Forbes ranks Indra Nooyi as the world's third most powerful woman

Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo has been ranked the world's third most powerful woman in business by Forbes in its 2008 list of the top 100 women, based on power, economic component - job title and past career accomplishments and press coverage.

Nooyi, who had been ranked fifth last year,  is expanding PepsiCo food and beverage section internationally to counter a shift of US consumer preferences for soda and chips

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, tops the list for the most powerful woman in the world, for the third consecutive year, as the top democratically elected female leader, followed by US Federal Deposit Insurance Corp  chairperson Sheila Bair.

US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, the only other US official in the top 10 dropped 3 point, ranking seventh, in view of the fact that after the US presidential elections in November, Rice along with the rest of the Bush administration, will demit office in January 2009.

Congress party president Sonia Gandhi has slipped from sixth last year to 21 this year. Forbes said the Italian-born leader of India's most powerful political party has by now assumed the role of elder stateswoman.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati made her debut in the Forbes list, ranking 59, as the one "in the running to be prime minister, from her perch as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state," and is challenging Gandhi's position as the country's most powerful woman."