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Rahman among world's most creative biz people

June 12, 2009 16:24 IST

Image: Happy tourists toast each during Oktoberfest in Munich.
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Time for a toast! Three people of Indian origin feature in FastCompany's list of world's 100 most creative people in business.

The business magazine which covers the new economy says that creativity is not fettered by rules, and in choosing the world's most creative people in business, it had to look for 'dazzling new thinkers, rising stars, and boldface names who cannot be ignored'.

The latest list, which has dropped people previously named as the most creative, features those whose creative talent addresses larger issues: 'from the future of energy infrastructure to the evolution of philanthropy to next-generation media.'

So check out who the world's most creative minds in business are. . .

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: Prith Banerjee; Director, HP Labs.
Photographs: Courtesy: HP Labs

Prith Banerjee; Director, HP Labs

Prith Banerjee, who is director of HP Labs, has been ranked as the 11th most creative person in business by FastCompany.

He was the Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago and supervised PhD students. He was the Walter P. Murphy Professor and Chairman of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Ever since he was lured away from the University of Illinois, he has been working on cutting-edge technologies at HP. His expertise is in electronic design automation tools, and compilers.

He has a B.Tech. degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, and MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Banerjee also founded Binachip Inc and AccelChip Inc.

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: Padmasree Warrior, chief technology officer of Cisco Systems, Inc.
Photographs: Kimberly White/Reuters

Padmasree Warrior; Chief technology officer, Cisco

FastCompany names the Cisco CTO as the 33rd most creative person in business.

The Indian-origin lady has also been named one of the top 15 most influential women driving innovation (and revenue) in corporate America.

Warrior, who joined Cisco in December 2007 after stepping down as the vice president and CTO of Motorola, has been known as a driving force for innovation at Motorola and knowing how to harness the creative power of engineers.

Warrior, 47, raised in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, India, holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from IIT Delhi and a M.S. degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University. In 2007 she was awarded Doctor of Engineering, Honoris Causa from New York's Polytechnic University.

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: A R Rahman holds the Oscars for achievement in music for both original song and original score for his work on the film Slumdog Millionaire.
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

A R Rahman; Composer

Jai Ho, Rahman!

Allah Rakha Rahman, who won two Oscars for his composition in the film Slumdog Millionaire, has been ranked as the world's 47th most creative person in the business by FastCompany.

His superhit composition Jai Ho has been downloaded more than 100,000 times on iTunes and was re-recorded as a hit collaboration with the group Pussycat Dolls.

The 43-year-old Rahman began composing music at a very early age and soon became a sensation in India. He has won numerous awards for his extraordinary talent: 2 Oscars, 12 Filmfare awards, 4 National Film Awards, 1 BAFTA Award, and 1 Golden Globe.

He has been working in India's film industry for close to 2 decades and has had more than 200 million records of his compositions sold: that makes him one of the world's top-selling recording artists in history.

The 'Mozart of Madras,' as the Time magazine has dubbed him, has also been ranked as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by the same magazine.

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: Jonathan Ive; Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Apple.
Photographs: Courtesy: Apple

Jonathan Ive; Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Apple

FastCompany ranks Apple's design hero Jonathan Ive as the most creative person in business.

The extraordinary success of the iPod, the iPhone and the iMac only prove his talent.

Listed below are some of the other top business minds:

  • 8. Michele Ganeless; President, Comedy Central
  • 9. Jon Rubinstein; Executive chairman, Palm
  • 10. James Schamus; Chief executive officer, Focus Features
  • 12. John Garing; Chief information officer, Defense Information Systems Agency
  • 13. Stella McCartney; Fashion designer
  • 14. JJ Abrams; Founder, Bad Robot Productions

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: Melinda Gates and her husband Bill Gates.
Photographs: Sebastian Derungs/Reuters

Melinda Gates; Cochair and trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Melinda Gates, wife of the world's richest man, Microsoft czar Bill Gates, has been ranked the second most creative person in the business, ahead of her husband.

The list of the top creative minds in business continues:

  • 15. Thom Mayne; Design Director, Morphosis
  • 16. Dave Morin; Senior Platform Manager, Facebook
  • 17. Stephen Chau; Product Manager, Google Maps and Google Earth
  • 18. Susan Athey; Chief economist, Microsoft
  • 19. Trish Adams; Senior vice president of merchandising, Target
  • 20. Dawn Danby; Sustainable design program manager, Autodesk

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: Shai Agassi, founder and chief executive of Better Place.
Photographs: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Shai Agassi; CEO, Better Place

Shai Agassi has been named by FastCompany as the third most creative person in business. He is also a member of the Industry Advisory Council at Azure Capital Partners, and was earlier an executive board member of SAP AG.

