Eight Indian CEOs have made it to the list of 100 global chief executives, compiled by Harvard Business Review (HBR), with ITC's Y C Deveshwar and late Subir Raha of ONGC finding a place in the top 20.
Mr Deveshwar was first among the Indian CEOs featured in this list, and cornered the seventh place overall.
Under his leadership, ITC delivered industry-adjusted shareholder returns of 1,574 per cent and saw its value increase by $45 billion.
The other Indians on the list include late Subir Raha of ONGC, at 13th place, ahead of Reliance Industries' Mukesh Ambani who was ranked 28th.
Larsen and Toubro's A M Naik was ranked 32nd, followed by BHEL's A K Puri (38), Bharti Airtel's Sunil Bharti Mittal (65), Jindal Steel and Power's Naveen Jindal (87) and Steel Authority of India's V S Jain (89).
Meanwhile, the best-performing CEO over the past 17 years globally was Steve Jobs of Apple. From 1997 to 2011, Apple's market value increased by $359 billion, and its shareholder return experienced average compound annual growth of 35 per cent.
"That remarkable accomplishment is likely to go unbeaten for a long time," HBR said. Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com was at the second place.
Others in the top 10 include, Samsung Electronics' Yun Jong-Yong (3rd), followed by Vale's Roger Agnelli (4), Gilead Sciences' John C Martin (5), Hyundai Motor Company's Chung Mong-Koo (6), ITC's Y C Deveshwar (7), Simon Property Group's David Simon (8), eBay's Margaret C Whitman (9) and Cisco Systems John T Chambers (10).
The highest-ranked woman on the list is Meg Whitman, currently the CEO of beleaguered HP, whose performance as the CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008 earned her the 9th spot.
Interestingly, overall, only 1.9 per cent of all the CEOs studied were women.
The HBR 100 best performing CEOs in the world list, assessed the long-term performance of each CEO, from the first day on the job to the last and for CEOs still in office, until August 31, 2012.
The list accessed how much total shareholder returns had changed over the tenure of the respective CEO, and the overall increase in market capitalisation.
Harvard Business Review said, "Our goal was to implement a scorecard that would not only get people talking about long-term performance but also alter the way that boards, executives, consultants, and management scholars thought about and assessed CEOs."
HBR further noted: "We wanted this innovation to shine a spotlight on the CEOs worldwide who had created long-term value for their companies, and we wanted to give executives around the world critical benchmarks they could aim for."