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Renu Sud Karnad, 66

Managing director, HDFC

Previous Rank : 24

In July, HDFC was feted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being the best performing primary lending institution in the credit linked subsidy scheme for economically weaker sections and the lower income group category—another feather in Karnad’s cap. Serving her 40th year at the housing finance company, Karnad—who serves on the boards of companies like ABB, Bosch, and Maruti Suzuki—led HDFC through a slowdown in housing growth caused by the implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development Act and the goods and services tax. However, HDFC was still able to grow its rural housing portfolio steadily and widen its geographical reach. For the year ended March 31, 2018, the company’s total loan book grew 18% to ₹3,59,442 crore. Karnad’s mantra for thriving in times of adversity is simple: “If you can adapt to changes, you can succeed.”