Meet desis who rule the tech world

Silicon Valley is full of Indian engineers who started out with a humble background but went on to helm some of the world’s top tech firms.

New Delhi | Updated: 17 February, 2023 7:07 pm IST

Neal Mohan on Thursday joined an exhausting list of Indian-Americans dominating the global technology leadership space as he took over as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of YouTube.

Mohan’s elevation from YouTube’s chief product officer to the helm has put him in the elite club of India-origin legends like Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Arvind Krishna, and Shantanu Narayen.

Mohan is a 1996 computer science graduate from Stanford University and a master’s degree holder in business administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

He started his career at Accenture in 1996 and later joined a startup called NetGravity which was later purchased by Internet advertising firm DoubleClick. He became a part of Google when DoubleClick was acquired by the Internet giant in 2007 for USD 3.1 billion. He quickly rose through the ranks at Google.

The meteoric rise of the majority of these technology CEOs is nothing short of awe-inspiring and offers typical rags-to-riches stories. Let’s have a look at other Indians ruling the world of technology.

Mohan’s boss, Google parent Alphabet Inc CEO Sundar Pichai, is a shining star among top Indian-American business leaders in Silicon Valley. An IIT Kharagpur graduate, Pichai is created by launching many unique products and services of the Internet giant, like the Google Chrome browser.

Satya Narayana Nadella, another India-born CEO who has been at the helm of Microsoft, oversaw the company’s cloud and enterprise group, which was responsible for building and running its computing platforms. Born in Hyderabad, he joined Microsoft in 1992 and quickly became known as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of Microsoft’s biggest product offerings. Nadella took over as Microsoft CEO in 2014 and as its chairman in 2021. He is a futurist, which is manifested in his decision to invest heavily in OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT.

Another example of India’s tech prowess is Arvind Krishna who heads IBM. As a business leader and technologist, he has led the building and expansion of new markets for IBM in artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing, and blockchain. A product of IIT-Kanpur, he has also played a significant role in the development of innovative products and solutions based on these emerging technologies.

Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of the software company Adobe, is yet another inspiration for Indian techies. A graduate of electronics engineering from Hyderabad’s Osmania University, Narayen has steered Adobe to achieve record revenue and industry recognition for its inclusive, innovative and exceptional workplace. He holds five patents.

Other prominent names on the list are Vimeo chief Anjali Sud, Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan, FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam, VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram, and Palo Alto chief Nikesh Arora.

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