Soma Mondal, a trailblazer in the male-dominated steel industry, has not only etched her name in history but has now secured a place in Forbes’ prestigious World’s Most Powerful Women list for 2023, ranking at 70. This recognition comes as a testament to her remarkable leadership during her tenure as the chairperson of the state-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL), a position she assumed in January 2021.

Mondal’s journey with SAIL began in 2017 when she joined as a director and later ascended to the role of chairperson in 2021. Her tenure at the helm witnessed transformative changes, making her the first woman to lead the central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). Despite her retirement from the post on April 30, 2023, the impact of her leadership continues to resonate, with SAIL boasting a market capitalization of Rs 41,075 crore as of December 6, 2023.

During Mondal’s tenure, SAIL experienced unprecedented financial growth. Under her guidance, the steelmaker’s profits soared threefold, reaching an impressive 120 billion rupees in her first year as chairperson. This achievement not only underscored her strategic acumen but also positioned SAIL as a formidable force in the steel industry.

With over three decades of experience in the metals industry, Mondal’s journey to the pinnacle of corporate leadership is marked by resilience and expertise. Armed with a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela, she embarked on her professional journey at the state-run National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO). Rising through the ranks, she eventually became the Director (Commercial) before making a significant move to SAIL.

Hailing from a Bengali middle-class family in Bhubaneswar, Mondal’s roots and upbringing shape a narrative of determination and achievement. Her father, an agricultural economist, instilled values that would become the bedrock of her success.

In addition to her role at SAIL, Mondal assumed leadership in broader industry forums. In March 2021, she was elected as the chairperson of the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), an organization representing Central Government Public Enterprises. Her contributions to industry-wide initiatives further highlight her influence and impact beyond the confines of SAIL.

Soma Mondal’s inclusion in Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful Women list is not just a personal accolade; it is a recognition of her transformative leadership that has left an indelible mark on the steel industry. As a trailblazer and role model, her journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring women leaders and underscores the importance of diversity and inclusion in traditionally male-dominated sectors.