IN the beginning there was disaster. When engineering student Rajesh Soin arrived in the US in 1969, the airline lost his bags and he had just 25 cents in his pocket. In the beginning there was hardship, too. High schooler Amar G. Bose sustained his family during World War II by repairing radios from the basement of his family home in suburban Philadelphia. And some beginnings were marked by quirky brilliance. While at Case Western University, Shailesh Mehta cracked a century-old mathematical puzzle. The achievement was credited to him by open-mouthed professors as his dissertation.
Others were marked by plenty of cheek. Ashok Trivedi and partner Sunil Wadhwani let the world imagine they were running a multi-million dollar business from a 10 by 10 ft office where they played boss, secretary, janitor and typist to each other.
With the beginning came responsibility for some. Young Venkee Sharma found himself inheriting his father's company when the latter died, barely 10 years after setting it up.
All those tentative beginners are today movers and shakers in the world of US business. Corporate jets have replaced airlines, logo-bearing flags flutter over the manicured lawns of company headquarters and a quarter would be handy, at best, to toss to decide between the Ferrari and the Lamborghini.
The fields they've made their mark in differ vastly, but they have one thing in common: they are interested in sharing their success—or attaining more, depending on which way you look at it—with the country of their origin. Almost all have now made tentative forays into post-liberalisation India.
FROM his gleaming offices atop a hill known simply as The Mountain in Framingham, Massachusetts, Dr Amar Bose oversees the research, assemblage and production of high-profile, high-quality stereophonic...