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Samina Vaziralli, 42

Executive vice chairperson, Cipla

Previous Rank : NEW

Samina Vaziralli had no experience in pharma when she joined Cipla in 2011. It was not the best of times for the company: Aman Lulla, joint managing director, had passed away, and growth was slowing at Cipla. Since joining the family business, the London School of Economics alumnus and former investment banker with Goldman Sachs has led the reinvention of the 83-year-old company, a pioneer in making low cost drugs for treating AIDS, while preserving its legacy. Vaziralli has played a key role in building the current management team at Cipla; the company had been grappling with top-level exits in the past few years. The team led by Umang Vohra, Cipla’s managing director and global CEO, is now focussing on priority markets and has exited some countries. It looks like she is on the right track. Cipla saw a 40% rise in profit after tax in FY18 from last year. In the past few months, Cipla has got approval for some new drugs in the U.S. and entered a marketing partnership with Hyderabad-based MSN Labs, under which it can sell the latter’s oncology drug in the U.S