The first name that comes to mind when you think of Indian origin CEO is Indra Nooyi, ex PepsiCo. She was our generation’s role model as a successful Desi woman in her corporate career, as a daughter, mother, wife, and mentor – she wore various hats and still shone like ever.
In the last two decades, we’ve seen women rise to new heights in their career especially in the Corporate, Tech and Entrepreneurial world. Four Indian Origin women have been named by Forbes among America’s top 50 female technology moguls in 2018.
Warrior, former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Cisco and NIO helped Cisco grow in influence through acquisitions. The innovation pro has also been busy joining the boards of Microsoft and Spotify Warrior still finds the time to mentor other women in the tech industry, stay in touch with her 1.6 million Twitter followers and follow a nightly meditation routine. A Cornell-trained engineer, she believes a STEM education informs creativity: “Increasingly it’s not about knowing all the answers but asking the right questions and figuring out how to get the right answer.”
As a senior director at Uber, Komal Mangtani heads Business Intelligence, tracking customer service as well as financial interactions bolstering its $7.5 billion revenue. Previously, she served as vice president of engineering at Box, leading both the frontend and backend teams at the storage and productivity platform. At VMWare, she led product development on its cloud service products. Currently, she serves on the board of Women Who Code and led Uber’s $1.2 billion donation and partnership with Girls Who Code to increase access to computer science.
Neha Narkhede is cofounder and chief technology officer of Confluent, a streaming data technology company currently valued at $2.5 billion. As a LinkedIn software engineer, she helped develop Apache Kafka to handle the networking site’s huge influx of data. In 2014, she and two LinkedIn colleagues founded Confluent to build tools for companies using Apache Kafka, which became open source in 2011. The company raised $125 million in January 2019 in a round led by Sequoia Capital, bringing its total funding to $206 million. It counts Goldman Sachs, Netflix and Uber as customers.
Indra Nooyi, an Indian-origin American executive who hails from Chennai is ex Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. Nooyi’s name appeared in the list of 50 women to watch in 2007 and 2008, according to a survey conducted by Wall Street Journal. She was one among Time’s list of 100 most influential people in the world and she also bagged the top position of most powerful woman in business, by a ranking done by Forbes (2009 and 2010). According to Nooyi, ”Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization. I’ve never forgotten that.” Nooyi joined the company PepsiCo in the year 1994 and was appointed to the post of CFO in 2001. She rose to the position of CEO in 2007 and has been contributing a major share in the development of the company for more than a decade. Nooyi completed graduation from Madras Christian College and post graduation in Management from Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta. She began her career as a product manager at Johnson & Johnson.
Rashmi Sinha started SlideShare in 2008. She was the Co-founder and CEO of the company. In 2012 LinkedIn acquired SlideShare, and Rashmi continued to run SlideShare as a unit of LinkedIn after the acquisition. She looked at the product, technology, and the marketing teams. She also worked closely with the LinkedIn leadership team to keep Slideshare aligned with the overall strategy of LinkedIn. Since 2014 she has been an independent “entrepreneur-at-large”. However, SlideShare was not her first company. She was previously also the Founder of Uzanto, a user experience consulting company which she ran from 2003 to 2006. Rashmi holds an undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science and a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology from Brown University.
Payal Kadakia figured in Fortune magazine’s list of 10 most promising women entrepreneurs of 2015. In her mid-30s, Payal is the CEO and co-founder of ClassPass, a New York-based startup that gives customers access to thousands of boutique fitness classes in their area. The company was started in 2010 and has raised $84 million in five rounds of funding. Payal holds an undergraduate degree in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Last year Neerja Sethi was ranked 16th on Forbes’ ‘America’s Richest Self-made Women’ list. Indian-born Neerja is the Co-founder of IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel which she started in 1980 with her husband, Bharat Desai. She is currently on the Board of Directors. The couple started with an initial investment and churned $30,000 in their first year. In 2012, with an annual revenue of $700 Million, the company crossed the 21,000 employee mark. Neerja completed her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Michigan and holds an MS in Computer Science and an MBA in Operations Research.
Jayshree is the President and CEO of Arista Network, a Santa Clara-based computer networking company started in 2008. In June 2014 she led Arista Networks to a successful IPO at the NYSE. Born in London, Jayshree grew up in Delhi. She did her schooling in India from the Convent of Jesus & Mary in New Delhi and holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from San Francisco State University and a postgraduate degree in Engineering Management from Santa Clara University. She spent almost a decade-and-a-half at Ciscco which she joined in 1993 as Senior Vice President. Before that, she was at Crescendo Communication, as Vice President of Marketing. The company was acquired by Cisco in ’93. Along with Neerja Sethi, Jayshree was also featured on the ‘America’s Richest Self-made Women’ list, where she ranked 30th.
This accidental entrepreneur is the Founder of Drawbridge, which she started in November 2010. Drawbridge is an anonymized cross-device identity company building technology that fundamentally changes the way brands connect with people. Before she set out on her entrepreneurial journey, Kamakshi – straight out of Stanford – went to work as the lead engineer at AdMob, which was acquired by Google in 2009. She is an alumna of Boston and Stanford University.
serves as the CFO for General Motors. Appointed in June 2018, she is the first female CFO in GM’s 110-year history and was featured on Fortune’s prestigious 40-under-40 list. Since filling the position, General Motors has become one of only two Fortune 500 companies that currently have both a female CEO and CFO.