Satya Nadella and the factors feeding Indian executives’ rise in America


By Parveen Chopra

The headline grabbing news of Satya Nadella taking over as CEO of Microsoft has also underscored the exceptional success of Indian Americans in technology and management.

Just like every inventor stands on the shoulders of numerous others before him who made  incremental but small improvements and innovations in a certain field, the Hyderabad-born Nadella walking into the shoes once occupied by Bill Gates has indeed come about at a time when many, many other Indian Americans have already broken through the glass ceiling in diverse fields from politics to entertainment, technology in particular.

That one other frontrunner for heading the world’s biggest software company was Sundar Pichai, senior vice president, Android, Chrome & Apps, at Google, reflects the available pool of Indian talent already populating the higher echelons of management. Take Google, where its 13-member management team has three other Indians besides Pichai. The pattern is repeated in company after technology company like Cisco, where Padmasree Warrior  is CTO, and Intel. Not surprising then that the distinction of becoming the first chief technology officer of US went to an Indian American, Aneesh Chopra, who served from 2009-2012.

So what is the secret of success of Indians in hi-tech and management?

The large number of Indians who moved to the US for higher education in the past couple of decades have risen up the ranks, and in some cases rapidly because they came with the excellent background of institutions like the IITs. Crucially, in the recent years they have been able to break the stereotype that they only made good low-level programmers and engineers but were not capable of becoming managers — certainly not CEOs.

So how was the Rubicon crossed?  Vivek Wadhwa, an academic-entrepreneur and commentator on the rise of Indians in America, ventured some answers in a recent interview with Bloomberg TV and in op-eds. In Silicon Valley, which is a giant network and fiercely competitive, Indians succeeded by playing by the rules of engagement, he proffers. They supported each other — to the extent of providing seed funding to others of their community — and offered mentorship. They were not averse to taking risks. Many became visible, vocal role models. Some early tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists like Vinod Khosla, Vinod Dham, Kanwal Rekhi and Gurbaksh Chahal are legends – and not just in the Indian community. Today, Indians, who constitute only 6 per cent of the working population of Silicon Valley, the most innovative enclave on earth, start roughly 15 per cent of its companies. Indians also account for 16 per cent all startups nationally in America.

That Microsoft had no senior Indian executives until the 1990s and had to tap Nadella now to lead it at a time when its core market — the Personal Computer — is shrinking, chipped away by tablets and smart phones predominantly running on Android and iOS, shows the transformation of the business landscape in America.

Wadhwa recounts the story of Vijay Vashee, who when inducted into Microsoft in 1982 was just one of two Indians at the 160-person company. Over the years it added several more Indian recruits, mostly IITians, but they held low-level technical positions (now we call them techies). Vashee became the first Indian to break through Microsoft’s glass ceiling in 1988 when he was named general manager for the Microsoft Project. In 1992, he was asked to head the fledgeling PowerPoint Division and helped grow it from a $100 million to a billion dollar business.

Not to be discounted is the cascading effect from India. Almost every tech major has set up an R&D centre in India, whose tech talent was thrown into sharp relief starting with the Y2K scare of 2000-2001.  Many of these R&D centers have become key hubs for those companies, enabling movement of technology executives between India and the US headquarters.

“India has become a breeding ground for global talent. Just over the past two weeks we were discussing how to create more global leaders out of here,” Sarv Saravanan, senior vice president and MD of EMC India’s R&D Centre was quoted as saying in a recent report in an Indian financial daily. EMC Corporation is the USD 22-billion data storage, analytics and cloud computing company.

