The India Connection


Consider the following companies:

Microsoft, Google, Adobe, NetApp, Micron, Palo Alto Networks, Google Cloud, VMware, WeWork and IBM. All these are American companies. Their Market Capitalisation as on 3/Feb/2020 is:

Company NameMarket Capitalisation (US $)CEO/COO
Microsoft1.321 TSatya Nadella
Google1.02 TSundar Pichai
Adobe173.42 BShantanu Narayen
NetApp12.38 BGeorge Kurian
Micron59.85 BSanjay Mehrotra
Palo Alto Networks23.10 BNikesh Arora
Google Cloud225 BThomas Kurien
VMware62.17 BSanjay Poonen
IBM129.85 BArvind Krishna
WeWork< 5 BSandeep Mathrani

While the valuations are not surprising, the last column shows something very interesting. All these CEOs or COOs are Indians. Many reasons have been put forth for the success of Indians at the very top in Silicon Valley. The Wall Street Journal in 2015 quoted a then recent cross-cultural study from Southern New Hampshire University that examined managers from the US and India. The study found that more Indian managers achieved the highest ranking in terms of leadership traits. The same study also mentioned that Indian managers are future-oriented and had a “paradoxical blend of genuine personal humility and intense professional will. These leaders achieved extraordinary results and built great organisations without much hoopla”.

All these Indian leaders built their careers as technologists before getting into sales, marketing and management.



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