Four Indian-origin biz leaders on 2023 Forbes’ 100 richest self-made women list

Jul 10, 2023 03:49 PM IST

Four Indian-origin women, including Jayshree Ullal and Indra Nooyi, have made it to Forbes’ list of America’s 100 most successful self-made women.

Four Indian-origin women, including Jayshree Ullal and Indra Nooyi, have made it to the Forbes list of America’s 100 most successful self-made women, with a combined net worth of a whopping USD 4.06 billion. Building supply distributor Diane Hendricks, with a $15 billion net worth, retained the top spot for the sixth year in a row. This year’s list has eight entrants, including television producer Shonda Rhimes and Insitro CEO Daphne Koller.

Four Indian-origin women in Forbes list of richest self-made women business leaders.
Four Indian-origin women in Forbes list of richest self-made women business leaders.

“Bolstered in part by a rebound in the stock market, they are cumulatively worth a record USD 124 billion, up nearly 12 per cent from a year ago,” Forbes said last month at the release of its ninth annual list.

Jayshree Ullal

Jayshree Ullal, president and CEO of computer networking firm Arista Networks, ranked 15th on the list, the highest among Indian-origin business leaders. Arista Networks, a publicly-traded company, recorded revenue of nearly $4.4 billion in 2022. Ullal, 62, owns about 2.4% of Arista’s stock, some of which is earmarked for her two children, niece and nephew, according to Forbes. She is also on the board of directors of Snowflake, a cloud computing company that went public in September 2020. She studied electrical engineering at San Francisco State University and engineering management at Santa Clara University.

Neerja Sethi

Neerja Sethi, with a net worth of USD 990 million, has been ranked 25th on the list. Sethi, 68, along with her husband Bharat Desai, co-founded IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel in 1980. French IT firm Atos SE for $3.4 billion in October 2018 bought Syntel in 2018 and Sethi got an estimated $510 million for her stake.

She did her Bachelor of Arts/Science and Master of Business Administration from Delhi University and Master of Science from Oakland University. Sethi met her husband, Desai, in the US while working for the pioneering IT firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and attempted to emulate it. They started the business with an initial investment of just $2,000.

Neha Narkhede

Narkehe, co-founder and former chief technology officer (CTO) of cloud company Confluent, is ranked 50th on the list with a net worth of USD 520 million. The 38-year-old software engineer-turned-entrepreneur helped develop the open-source messaging system Apache Kafka to help develop LinkedIn’s massive influx of data. In 2014, she and two LinkedIn colleagues left to found Confluent, which helps organisations process large amounts of data on Apache Kafka.

The USD 586 million (2022 revenues) company went public in June 2021 at a USD 9.1 billion valuation; Narkhede owns around 6 per cent, Forbes said. In March 2023, Narkhede announced her new company, fraud detection firm Oscilar, where she is co-founder and CEO.

Indira Nooyi

Nooyi, the former chair and CEO of PepsiCo, retired in 2019 after 24 years with the company, half of which she spent in the top job. The 67-year-old has a net worth of USD 350 million and is ranked 77th on the Forbes list. Her fortune stems from stock she was granted while working at PepsiCo.

Nooyi, who grew up in India, received an MBA from Yale before becoming one of corporate America’s few female CEOs in 2006.


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