At the end of the last century, Bangalore became synonymous with Indian software. It’s not entirely outlandish to think that Indians may become synonymous with American start-ups. Already, according to Google’s Eric Schmidt, around 40 per cent of start-ups in California’s Silicon Valley are run by people of Indian backgrounds.
One reason for this predominance is that Indians have the highest incomes of any group of American immigrants, and can secure elite, high-tech US educations. Similarly rigorous educations can be acquired in India at places like the Indian Institutes of Technology, modelled on MIT and established by India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. But perhaps there is another, subtler reason for the rise of Indians in IT—one that takes us back 2,500 years, to the original nerd.