Years ago, when Swami Vivekananda took the entire world by a storm with his oratory skills, it set the ball rolling on Indians who would dominate in every sphere their sheer grit, hard work, and persistence.
In the last decade or so, we have seen umpteen examples of how Indians have proved that nothing can stop them. From Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams to Satya Nadella and Indira Nooyi – we have done it all.
Here’s a list of Indians who call the shots the world over:
1. Satya Nadella, Microsoft
It’s hard to be alive in this time and not know about Satya Nadella, the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft. Born in Hyderabad, Nadella graduated from Manipal Institute of Technology in 1988.
Nadella said he ‘always wanted to build things’ and that ‘electrical engineering was a great way for me to go discover what turned out to become a passion.’
2. Indira Nooyi, PepsiCo
Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi is one of the powerhouses in the FMCG world. She is the current Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, the second-largest food and beverage business in the world by net revenue. She is constantly ranked amongst most powerful women in the world.
Nooyi was born in Chennai and graduated from Madras Christian College in 1974. She later went to IIM Calcutta and Yale to pursue her post-graduate degree.
3. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Systems
Born and brought up in Hyderabad, Shantanu started his career at Apple. He is currently the CEO of Adobe Systems and on the board of the Adobe Foundation. Shantanu completed his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. He has also been named on a list of ” TopGun CEOs” by Brendan Wood International.
4. Ajay Banga, Mastercard
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT AHMEDABAD – IIMA
The current president and CEO of MasterCard, Ajaypal Singh Banga was born in Pune and worked his way up the corporate ladder. He was appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve as a Member of the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Hailing from an Army background, Banga studied in Secunderabad, Jalandhar, Delhi, Hyderabad and in Shimla. He is also the younger brother of M. S. Banga, a senior partner at the private equity fund Clayton Dubilier & Rice.
5. Sundar Pichai, Google
Sundar Pichai needs no introduction; yet, we will tell you that the current the CEO of Google Inc. was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu and grew up in Chennai. He earned his degree from IIT Kharagpur and later went to Stanford for M.S. Pichai joined Google in 2004, and with his incredible product management skills, scaled up the ladder to become CEO.
6. Sanjay Jha, Global Foundries
The current CEO of Global Foundries, Sanjay Jha was previously CEO of Motorola Mobility and Qualcomm. He hails from Bihar and holds a PhD in Electronics Engineering from the University of Strathclyde.
7. Ajit Jain, Berkshire Hathaway Insurance
Born in Orissa, Ajit Jain graduated from IIT Kharagpur with a BTech degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked for a couple of years before joining Harvard for his MBA. With little knowledge in the insurance sector, Jain joined Warren Buffett’s company in 1986 and worked his way up the ladder.
8. Ivan Menezes, Diageo
The current CEO of Diageo, Ivan Manuel Menezes comes from a family of achievers. His father, Manuel Menezes, was the chairman of the Indian Railway Board and his brother Victor Menezes is the former chairman and CEO of Citibank.
Ivan was born in Pune and studied at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
9. Dinesh Paliwal, Harman Industries
Dinesh Paliwal’s passport indicates that he is truly a citizen of the world with a career that has spanned Australia, China, India, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States. Dinesh was born in Agra and studied at University of Roorkee (now Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee). Paliwal has also served on the board of several organizations around the world.
10. Rakesh Kapoor, Reckitt Benckiser
The current CEO of Reckitt Benckiser plc, Rakesh Kapoor was born in Bareilly and educated at Modern School, New Delhi. He joined Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, for his B.E and later went to XLRI for his MBA. Kapoor joined Reckitt Benckiser in 1987 and worked in multiple roles in the organization before reaching where he is today.
11. Francisco D’Souza, Cognizant
Born in Kenya, Francisco D’Souza, also known as Frank, is of Indian origin. He is currently the CEO of Cognizant and was also part of a team that founded NASDAQ-100. He was appointed Cognizant’s CEO in 2007 and has retained that position ever since. He is also serving as the independent director on the board of General Electric since 2013.
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