Indians, Indians everywhere. From chairing the top seats in international financial institutions to multi-billion tech companies, we Indians are present everywhere. Parag Agrawal, the newly appointed CEO of Twitter might be the new person to make us Indians proud of his achievement, but as you probably knew already, he isn’t the only one. Heck, even Kamala Harris, the Vice President of the United States is an Indian-of-descent American.
Now you may quote Ernst Georg Ravenstein’s Laws of Migration or lament on brain drain or lack of opportunities in the country, the fact of the matter is that the following figures are great minds in key influential positions. Also with their commitment, hard work, and interpersonal traits, they all have made their way to the top. So, with reverence, let’s take a look at some of these CEOs of the Indian diaspora.
Top Tech CEOs of Indian origin
1. Parag Agrawal: Twitter
Parag Agrawal replaced Jack Dorsey as the new CEO on November 29, 2021. Mr. Agrawal has a bachelor’s degree in engineering in computer science from IIT Mumbai. Further, he has also done Ph.D. in Psychology from The University of Stanford. Prior to joining Twitter in 2011, he had done research internships at Microsoft, AT&T and Yahoo. Although he joined as an ads engineer, he steadily climbed the ladder to become the CTO of the company in 2018. He has been primarily responsible for enhancing the relevancy of tweets on the users’ timelines with help of strategies in AI and Machine Learning.
On his resignation announcement, Dorsey said, “The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag. He’s been my choice for some time, given how deeply he understands the company and its needs. Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. He’s curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware, and humble. He leads with heart and soul and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone deep.”
2. Satya Nadella: Microsoft
Satyanarayana Nadella, better known as Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft (since 2014 after succeeding Steve Ballmer) and executive chairman (since 2021). He has his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka, M.S. in computer science at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Before joining Microsoft, he worked as a member of technology staff at Sun Microsystems.
3. Sundar Pichai: Google
Pichai Sundararajan, better known as Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Google (since 2015), and later it’s parent company Alphabet (since 2019). His academic achievements include bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from IIT Kharagpur, an M.S. in materials science and engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He shortly worked as a materials engineer at McKinsey & Co. He joined Google in 2004 and played a significant role in the development and evolution of popular Google suite of products like Chrome, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Maps, and operating systems like Chrome OS and Android.
4. Shantanu Narayen: Adobe
Shantanu Narayen joined Adobe in 1998 and after being the company’s president and COO in 2005, he progressed to the role of CEO of the company in 2007. His illustrous career also includes senior management posts in Apple between the period of 1989 to 1995. But before moving to the US for his higher education and subsquent jobs, he had done bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from University College of Engineering, Osmania University in Hyderabad. By the way, he is also a master in computer science from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and an MBA from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.
5. Arvind Krishna: IBM
Arvind Krishna has been the CEO (since 2020) and Chairman (since 2021) of IBM. He had his BTech degree in electrical engineering from IIT Kanpur, followed by a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois. He begun his career at IBM in 1990 and over the years he has held various important roles in the company dealing in IT systems, cloud computing, AI, quantum computing, and blockchain.
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So, finally, here’s a summary of names mentioned above:
And these are few other Indian-origin tech CEOs worth noting:
- Rajeev Suri: Nokia
- Punit Renjen: Deloitte
- Ajaypal “Ajay” Singh Banga: Mastercard
- Niraj S. Shah: Wayfair
- Sanjay Mehrotra: Micron
- George Kurian: NetApp
- Nikesh Arora: Palo Alto Networks
- Dinesh C. Paliwal: Harman International Industries
- Sandeep Mathrani: WeWork