Jayshree Ullal (left), Neerja Sethi and Neha Narkhede. (Photo credit: Twitter and LinkedIn)
Their success stories began with small investments and big dreams.
Every time a power list comes out or an Indian American success story is mentioned, typically it is the name of some of the most famous men of Indian origin.
However, alongside every big stalwart like Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella is also the success story of some Indian American women, who are making more than a dent in the glass-ceiling.
The American Bazaar, lists the top 3 richest Indian origin women in America today who are not just inspiring a new generation of immigrant women, but are changing the power dynamics in boardrooms too.
Read: Meet the three Indian American women on Forbes list of America’s Self-Made Women of 2019 (June 8, 2019)
Jayshree Ullal, Net Worth: $1.43 billion
The president and CEO of Arista Networks, Jayshree Ullal is the top most name when it comes to richest and most successful Indian origin woman in business in America today.
Ullal has the distinction of being the only Indian origin woman in the US to make it to the Forbes Billionaire Club. Ullal’s story is especially significant because her chart to success is totally self-made.
Ullal’s success story, Arista Networks is a computer networking firm headquartered in Santa Clara. Ullal was appointed the CEO of Arista Networks in 2008. Before that she had worked in Cisco for 15 years.
Ullal was also featured on Forbes 2018 list of billionaires for her net worth $1.43 billion.
Read: Entrepreneurs Neerja Sethi, Jayshree Ullal in Forbes’ list of richest self-made women in America (June 3, 2016)
The London born and Delhi raised girl, Ullal came to the US at the age of 16 as a student. She graduated in electrical engineering from San Francisco State University and did her master’s in engineering management from Santa Clara University.
Ullal got a big break in her career when Cisco Systems acquired Crescendo Communications and she was made senior vice president of Data Center & Switching.
Ullal was also the first woman to receive the Entrepreneurial and Leadership award in Silicon Valley in 1999. Ullal owns about 5% of Arista’s stock. She lives in Saratoga, California.
Neerja Sethi, Net Worth: $1 billion
The next name on the big list is Neerja Sethi. Sethi’s success story began when she cofounded IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel with her husband Bharat Desai back in 1980.
What began in the couples’ small apartment in Troy, Michigan turned into a global success story. In 2018 French IT firm Atos SE bought Syntel for $3.4 billion. Sethi got an estimated $510 million for her stake.
Sethi, who has been working as an executive at Syntel since 1980, did not join Atos after the acquisition.
Sethi and her husband worked for IT firm Tata Consulting Services and met at work. Together they tried to create a similar model. They began their venture by investing just $2,000 out of their pocket.
Read: Indian Americans Jayshree Ullal, Neerja Sethi in Forbes’ list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women for the second time (May 23, 2017)
Neha Narkhede, Net worth: $600 million
Neha Narkhede is cofounder and chief technology officer of Confluent, a streaming data technology company currently valued at $4.5 billion.
Narkhede’s first job was at Oracle, where she worked as a principal software engineer. She then joined LinkedIn as lead of streams infrastructure.
In 2011, Narkhede along with her colleagues Jun Rao and Jay Kreps created the Platform Apache Kafka. In 2014 she co-founded Confluent, a Palo Alto based startup.
She is also the co-author of the book “Kafka: The Definitive Guide.”
She along with her team at Confluent raised $125 million in 2019, bringing its total funding to $206 million in 2019.
And in April 2020, the company raised $250 million bringing its total funding to $456 million.
Pune born Narkhede studied at the University of Pune where she got her BSc degree in engineering. She did her MSc in technology from Georgia Tech.