He also founded TopTier Software (originally called Quicksoft Development) in Israel in 1992 and later moved the company's headquarters to California.

Agassi graduated from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science.

The other most creative business people are:

  • 21. Tyler Perry; Owner, Tyler Perry Studios
  • 22. Damien Hirst; Artist
  • 23. Ed Leonard; Chief technology officer, DreamWorks Animation
  • 24. Jil Sander; Designer, creative director, Uniqlo
  • 25. Dietrich Mateschitz; CEO, Red Bull
  • 26: Sheila Bair, Chairman, FDIC

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix Inc.
Photographs: Fred Prouser/Reuters

Reed Hastings; Chief Executive Officer, Netflix

Reed Hastings founded Netflix Inc. He has been ranked the 4th most creative business person.

He has earlier served as the President of the California State Board of Education, and also as the CEO of Technology Network.

He has an MSCS degree from Stanford University and a BA from Bowdoin College.

Some more creative minds from the list are given below:

  • 27. Brenda Dietrich; Vice President, business analytics and mathematical sciences, IBM
  • 28. Kazunori Yamauchi; President, Polyphony Digital
  • 29. Alexandra Patsavas; Owner, Chop Shop Music Supervision
  • 30. George Whitesides; Inventor, cofounder, Nano-Terra
  • 31. Hayao Miyazaki; Cofounder, Studio Ghibli
  • 32. Lee Clow; Global director of media arts, TBWAWorldwide

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at the premiere of the Disney Channel movie 'High School Musical 2.
Photographs: Fred Prouser/Reuters, (Inset photograph, courtesy: ABC/Bob D'Amico)

Rich Ross; President, Disney Channels Worldwide

Rich Ross manages Disney Channels' successful and growing global kids' TV business that includes a total of 94 kid-driven, family inclusive entertainment channels and/or channel feeds available in 163 countries in 32 languages.

He has been ranked number 5 in the list of 100 most creative people in business by FastCompany.

Prior to his current global role, he was Disney Channel president (entertainment) from 2002-04.

Ross has also help build the very successful Disney Channel Original Movie franchise.

He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and English. He got his JD degree from New York's Fordham University in 1986.

Some others keeping Ross company in the list are:

  • 34. Evan Williams; CEO, Twitter
  • 35. Peter Senge; Founding chairman, Society for Organizational Learning
  • 36. Pharrell Williams; Musician
  • 37. Shai Reshef; Founder, University of the People
  • 38. Lord Norman Foster; Architect
  • 39. Greg Hahn; Executive creative director, BBDO
  • 40. Neil Gaiman; Author, screenwriter

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: Sandy Bodecker; vice president of global design, Nike.
Photographs: Courtesy: FastCompany

Sandy Bodecker; vice president of global design, Nike

Sandy Bodecker has been leading Nike's expanding sport culture opportunity, including action sports and skate.

A 23-year Nike veteran, known for successfully building new businesses, Bodecker's leadership has firmly established Nike as a leading global soccer brand.

He has been named the 6th most creative person in business by FastCompany.

Following are some more of the most creative people from the list:

  • 41. Maurice Sendak; Writer, illustrator, producer
  • 42. Marc Jacobs; Fashion designer, LVMH
  • 43. Neri Oxman; Presidential Fellow, MIT Media Lab
  • 44. Jean-Georges; Chef
  • 45. Genevieve Bell; Director of user experience, Intel Digital Home Group

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

Image: Nokia Executive Vice President Tero Ojanpera.
Photographs: Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters

Tero Ojanpera; Executive Vice President, Nokia

Ojanpera joined Nokia in 1990. He has an MS from University of Oulu, and a PhD from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

He has been ranked the 7th most creative mind in business. He is also a member of Young Global Leaders.

The following people complete the list of the top 50 most creative people in business.

  • 46. Jim Jannard; Founder, chief executive officer, Red Digital Cinema
  • 48. Jimmy Iovine; Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M Records
  • 49. Tyra Banks; Founder, Bankable Enterprises
  • 50. Lisa Ellis; Partner, Fireman Capital

The entire list can be found at