India may not be in the developed country’s list yet, but Indians do figure in the world’s richest. This time round there are 5 new Indian names in the Forbes world of the rich.
The list as usual is topped by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for the 21st year in a row with a net worth of $81 billion. The five Indians listed are Bharat Desai founder of outsourcing firm Syntel, John Kapoor entrepreneur, Romesh Wadhwani Symphony Technology founder, Kavitark Ram Shriram Silicon Valley angel investor and Vinod Khosla venture capitalist.
Bharat Desai- Chairman and co-founder with wife Neerja Sethi in the outsourcing firm Syntel. The firm that began as an ambitious project of these two as students in the 80’s with $2000, has now turned into a billion dollar company. An Indian engineering graduate, Bharat was born in Kenya, graduated from IIT Mumbai, worked briefly for TCS and migrated to the US to complete his MBA. In the first year of operations Syntel earned only $30,000 in revenue, but the couple’s persistence and perseverance paid off. Syntel acquired steady business after being signed on by General Motors in 1982. Since then there was no looking back. Syntel turned into a public limited co., in 1998 was recognized by Money magazine as one of the 50 top stocks to invest in; Forbes magazine listed it as no.2 in the best 200 small companies in America; ranked 29 on Individual Investor magazine’s ’98 ‘America’s fastest growing companies list; ranked 70 on Business Week’s ‘Hot growth companies list’. His net worth stands at $2 billion ranked 239 in the list.
John Kapoor – A migrant to the US in ’64, John.N.Kapoor had an innate thirst to be an entrepreneur and become big. He founded two pharmaceutical companies that became successful under his guidance. Kapoor’s is a classic case of a migrant of modest means, who was able to pursue his pharmacy studies in the US through a fellowship from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Considered a visionary in the pharmaceutical industry, Kapoor’s bulk of wealth is concentrated in Akorn Pharmaceuticals and INSYS Therapeutics. After earning his PhD in ’72, John showed his gratitude by donating $10 million to the school Mr Kapoor’s net worth is $2.5 billions! His love for US translates in the words, ‘This is the country you can do it in. Nowhere else.’
Romesh Wadhwani – An electrical engineer turned entrepreneur, Romesh landed in the US to get an MS from Carnegie Mellon, earned his PhD and joined American Robot as a CEO holding 25% of its shares. In 1995, he realized he needed to do something bigger, started Aspect Development. Later on he sold the same for $9.3 billion and went on to invest in a dozen software companies named, ‘the Symphony Group’ focusing on innovation. The dozen companies expanded to 20 with 18,000 employees all over the world and generating $3 billion in revenues. Through his Wadhwani foundation, he funds skills, talent training and entrepreneurship programs in India. He has been awarded the Forbes India Non-Resident Philanthropist Award.
Kavitark Ram Shriram- A B.Sc graduate from Loyola College, Chennai, Kavitark Ram Shriram has been the board member of Google and one of its earliest investors. Shriram has been an investor in many companies and helped many start-ups flourish. He is a founding board member of Google and (24/7 Customer). Shriram is also an investor in a global mobile ad network, InMobi, Search bid management tool Campanja and previously mKhoj. Shriram serves on the boards of StumbleUpon, Zazzle and Paperless Post. He owned 3.4 million shares of Google. As of September 2007, Shriram owned 1.7 million shares of Google. Presently his net worth stands at a whopping $1.87 billion.
Vinod Khosla – An Indian born American businessman who made his early fortune as one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems in the early 80’s. Having been enamored after reading about Intel at a young age, Vinod was inspired to dabble in technology and went to receive multiple degrees from IIT Delhi, Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford Graduate School of Business. In addition to his role in founding Sun Microsystems, Khosla has founded a number of other businesses and organizations. Khosla was also involved with the founding of Daisy Systems in 1981. His net worth $1.4 billion net worth.
News Source: Forbes, Wikipedia
Image Source: Forbes