Globally now the Indian way of management is also winning accolades. There was a time when Britain’s Prince Philip, while touring a factory near Edinburgh in 2002, said that a fuse box was so crude it “looked as though it had been put in by an Indian”. Fast forward to 2014. Lord John Prescott, former British deputy prime minister between 1997 and 2007, in an article praised Tata Motors’ turnaround of Jaguar / Land Rover to expose the inadequacy of managerial ability in Britain, which had much to learn from the “Indian Way” of doing business. He supported his argument by referring to Nadella’s appointment. “Satya didn’t hold a press conference to tell everyone how great he was. He held discussions with his employees about the Indian Way. It is meant to give companies a ‘broader social purpose’,” he said

Truth be told, Satya Nadella is a perfect fit for the job. The 47-year-old who has been with Microsoft for 22 years was heading the fast-growing and highly profitable enterprise-computing unit. In the last fiscal year, his division generated USD 8.2 billion in operating income (about a third of Microsoft Corporation’s total income) and revenues of USD 20.3 billion (about a fourth of the total revenue of the company).  He is well placed to lead the company in an era of cloud computing.

Nadella, for now, has surpassed all other Indian executives in terms of influence and prestige by becoming the most powerful Indian-born tech executive in the world. But the trail  was blazed by some other high profile CEOs — Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo),  Ajay Banga (MasterCard), and Anshu Jain (Deutsche Bank), to name  a few.

  • dev

    Not IIT .its Manipal institute of technology

  • Satish Chandra

    You can only chant Har Har Satish Chandra because Satish Chandra is an Avatar of Shiva.

    A professor of philosophy at New York’s Baruch College once sat down opposite me in Au Bon Pain café in Harvard Square and the first words he said to me were “Maybe you are an Avatar”. Was there something so extra-ordinary in my appearance that made him say that? Others have said similar things. In view of the paragraph below, what they say seems to have some merit. Let us take what they say seriously. Let the word go out that Satish Chandra is an Avatar (Incarnation) and India’s legitimate ruler. Let the Congress, BJP and AAP match that! (Jan 9 ‘14) A couple hours after I sent the above, a post on Bharat-Rakshak said “There is indeed a God looking after India”. Well, you have to obey God, sing his praises and celebrate the life of an Avatar. This Avatar has already said that Americans deserve to be killed as ruthlessly as fecal bacteria; you are yet to arrest American consular staff — and ambassador — who helped someone with criminal charges against him flee Indian justice. There is an absolute ban on Bharat-Rakshak against taking the name of this Avatar or singing his praises. This is no way to win God’s favor./ Immediately upon my reference to arresting the American ambassador, the Americans gave diplomatic immunity to the Indian diplomat and let her fly home the same day (Jan 9 ‘14). Now let us deal with the Americans’ crimes against this Avatar (paragraph below).

    The United States has successfully delayed by about thirty years the development of India’s cryogenic engine — a tiny example of incomparably greater sabotage: “”India’s greatest scientist and greatest living Indian publicly tortured in Harvard seminar, systematically and totally starved for up to 3 weeks at a time, made semi-starved and homeless and even blind for years, kept under 24-hour audio and video surveillance as well as surveillance of [and interference with] communications and electrical typewriter and computer use, document creation and photocopying, etc., by satellite for more than past 3 decades, systematically harassed and in poverty and neutralised and robbed of his work at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, robbed of crores in his money and property in India by C.I.A.-RAW, forced back into exile in the U.S., all with full cooperation and participation of India’s RAW and India’s C.I.A.-RAW-controlled prime ministers, politicians and media — to keep India poor, weak and enslaved” and how this means the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States; see my blog titled ‘Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.’ which can be found by a Yahoo/Google search with the title; my biography can be found in Marquis’ Who’s Who in the World, 2014 and earlier editions.” One nuclear explosion on Ramlila Grounds where the uninformed masses gather by the hundreds of thousands at the rallies of Kejriwal, Modi, etc. will take care of their popular support but, instead, one nuclear explosion on RAW headquarters and one on South Block – North Block will destroy traitors, including Kejriwal, sponsored by CIA-RAW while it suppresses Satish Chandra who can make India the supreme military and economic power in the world immediately by destroying Washington and New York simultaneously with RAW headquarters, South Block and North Block with a warning that additional U.S. cities will be destroyed if there is any retaliation or sign of retaliation; his proposal about money will make India the most prosperous nation in the world within about ten years but it will be militarily dominant immediately on the destruction of Washington and New York and will be able to dictate in economic matters also immediately on the destruction of Washington and New York such as by having Americans work as slave labor for India — although the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States will take precedence over having Americans work as slave labor; I have shown that Americans deserve to be killed as ruthlessly as fecal bacteria. With its nuclear warheads emplaced in Washington, New York and other U.S. cities, India has the means right now to make all U.S. presidents — past and present — present themselves in India to be whipped and hanged, by warning that Washington and New York will be destroyed if the U.S. fails to obey and additional U.S. cities will be destroyed if there is any retaliation. Filthy niggers of the Indian government such as the Commerce and Industry Minister and the Foreign Minister insist on putting “the extremely valuable partnership” with the United States above all else; they have a partnership with the United States in raping Mother India — they pull apart and hold open the entrances to the cavities of Mother India which the United States then rapes. They deserve death even more than Ratan Tata about whom I wrote: “Ratan Tata should be whipped and hanged for giving $50 million to Harvard University where the world’s greatest scientist was publicly tortured for being an Indian and to keep India poor, weak and enslaved”. I have described — IndiasLegitimateRulerSatishChandraDOTblogspotDOTcom — the war waged with the help of 24-hour satellite surveillance for the past 37 years against the only Indian who is an obstacle to the Americans’ rape of India.

