneswar and graduated in Electrical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology (formerly Regional Engineering College) in Rourkela in 1984.
Commencing her professional journey as a trainee engineer at the National Aluminium Company (NALCO) in Bhubaneswar, Soma steadily climbed the ranks to become NALCO’s Director (Commercial). In 2017, she joined the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) as Director (Commercial) and made history in 2021 as the first woman to chair the State-run steel giant.
Under Soma’s leadership, SAIL experienced remarkable financial growth, with profits tripling to 120 billion rupees in her inaugural year as head. Boasting over three decades of expertise in the metals industry, she is affectionately known as the ‘Queen of Steels.’