Two Indian-Origin Women Jayshree Ullal and Neerja Sethi Make to Forbes List of America’s Richest Self-Made Women

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NEW YORK – Forbes magazine released its fourth annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. These 60 women have a record combined net worth of $71 billion. The list includes two Indian-origin technology executives: Jayshree Ullal and Neerja Sethi.

Forbes said that net worth of these 60 women is up 15% from $61.5 billion in 2017 and that they have shattered ceilings and scaled new heights, making fortunes in everything from genetic testing to slimming shapewear. The minimum net worth needed to make this year’s list is $320 million, up from $260 million last year.

Diane Hendricks, cofounder and chairman of ABC Supply, the nation’s largest roofing distributor, reclaims the top spot on this year’s list of America’s most successful women entrepreneurs, with a net worth of $4.9 billion. Marian Ilitch, worth $4.3 billion, falls to the No. 2 spot, as higher labor costs and commodity prices take their toll on her Little Caesars pizza chain. Epic Systems’ Judy Faulkner climbs three spots to No. 3, with a net worth of $3.5 billion. Rounding out the top five are Meg Whitman (No. 4, $3.3 billion) and Johnelle Hunt (No. 5, $3.2 billion). Twenty-one-year-old reality-TV star and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner is the youngest to be featured in the power list.

Jayshree Ullal (Photo: Forbes)

Indian-origin technology executives Ullal is ranked 18th in the list with a net worth of $1.3 billion and Sethi is ranked 21st with a net worth of $1 billion.

Born in London but raised in India, Ullal is president and CEO of computer networking firm Arista Networks. Sethi is the vice president of IT consulting and outsourcing company Syntel, a company she cofounded with her husband Bharat Desai in 1980.

“The most successful women entrepreneurs in the country are increasingly taking advantage of technology including social media to help them launch and grow businesses,” said Luisa Kroll, Forbes’ Assistant Managing Editor, Wealth. “That’s one reason why we’ve seen a notable influx of Instagram-savvy moguls like 20-year-old Kylie Jenner in the ranks of America’s richest self-made women.”

On the cover of the Forbes magazine is featured Kylie Jenner, who at not even 21 years old and has built a $900 million cosmetics fortune with virtually no employees or capital.

Neerja Sethi

“This new model of extreme fame leverage is radically reshaping business, culture and politics,” Forbes said. “Kylie Cosmetics launched two years ago and has since sold more than $630 million worth of makeup. She has leveraged her mammoth social media following to build a giant business.”

“Social media is an amazing platform,” says Jenner. “I have such easy access to my fans and my customers.” Kylie Cosmetics is now worth nearly $800 million and Kylie Jenner owns 100% of the company.

There are seven newcomers to this year’s America’s Richest Self-Made Women list, with more than half earning their wealth from cosmetics, thanks to soaring beauty sales among Gen Z.

Notable newcomers include Anastasia Soare (No. 21, $1 billion), founder of Anastasia of Beverly Hills; Kylie Jenner (No. 27, $900 million), founder of Kylie Cosmetics; Huda Kattan (No. 37, $550 million), founder of Huda Beauty; Anne Wojcicki (No. 44, $440 million), cofounder and CEO of 23andMe; and Kim Kardashian West (No. 54, $350 million), founder of KKW Beauty. Notable drop-offs include Diane Von Furstenberg, Patricia Miller, cofounder of Vera Bradley, and Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman.

For the full list, visit www.forbes.com/self-made-women

Self-Made Women Highlights:

  • Twenty-seven women on the list reside in California, more than double the number of women in any other state. New York, home to six on the list, is a not-so-close second. All of them live in New York City, making it the city with the most self-made women.
  • Six of the seven newcomers reside in California.
  • Fourteen of the list members were born outside of the U.S.

To compile net worths, Forbes valued individuals’ assets, including the value of stakes in public companies using stock prices from June 22, 2018.

“We valued private companies by consulting with outside experts and conservatively comparing them with public companies,” Forbes said. “To be eligible for the list, women had to have substantially made their fortunes in the U.S. and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. We attempted to vet these numbers with all list entrants. Some cooperated; others didn’t. Ages are as of the magazine’s August 31, 2018 issue date.”

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