    Arun Jaitley, “with five families of relatives to visit between Washington and New York”, has no business being an Indian legislator. On having his son hired by the Washington Post, becoming a servant of India’s enemies, Shashi Tharoor tweeted himself a “very proud father” but was not thrown out of the Cabinet for this. The deaths of Rajiv and Indira did not matter, only the crimes against Satish Chandra matter. Both participated in the CIA’s crimes against me and both were killed by CIA-RAW because of my influence on them. I was the target in killing them; they themselves did not matter. Nehru was a lifelong British agent, Indira and Rajiv worked for the CIA and so do all Indian politicians and filthy criminals of the media, deserving to be machine-gunned and bulldozed into trenches, or the top dozen or so stories in the Indian media on any given day will be about Satish Chandra. To avoid being killed by CIA-RAW, Rajiv’s son now (on Feb 26 ‘14) made an incredibly stupid and treasonous statement “What superpower? I will rather make a woman safe in a bus” to show to CIA-RAW that he is NOT under my influence and will not entertain any thought of making India a superpower and will keep India poor, weak and enslaved. Narendra Modi should be whipped and hanged for giving a bouquet of roses to an American diplomat in exchange for a strip search and cavity search of an Indian diplomat. After my reference to Advani as Home Minister being forced, with the threat of being prosecuted for Babri Masjid demolition, to visit CIA headquarters and make the Home Ministry participate in the CIA’s crimes against me, CIA-RAW threatened Modi with prosecution for the killing of Muslims in 2002 and so today (Feb 27 ‘14) “Modi signals shift in favour of big retail”, that is Walmart, etc., reversing the BJP’s stand — while acknowledging this will harm him politically — and urging Indians to embrace foreign ownership and control of India and other BJP politicians, such as Arun Jaitley, have joined in this treasonous deal with CIA-RAW; CIA-RAW dictates — with the threat of killing in the case of Rajiv’s son and threat of prosecution in the case of Modi — what Indian politicians do and say, not India’s or the politicians’ own interests. P. Chidambaram should be whipped and hanged for speaking positively about Harvard University where the world’s greatest scientist and greatest Indian of all time was publicly tortured for being an Indian. The Italian woman and son should be whipped and hanged for participating in crimes against him with the help of the CIA’s 24-hour satellite surveillance of him for the past 37 years. Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee should be whipped and hanged for associating with CIA-RAW agent Hazare, a follower of M. K. Gandhi who was a lifelong British agent and a homosexual who wrote to his white master “How completely you have taken possession of my body; it is slavery with a vengeance”. You do not shake hands with any representative of a country whose population will be made to eat one another till no one remains alive. Filthy niggers Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram and Raghuram Rajan made India a beggar and slave at the G-20 urging “advanced nations, like the US, to take heed of countries vulnerable to the stimulus withdrawal” and “advanced nations must recognise the impact of their monetary policy decisions on other economies and “be prepared to act if things get out of kilter” “. Why? Because “The reduction in stimulus, known as tapering, may affect capital flows to emerging markets and impact their currencies”. Why do you want to give ownership and control of India to foreign enemies when India has all the investment capital it wants by simply printing the money which is what the U.S. is doing stealing my proposal about money — see ‘How India’s Economy Can Grow 30% Per Year or More’ : HowIndiasEconomyCanGrowDOTblogspotDOTcom ? These filthy niggers