Modi enters Bloomberg Markets’ Most Influential 50 list, but Raghuram Rajan’s out

I win.
I win.
Image: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
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Narendra Modi has made his debut on Bloomberg Markets’ 50 Most Influential list, joining an elite grouping that comprises policy makers, money managers, venture capitalists, bankers, corporate leaders and others.

Ranked at 13, the Indian prime minister is preceded by only three world leaders—US president Barack Obama, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Chinese president Xi Jinping—and joins a list that Bloomberg Markets compiled by favouring “recent accomplishments over lifetime achievements.”

“He (Modi) won election in May 2014 by the widest margin in 30 years, giving him a shot at making some investment-friendly reforms that have faced stubborn resistance in the world’s largest democracy,” Bloomberg Markets wrote. “India might grow faster than China this year.”

In its first year of publication, back in 2011, the Bloomberg Markets described the list as consisting of ”people who make the most money, build the most profitable companies, shape the economic debate—and move global markets.”

But Modi isn’t the first Indian politician to break into this elite group. That honour belongs to West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee who was ranked at 21 in 2012. The reason: “Her Trinamool Congress party, part of the ruling coalition, has stalled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s economic reform agenda by opposing foreign retailers,” Bloomberg Markets said.

Last year, Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan and Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman of State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, found a spot on the list. This year, both have made an exit.

“He (Rajan) wants to change government aid to the poor to cut out corrupt middlemen and politicians,” Bloomberg Markets had said last year.

Rajan, who served as the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist between 2003 and 2007, is widely respected at home and abroad, and has gained much popularity in India for his masterful handling of the central bank.

Modi, on the other hand, has gained wide global recognition after a series of well-promoted foreign tours, including to the US, China and Australia. He has carefully projected himself as a technology-driven reformer and initiated a number of ambitious projects. But Modi’s magic seems to be gradually wearing off.

Released on Oct. 5, the 2015 ranking is topped by US Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen, followed by China’s Xi and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Here’s the full list: