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The women in Asia who are shattering age and gender norms

Forbes and Know Your Value released it’s third annual “50 Over 50” Asia list on Tuesday.
Rashmi Verma.
Rashmi Verma.C.E. Info Systems

Women is Asia are proving the years after 50 are the new golden age.

Forbes and Know Your Value released its third annual “50 Over 50” Asia-Pacific list on Tuesday. The release comes on the heels of the “50 Over 50” U.S. list and “50 Over 50” Europe, Middle East and Africa list.

The new list features women from 14 countries and territories who work across more than two dozen sectors.

Notable list makers include:

Rashmi Verma, 67, India

Since cofounding C.E. Info Systems in 1995 Verma has helped map nearly 18 million locations and 6.6 million kilometers of roads countrywide. The $1.4 billion company (market cap) behind navigation app Mappls, the Delhi-based firm—better known as MapmyIndia—provides users with directions, traffic updates and poor road conditions. The consumer app is free, with over 10 million downloads, although Mappls also licenses its data and software to automotive, banking and e-commerce clients.

Customer numbers grew over 40% in the past fiscal year, while revenue and net profit nearly doubled to 2.8 billion rupees ($34 million) and 1.1 billion rupees, respectively, in the two years ending March 2023. “We are bringing out better products by incorporating newer tech,” says Verma, including drone services and Traffic AI, a way to convert movement data to traffic analytics.

Verma studied chemical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee and has a master’s in operations research and computer science from Eastern Washington University. Before launching the company with her husband, Rakesh, Verma worked as a systems engineer and database specialist at IBM.

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Saalumarada Thimmakka, 112, India

Thimmakka is lovingly referred to as the “mother of trees.” Diagnosed with infertility at 40, a humble initiative to build a legacy with her husband grew into planting over 8,000 trees in India, including 385 banyan trees lining the highway between Hulikal and Kudur. Thimmakka’s environmental dedication earned her India’s National Citizens Award in 1995 and a Certificate of Honour from the World Book of Records in 2022. Despite widespread recognition, she lived in poverty until the Karnataka State government built her a house in 2014.

Kylie Minogue, 55, Australia?

Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue in London, on Sept.18, 2023. Dave Benett / Getty Images

Minogue, the Australian pop icon, became the first woman over 50 to crack the UK’s Radio 1 Playlist. Her 2024 Grammy-nominated single, “Padam Padam,” topped the UK charts, marking her first No 1 in over a decade. Featured in her 2023 album, “Tension,” the song sparked debate from Radio 1 and Capital over its merit and target audience, which were called ageist and sexist. However, Minogue’s devoted LGBTQ+ fanbase declared it the 2023 summer anthem, generating viral TikTok content. Minogue is a Grammy-winning artist with over 80 million album sales.

Lisa Lu, 96, China

Lisa Lu
Lisa Lu in Hollywood, Calif., on Feb.24, 2019.Greg Doherty / Getty Images

Lu, a Chinese-born actress, boasts a five-decade-long cinematic career, starring in over 300 films, plays and TV shows across Eastern and Western stages. She became the first from the Chinese mainland to conquer Hollywood and the inaugural Chinese member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Lu has garnered accolades, including three Golden Horse Awards and the 2019 Outstanding Achievement in Cinema honor at The Asian Awards. Lu remains vibrant, contributing to a 2022 documentary and voicing a role in the 2023 animated comedy “Rally Road Racers.”

Click here to see the entire “50 Over 50” Asia-Pacific list.

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