• | 4:04 pm

Alia Bhatt, Sakshi Malik among Indians on Time’s 2024 list of most influential people

The list also recognized World Bank president Ajay Banga, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Indian-origin British actor Dev Patel

Alia Bhatt, Sakshi Malik among Indians on Time’s 2024 list of most influential people
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Several prominent Indians, including actor Alia Bhatt and wrestler Sakshi Malik, secured spots on Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People of 2024’ list, released on Wednesday. 

The list also recognized World Bank president Ajay Banga, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Indian-origin British actor Dev Patel. 

The list, which extends beyond entertainment and sports, also contains names of other influential Indian-origin people, including Jigar Shah, the director of the US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office; astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan of Yale University; and Indian-born restaurateur Asma Khan . 

Here is a closer look at some of the prominent Indians who featured in the list this year:

Alia Bhatt

Alia Bhatt made her international debut just last year with the Gal Gadot-starrer Heart of Stone, a spy-thriller that received mixed reviews from critics and audiences. The film’s director, Tom Harper, in his profile of Bhatt for Time, called her self-effacing and funny.

“Alia’s superpower is her ability to mix movie-star magnetism with authenticity and sensitivity. As an actor she is luminous, and as a person she brings the grounded assurance and creativity that make a truly international star,” wrote Harper. 

Bhatt took to Instagram to thank the magazine for the feature.

“Honoured to be a part of the #TIME100 @time. Thank you dearest #TomHarper for your kind kind words,” she wrote.


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A post shared by Alia Bhatt 💛 (@aliaabhatt)

Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik is India’s first and only female wrestler to have won an Olympic medal. 

Last year, 31-year old Malik, along with fellow wrestlers, held a months-long protest demanding the dissolution of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), accusing the sports body’s chief—Brij Bhushan Singh—of sexual harassment. 

Nisha Pahuja, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary To Kill a Tiger, wrote in her profile for Malik for Time magazine that what started as a small and targeted protest to demand government action ballooned into a yearlong battle that drew support from around the world. 

Malik announced her retirement by placing her wrestling shoes on the table during a press conference, following the election of a close ally of Singh’s to the position of WFI chief.

“Shortly after Singh’s successor, a close ally and business partner, was elected to oversee the Wrestling Federation of India, Sakshi Malik—in an emotional, public, and very brave act of defiance—quit the sport. She did not, however, quit the battle,” wrote Pahuja. 

Malik took to social media to thank the magazine for including her in the list. 

“Proud to be included in the 2024 #TIME100 list.

Thank you @time for the honour. I am humbled to be amongst all these greats,” she wrote on Instagram. 

Ajay Banga

World Bank president Ajay Banga also secured a spot on the list. US treasury secretary Janet Yellen, in her profile of Banga for Time magazine, highlighted Banga’s leadership of Mastercard before taking the helm at the World Bank, while praising his efforts in bringing millions of people without bank accounts into the digital economy.

“At the World Bank, Ajay set forth a new vision to create a world free of poverty on a livable planet and moved boldly to make good on it—from pioneering innovative financial tools to reimagining partnerships across the multilateral development banks and with the private sector,” she added. 

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, makes his third appearance on Time’s influential people list. 

Owing to Microsoft’s significant investment in OpenAI and partnerships like Mistral AI, Nadella has emerged as a leader in the booming field of AI, according to Starbucks Corporation chairwoman Mellody Hobson. 

“A technologist with heart, Satya sees AI as a tool that will empower humans. Still, there’s rightful concern about unintended consequences and misuse. That’s why it’s so reassuring that Satya is one of AI’s stewards,” wrote Hobson. 

Dev Patel

The British actor of Indian origin shot to international stardom with his debut in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, all the way back in 2008. 

Daniel Kaluuya, Patel’s co-actor from the hit teenage drama Skins, wrote in his profile for the magazine about how he went from getting food with Patel at a local eatery to watching him at the Golden Globes, all in a month’s time. 

“Our responsibility as a generation is to go into familiar spaces and see them through new perspectives, thus creating, finding, and sharing a space that has never been touched before. He (Patel) has that gift,” wrote Kaluuya. 

This year, Patel stepped behind the camera for the first time, directing the action-thriller Monkey Man.

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