Parag Agrawal is the latest feather in the cap of the Indian diaspora at the highest echelons in the silicon valley of the USA. Silicon Valley is a region in USA's California State which is the biggest hub for global technology and innovation. As the Indian diaspora moves to the USA, mostly due to the jobs in the Information technology sector, it ends up in Silicon Valley. Some of the outperformers rise up and grab the CEO and other high job positions in these companies.
Here is the list of 5 such influential Indians, who have made it big in the Silicon Valley -
1. Parag Agrawal - CEO - Twitter
Parag Agrawal has recently been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Twitter. He has now become the youngest CEO to lead a tech giant. Born in Ajmer, Parag moved to Mumbai because of his father's job and later studied software engineering at IIT Bombay.
He went to Stanford, from where he completed his Ph.D. He worked at Microsoft and Yahoo and held leadership positions before joining Twitter in 2011. He was promoted to the post of Chief Technology Officer.
On 29th November 2021, Twitter co-Founder and then CEO announced his resignation, immediately after which the appointment of Agrawal was announced. At 37, Parag is also the youngest CEO in Fortune 500 companies.
2. Satya Nadella - Executive Chairman - CEO - Microsoft
Satya Nadella was announced as the CEO of Microsoft on 4th February 2014 and was the third CEO of Microsoft after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. A graduate of Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka, Nadella moved to the US to pursue M.S. in computer science at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He worked at Sun Microsystems before joining Microsoft in 1992.
Nadella has been credited for helping bring Microsoft's database, Windows Server and developer tools to its Azure cloud.
He also serves on the board of directs of Starbucks and on the board of trustees of the University of Chicago and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Sundar Pichai - CEO - Google and Alphabet
Sundar Pichai serves as the CEO of Alphabet Inc. the parent company of Google and Google itself. Born in Madras, Pichai went to IIT Kharagpur to study metallurgical engineering.
After moving to the United States, he attained an M.S. from Stanford University in materials science and engineering and further attained an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Pichai was chosen to become the next CEO of Google on August 10, 2015, after he previously made a stride by getting appointed to the position of Product Chief. The then CEO Larry Page himself promoted Pichai. On October 24, 2015, he stepped into the new position at the completion of the formation of Alphabet Inc., the parent company which holds google and its other acquired companies.
Shantanu Narayen - CEO - Adobe Inc.
Shantanu Narayan has been the chairman, president, and chief executive officer (CEO) of Adobe Inc. since December 2007.
Narayen grew up in Hyderabad, India where he attended Hyderabad Public School. He pursued electrical engineering from University College of Engineering, Osmania University in Hyderabad.
He then moved to the United States to complete his education, and in 1986 received a master's degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. In 1993 he also received an MBA from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.
Working in Measurex Automation Systems, a startup and then moving to companies like Apple, he finally found himself in Adobe, where he later rose ranks to become the CEO.
In 2018, Narayen was ranked #12 on Fortune's "Businessperson of the Year" list and in 2019, the Indian government gave him the Padma Shri award.
Ro Khanna - US Congressman
(Official US Congressman Portrait)
Last but not the least, Ro Khanna is unlike any other person in this list. While others are at the administration apex of tech giants, Ro Khanna is the political representative of this hi-tech 17th congressional district of Silicon Valley.
Khanna(45) identifies himself as a progressive capitalist and is, unlike others in this list, a second-generation American. His grandfather Amarnath Vidyalankar, was an Indian member of Parliament, social worker and journalist. His father, an IIT graduate moved to the US to study at the University of Michigan.
Ro has been an active contributor to America's technology legislations and developments. His contribution in the Internet Bill of Rights in America after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, vision for bringing meaningful tech jobs to rural and small-town America and bids for schemes like complete penetration of optical fiber coverage in America makes him a key player in the field of technology, for the entire world.