The list features pioneers, artists, titans, leaders and icons from around the world honoured for “the power of their inventions, the scale of their ambitions, the genius of their solutions to problems that no one before them could solve.” The magazine has also included US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Theresa May in the new list of 100 most influential people. 

The profile of Modi, 66, written by author Pankaj Mishra, said that in May 2014 - long before Trump seemed conceivable as a US president - Modi became the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy. “Once barred from the US for his suspected complicity in anti-Muslim violence, and politically ostracised at home as well, this Hindu nationalist used Twitter to bypass traditional media and speak directly to masses feeling left or pushed behind by globalisation, and he promised to make India great again by rooting out self-serving elites,” it said.

Nearly three years after he came to power, Modi’s vision of India’s economic, geopolitical and cultural supremacy is far from being realised, the profile read, but his “extended family of Hindu nationalists have taken to scapegoating secular and liberal intellectuals as well as poor Muslims.” “Yet Modi’s aura remains undimmed. He is a maestro of the art of political seduction, playing on the existential fears and cultural insecurities of people facing downward or blocked mobility,” it said. Modi’s elections victory in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most politically significant state, by a landslide confirmed that “elected strongmen are the chief beneficiaries of a global revolt against elites.”

For 43-year-old Sharma, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani wrote that when India’s government unexpectedly scrapped 86 per cent of the country’s currency notes in November, Sharma “seized the moment”. As Indians scrambled to exchange the banned notes for new currency, Paytm, Sharma’s digital payments startup, went on a promotional spree, inviting Indians to start using Paytm’s digital wallet to pay for everyday goods and services.

“It worked. By the end of 2016, Paytm had 177 million users, compared with 122 million at the beginning of the year,” Nilekani wrote. Sharma had “catapulted himself into a nation’s consciousness. It was a masterstroke by a small-town boy who studied in a Hindi medium school before conquering the country’s Anglophone startup world,” he wrote.

Paytm is now backed by the chief of China’s Alibaba, Jack Ma, and Sharma is branching out into the more heavily regulated world of banking, with plans to offer digital accounts. “He will face new challenges from deep-pocketed and more-experienced competitors. But knowing Vijay, he will win the next time around too,” his profile read. 

 

Here’s the complete list of winners from the Time

 

Biram Dah Abeid, Mauritanian politician, activist

David Adjaye, architect

Riz Ahmed, actor

Thelma Aldana, Attorney General of Guatemala

James Allison, immunologist

Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Natalie Batalha and Michaël Gillon, astronomers

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks

Margaret Atwood, novelist

Stephen Bannon, White House Chief Strategist

Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista, activist

Samantha Bee, actor, comedian

Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court

Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon

Simone Biles, gymnast

Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour, organizers, Women’s March

Jason Blum, director

Tom Brady, football player, New England Patriots

Gretchen Carlson, advocate for workplace equality, former Fox News anchor

Chance the Rapper, rapper

George Church, geneticist

James Comey, director, FBI

James Corden, host, The Late Late Show with James Corden

Viola Davis, actor

Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines

Ava DuVernay, director

Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO, Spotify

Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, Chicago Cubs

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey

Fan Bingbing, actor

Bob Ferguson, Attorney General of Washington

Melinda Gates, philanthropist

Donald Glover, actor, writer, rapper

Ashley Graham, model

Glenda Gray, physician and researcher

Kirsten Green, founder, Forerunner Ventures

Gavin Grimm, activist

Demis Hassabis, artificial intelligence pioneer

LeBron James, basketball player, Cleveland Cavaliers

Barry Jenkins, director

Leslie Jones, comedian, actor

Colin Kaepernick, football player

Alicia Keys, singer

Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of North Korea

Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser

John Legend, singer, songwriter

John Lewis, U.S. Congressman, 5th District of Georgia

Leila de Lima, Philippine opposition senator

Jean Liu, president, Didi Chuxing

Demi Lovato, singer

Barbara Lynch, chef, restaurateur

Kerry James Marshall, artist

General James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, U.S.

Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Conor McGregor, mixed martial artist

Rebekah Mercer, Republican donor

Alessandro Michele, designer, Gucci

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Neymar, soccer player

Sandra Day O'Connor, former Supreme Court Justice, founder, iCivics

Sarah Paulson, actor

Jordan Peele, actor, comedian, filmmaker

Tom Perez, chairman, Democratic National Committee

Ben Platt, actor

Pope Francis, Pontifex

Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

Ryan Reynolds, actor

Margot Robbie, actor

RuPaul, television personality

Raed Saleh, head of Syria’s White Helmets

Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia

Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator, New York

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, entrepreneur, founder, Paytm

Ed Sheeran, singer, songwriter

Cindy Sherman, photographer

Raf Simons, designer, chief creative officer, Calvin Klein

Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force

Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder, Snapchat

Emma Stone, actor

Donald Trump, President of the United States

Ivanka Trump, White House special assistant

Dr. Celina Turchi, infectious disease expert

Bernard J. Tyson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente

Hamdi Ulukaya, entrepreneur, CEO, Chobani

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, King of Thailand

Guus Velders, atmospheric chemist

Margrethe Vestager, antitrust czar, European Union

Jeanette Vizguerra, activist

Wang Qishan, senior leader, Communist Party, China

Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator, Massachusetts

Colson Whitehead, novelist

Constance Wu, actor

Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, General Secretary, Communist Party, China

Janet Yellen, chair, Federal Reserve

Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo