While most of the technology innovations in the present time are from the US, India has recently emerged a source of highly skilled talent that is enhancing those innovations for future generations. As the nation has just celebrated its 70th independence day, we are here listing five tech leaders who are from the Indian soil but are living around the globe and are serving millions of individuals worldwide through their transformative presence.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai is the first in our list. Tamil Nadu-born Pichai joined Google in 2004 after spending his early career years at Applied Materials and McKinsey & Company. Though he initially brought advancement to the product management for Google's client software offerings such as Chrome and Google Drive, he received the Android branch in March 2013 that significantly shifted the board's focus towards him. On August 10, 2015, co-founder Larry Page announced him as the next CEO for Google. Since then, Pichai, 45, is handling the overall growth of the Menlo Park-headquartered company and is bringing remarkable upliftments for the Internet-first society. These developments include some recent localisation tweaks for developing regions as well as new mobility experiences for the young audience.
Just like Pichai, Satya Nadella is also among the top executives in the tech space. Microsoft CEO Nadella moved to the US after completing his electrical engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology in 1988. Before joining Microsoft in 1992, the Andhra Pradesh-born engineer worked at Sun Microsystems. The 49-year-old Microsoft CEO has brought many changes that weren't planned by his predecessor Steve Ballmer. He designed a strategy around cloud-first developments by the Redmond company, taking Azure to a new level. Similarly, Nadella's positive beliefs on open source and code-sharing have pleased the developer community.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, who started his career in the US with Apple, is the third leader in our list. Born in Mumbai and brought up in Hyderabad, Narayen joined Adobe in 1998 as a senior vice-president of worldwide product research and was promoted to the executive role in November 2007. He shifted Adobe Systems' focus from merely being a software provider to a multimedia and creative solution giant and brought a catalogue of advanced cloud-based products under Adobe Creative Suite. The second Telugu-speaking CEO from India has helped the company successfully move away from Adobe Flash to HTML5 and WebAssembly.
Manu Kumar Jain
Entrepreneur Manu Kumar Jain, who has been the global vice president of Xiaomi, is an excellent example of Indians expanding startups across the world. IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta alumnus Jain started his journey with Xiaomi in May 2014 after leaving fashion and lifestyle e-commerce company Jabong, which he co-founded in February 2012. Although the initial role of the 36-year-old entrepreneur was to bring success to Xiaomi from the Indian market, his positive leadership decisions persuaded the company to promote him to the global position in January 2017. Jain was the man who started the trend of flash sales in the Indian e-commerce space, through his management and thoughtful decisions. The Beijing-based company is presently counted among the world's top five smartphone makers and the largest wearable company -- even surpassing Apple, Fitbit and Samsung.
Suneet Singh Tuli
The last in our list of top tech leaders from India is Suneet Singh Tuli, the civil engineer who designed the world's cheapest tablet -- officially called Aakash. Graduated from the University of Toronto in 1990, Tuli co-founded Datawind along with his brother Raja Singh Tuli in 2000. The initial focus of the Ontario-headquartered company was to build large-format fax machines for engineers and architects. However, it shifted with the evolution in the market and now includes a wide portfolio of affordable smartphones and tablets. The company also owns a list of 14 international patents. In 2011, Tuli ingeniously participated in a programme sketched by the Indian government to provide low-cost Aakash tablets to domestic students. The tablet also received a public launch at a price as low as US$60 (approximately S$82) that disrupted the market. As of now, Tuli's Datawind is among the leading tablet makers in the world, poised against companies like Apple, Lenovo and Samsung.