New York: Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and Microsoft’s Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella have been named in TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world this year, an annual list of honorees that includes US President Donald Trump.
“TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people is a designation of individuals whose time, in our estimation, is now,” the magazine said. Writing a profile for Aggarwal for the magazine, Executive chairman of Indian e-commerce company Flipkart Sachin Bansal underlined Aggarwal’s “vision, passion and determination” to stand against all odds. Padukone’s co-star from the movie ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’, Vin Diesel says Padukone is “not just here to represent India; she’s here to represent the world.”
Writing Kohli’s profile, legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar said Kohli’s “hunger for runs and consistency” has been remarkable and has become the “hallmark of his game.” Bansal said that Aggarwal co-founded Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-sharing companies and has “scaled it to more than 100 Indian cities, empowered millions of driver-partners and commuters, and is a flag bearer for India’s consumer-tech ecosystem-all by the age of 32.” Bansal said that in counting his laurels, it’s easy to forget the struggles Aggarwal faced while building one of India’s most storied startups.
In a profile for Padukone, Diesel says “Deepika is the best Earth has to offer”, admiring her “synchronicity, a synergy, a chemistry” when he met her for one of the movies of the Fast and Furious franchise. While Padukone’s schedule didn’t work for that movie, Diesel said he “never gave up” and she was the first role to be cast in ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage.’ Writing Kohli’s profile, Tendulkar recalls the Under-19 World Cup in 2008 where he had watched Kohli lead India. Tendulkar said the U-19 World Cup was very important for India, as it would define the next bunch of youngsters who would go on to represent the nation.
“That was the first time I watched this young, passionate player lead India. Today, Virat Kohli is a household name and a champion in cricket. Even back then, his hunger for runs and consistency was remarkable, something that has become the hallmark of his game,” Tendulkar said of Kohli. “Virat took the criticism he faced during a disappointing West Indies series and returned home with a goal: to improve not only his technique, but also his fitness level. He’s never looked back,” Tendulkar said.
On Nadella, Walter Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane University and a former managing editor of TIME, said growing up in India, Nadella fell in love with cricket, a sport whose grace comes from melding stars into a cohesive and harmonic team. “Since becoming CEO of Microsoft in 2014, Nadella has used those principles to restore the company’s spirit of innovation. Consider its new product strategy, which emphasizes cloud computing and allowing people to collaborate across platforms,” Isaacson said. Nadeall also makes one of the six covers of TIME’s 100.
“The result is that in the four years since he inherited a sticky wicket, Microsoft’s market value has increased 130%. More important, the company is now making products that feel more user-friendly, empathetic and collaborative,” he said. The list this year includes actress Nicole Kidman, ‘Wonder Women’ starrer Gal Gadot, Prince Harry, his fiance Meghan Markle, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who is an openly gay son of an Indian immigrant, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina and singer Rihanna.
Writing Markle’s profile, Indian actress Priyanka Chopra said Markle is an “important influencer in a world that needs strong public figures to respect and look up to. People the world can be inspired by. Meghan, standing shoulder to shoulder with Harry, will be a princess for the people.” TIME said a record 45 people on this list are under 40 – including the youngest designer ever, 14-year-old actor Millie Bobby Brown – and a common theme in the tributes is how much people can learn from them.
It added that while “we remain much too far from gender parity in global leadership, there are more women than ever on this year’s TIME 100-proof that there are ways of changing the world beyond traditional power structures.” Among the 45 TIME recognize’s are activist Tarana Burke, who founded Me Too, singer Jennifer Lopez, Chloe Kim, “who’s shredding barriers in snowboarding and astronaut Peggy Whitson, who recently logged her 665th cumulative day in space-more than any other American.