Five Indian-Americans are among the richest in the US, according to a Forbes list of 400 people which has been topped by Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates for the 23rd year in a row.
Symphony Technology founder Romesh Wadhwani, co-founder of outsourcing firm Syntel Bharat Neerja Desai, Airline veteran Rakesh Gangwal, entrepreneur John Kapoor and Silicon Valley angel investor Kavitark Ram Shriram have featured in Forbes’ ‘The Richest People In America 2016’ list.
The list has been topped by 60-year-old Gates who has a net worth of 81 billion dollars. Gates keeps pushing to save lives in the developing world through efforts to eliminate polio, attack malaria and expand childhood vaccinations as head of the world’s largest private charitable foundation the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Forbes said.
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Wadhwani, 69, has been ranked 222nd on the list with a net worth of three billion dollars. The IIT Mumbai and Carnegie Mellon alumnus is the chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group, an empire of 17 data, technology, healthcare and analytics companies that together take in more than USD 2.8 billion in annual revenue, Forbes said.
Last year, Wadhwani announced that he planned to commit up to USD 1 billion to fund entrepreneurship initiatives in India. Desai ranks 274th on the list with a net worth of 2.5 billion dollars.
Their company Syntel, started in 1980 from their apartment in Michigan, now generates over USD 950 million in revenue and has nearly 24,000 employees across the globe, Forbes said. Gangwal is ranked 321 on the list with a net worth of 2.2 billion dollars.
The 63-year old IIT alumnus is an airline veteran who made his fortune from InterGlobe Aviation, the parent company of his budget airline IndiGo, India’s largest by market share. Gangwal co-founded IndiGo, headquartered outside Delhi in 2006 with one aircraft.
The Miami resident owns more than 40 per cent of the company and now serves as a board member, Forbes said. Kapoor ranks 335 on the list and has a net worth of 2.1 billion dollars. The 73-year old is the chairman of two drug outfits -Akorn, which specializes in “difficult-to-manufacture” prescription drugs and Insys Therapeutics, which produces an opioid for cancer patients.
Shriram ranks 361 on the list and has a net worth of 1.9 billion dollars. An early Google backer, Shriram, 59, has sold of most of his stock but remains on the board of its parent company, Alphabet, Forbes said.
Since 2000, Shriram has been investing in young technology startups through his firm, Sherpalo Ventures. His portfolio includes Paperless Post, an online card and invitation service; Optimizely, which provides web and mobile app testing; and Inmobi, a mobile advertising company.