The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 11-20

Pulok Chatterji

11. Pulok Chatterji, 60

Principal Secretary to the PM

New on the list


His proximity to the country's first political family is no secret. And he has now taken over as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, from where he runs not just the PMO but also drives policy for the entire government. His clout stems from his balancing act between 10 Janpath and 7 Race Course Road.


He was given the assignment of Principal Secretary even before he retired from the IAS. He craftily ejected the PM's Media Advisor and is quite determined to build a new team in the PMO as he follows a strict no-extension policy.


He is still settling into his job but his imprint is already visible. Chatterji is actively pushing his ideas on governance, timebound accountability and how to firmly enforce the PMO's writ. His success will be measured by how soon he is able to get the government out of its state of stasis.


He enjoys smoking his pipe. He likes trekking and is a wildlife enthusiast.

12. Mukesh Ambani, 54

Chairman, Reliance Industries

Rank '11: 9


He remains the Big Boss of India Inc despite an erosion in his personal wealth and a decline in the profitability of Reliance Industries. RIL is still the most valuable listed company in the country. He also retains his status as the second richest man in Asia and the ninth richest in the world with a personal wealth of $22.6 billionódown from $29 billion in the previous year. He had no hesitation in launching arbitration proceedings against the government to resolve the issue of cost recovery from one of RIL's prominent gas blocks after facing a decline in oil and gas production.

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