10 October 2016
Five Indian-Americans are among the richest in the US, according to a Forbes list of 400 people which has been topped by Microsoft 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 Mr Gates, who has a net worth of $81 billion.
Mr Wadhwani has been ranked 222nd on the list with a net worth of $3 billion.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 $2.8 billion in annual revenue, Forbes said.Last year, Mr Wadhwani announced that he planned to commit up to $1 billion to fund entrepreneurship initiatives in India.
Ms Desai ranks 274th on the list with a net worth of $2.5 billion. Their company Syntel, started in 1980 from their apartment in Michigan, now generates over $950 million in revenue and has nearly 24,000 employees across the globe, Forbes said.
Mr Gangwal is ranked 321 on the list with a net worth of $2.2 billion.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.Mr 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.
Ms Kapoor ranks 335 on the list and has a net worth of $2.1 billion. He 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.
Mr Shriram ranks 361st on the list and has a net worth of $1.9 billion.An early Google backer, Mr Shriram has sold of most of his stock but remains on the board of its parent company, Alphabet, Forbes said.Since 2000, Mr Shriram has been investing in young technology start-ups 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.In 2014, Mr Shriram and his wife donated $61 million to engineering initiatives at Stanford University, which both of his daughters attended and where he serves as a trustee.
The list also includes CEO and founder of Amazon.com Jeff Bezos, who ranks second with $67 billion in net worth, followed by Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet on the third position with $65.5 billion, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the fourth spot with a net worth of $55.5 billion, Alphabet CEO Larry Page (9th) with a net worth of $38.5 billion and Dell CEO Michael Dell on the 20th spot with $20 billion.
Story first published in Forbes