Manmohan Singh and Raghuram Rajan must also be whipped and hanged along with filthy niggers Amartya Sen, Subramanian Swamy — who were both brought to Harvard and one of them given a Nobel prize expressly to provide cover for the crimes against me — and anyone else in public life you can think of. It is not too late to whip and hang filthy niggers Vajpayee and George Fernandes both of whom have been faking illness and an inability to speak to avoid answering questions about their participation in the CIA’s crimes against me. Nor is it too late to whip and hang filthy nigger Ram Jethmalani, who was also brought to Harvard to provide cover for crimes against me and rewarded with a half a million dollar per year law practice and filthy nigger L. K Advani who, while Home Minister, was brought, under pain of being prosecuted for the Babri Masjid demolition, to C.I.A. Headquarters to make India’s Home Ministry a participant in the C.I.A.’s crimes against me. Filthy nigger Kejriwal wants to provide a few services at lower rates but my proposal about money shows how to provide all goods and services free of charge to everyone. Filthy nigger M. Karunanidhi should be whipped and hanged; he was having Indian currency printed in China with the help of the Reserve Bank of India chief to provide some freebies to the people of Tamil Nadu as I described in my press releases but kept the crimes against me covered up otherwise everything could be provided free of charge to everyone in India. Filthy nigger Jayalalitha should be whipped and hanged for saying she has a vision for India but keeping quiet about the crimes against me because of which India will remain poor, weak and enslaved despite her vision. The filthy niggers that are India’s Supreme Court judges should be whipped and hanged for participating in CIA-RAW’s crimes against me and India by claiming to have lost the papers of a lawsuit I filed after duly acknowledging it as a front page lead report in New York’s News India-Times described two decades ago. I have described RAW’s trafficking of Indian children to Israel to be used as food — RAWsTraffickingOfIndianChildrenDOTblogspotDOTcom — and said that “The Jews’ fondness for human flesh is far easier sated on Indians than on those around them. Thousands of missing children from India end up in Israeli kitchens and it costs them less than goat meat … When the Congress Party president and her son spent a number of days in Switzerland recently [in 2011] taking care of their black money there, they were told in no uncertain terms by the Jewish bankers that their ability to keep their black money hidden depended on the continuation of the trafficking of Indians for food. Both the Congress Party president and her son had to partake of such food with their bankers to seal the agreement”. I have also described the torture and killing of the children so their skins can be made into shoes and handbags. The above state of affairs cannot be changed except by India’s nuclear forces simultaneously destroying Washington, New York, RAW headquarters, South Block and North Block which they must do without delay, with a warning that additional U.S. cities will be destroyed, with nuclear warheads already emplaced in them, if there is any retaliation or sign of retaliation. It is important for Pakistan’s media to inform the world about this so no one will think the nuclear explosions in New Delhi were caused by Pakistan and for Russian media to inform the world about this so no one will think the nuclear explosions in Washington and New York were caused by Russia. Regardless of what Pakistan and Russia do, India’s nuclear forces are putting India in grave danger and committing suicide by not obeying Satish Chandra and triggering the warheads. Russia and the U.S. can destroy the other but will be destroyed in return but India can destroy the U.S. without being destroyed.



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