Meet Seven Richest Indian-American Billionaires of 2020

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Kavitark Ram Shriram

NEW YORK – Seven Indian Americans have made to the annual Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest American billionaires.

The wealthiest Indian Americans on the list are: Jay Chaudhry ($6.9 billion), Romesh T. Wadhwani ($3.4 billion), Niraj Shah ($2.8 billion), Vinod Khosla ($2.4 billion), Aneel Bhusri ($2.3 billion), Rakesh Gangwal ($2.3 billion), and Kavitarak Ram Shriram ($2.3 billion).

Here is more info on Indian American billionaires as reported by Forbes:

Jay Chaudhry

Jay Chaudhry

Net Worth: $6.9 billion

Forbes Ranking: #85

CEO of Zscaler, a cybersecurity firm he founded in 2008. It went public in March 2018 and he and his family own 45% of the Nasdaq-listed firm. Before Zscaler, Chaudhry founded four other tech companies that were all acquired: SecureIT, CoreHarbor, CipherTrust and AirDefense. Chaudhry moved to the U.S. in 1980 to attend graduate school and now lives in the Bay Area.

Romesh Wadhwani

Romesh T. Wadhwani

Net Worth: $3.4 billion

Forbes Ranking: #238

 

Romesh Wadhwani is the chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group. He combined 9 of his companies that were AI-focused into a new group called SymphonyAI in 2017. After graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology, he went to Carnegie Mellon and received a Ph.D. in 1972 in electrical engineering. He and his brother, Sunil, founded the Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Mumbai in 2018, committing over $30 million.

Niraj Shah

Niraj Shah

Net Worth: $2.8 billion

Forbes Ranking: #299

 

Niraj Shah is cofounder and CEO of online home goods retailer Wayfair. He started the business in 2002 with Steve Conine, who is also a billionaire.  Wayfair, which now offers more than 18 million products, generated $9.1 billion in net revenue in 2019, up 35% from the previous year. Shah joined the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 2017.

Vinod Khosla (Photo: Twitter)

Vinod Khosla

Net Worth: $2.4 billion

Forbes Ranking: #353

Vinod Khosla is the founder of Khosla Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, which invests in experimental technologies such as biomedicine and robotics. Khosla cofounded computer hardware firm Sun Microsystems in 1982 with Andy Bechtolsheim, Bill Joy and Scott McNealy. In June 2019, Khosla said he believes artificial intelligence could replace traditional industries such as radiology and music.

 

Aneel Bhusri

Aneel Bhusri

Net Worth: $2.3 billion

Forbes Ranking: #359

Aneel Bhusri is CEO of business software firm Workday, which he cofounded with Dave Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft. He also works as an advisory partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners; he’s been on the Forbes Midas List six times since 2008. He studied electrical engineering at Brown University and has an MBA from Stanford. In May 2018, Bhusri joined the Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

Rakesh Gangwal (Photo: Forbes India)

Rakesh Gangwal

Net Worth: $2.3 billion

Forbes Ranking: #359

 

Airline veteran Rakesh Gangwal made his fortune from InterGlobe Aviation, the parent outfit of budget airline IndiGo, India’s largest by market share. Gangwal started his airline career with United Airlines in 1984 and went on to run US Airways Group as its chief executive and chairman. Gangwal cofounded IndiGo, headquartered outside Delhi, with pal Rahul Bhatia (also a billionaire) in 2006 with one aircraft. Gangwal and Bhatia had a bitter falling out in 2019 over corporate governance issues. Their dispute reached courts in London, Florida and Maryland.

Kavitark Ram Shriram

Kavitarak Ram Shriram

Net Worth: $2.3 billion

Forbes Ranking: #359

An early Google backer, Kavitark Ram Shriram has sold of most of his stock but remains on the board of its parent company, Alphabet. Born in India, Shriram studied math at the University of Madras. After moving to the U.S. he joined Netscape in 1994 as an executive. Later he became president of Junglee, an online comparison shopping firm acquired by Amazon in 1998. Ram took on a vice president position at Amazon. He left Amazon and since 2000 has been investing in technology startups through his firm, Sherpalo Ventures.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, America’s super-rich are doing better than ever. The aggregate wealth of the list is $3.2 trillion, up 8% from a year ago and a record in the four decades Forbes has tracked the richest Americans’ fortunes, Forbes said in a statement.

A record 233 U.S billionaires did not make the cut this year, falling short of the $2.1 billion minimum needed to make the list. Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, remains in the top spot on the 2020 Forbes 400 list for the third consecutive year. Bezos’ fortune of $179 billion, as of July 24, 2020, is up 57% from last year.

“The remarkable growth in fortunes of The Forbes 400 stands out at a time of pandemic-induced economic upheaval,” said Kerry A. Dolan, Assistant Managing Editor, Wealth at Forbes. “Much of the wealth is highly concentrated. The top 21 richest on the list (there is a tie at No. 20) account for 42% of the total wealth.”

The Forbes 400 list is a snapshot in time of wealth using stock prices and exchange rates from July 24, 2020. Since then Forbes reported in late August that Bezos’ net worth reached a record-breaking $200 billion, with Bezos the first person in history to cross this milestone.

There were 25 drop-offs who made the 2019 list but fell off this year’s ranking; ten of those were due in part to setbacks related to the Covid-19 outbreak. There are 18 newcomers on this year’s list including: Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video Communications, with a net worth of $11 billion; Jim Koch, cofounder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, producer of Samuel Adams Beer, with a net worth of $2.6 billion; and at age 38 the youngest newcomer, Trevor Milton, founder of electric and hydrogen-electric truck maker Nikola. Donald Trump’s ranking dropped to No. 352 from 275 in 2019, and his net worth dropped to $2.5 billion from last year’s $3.1 billion, as the value of office buildings, hotels and resorts have taken a hit amid the pandemic.

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