Three Indian American entrepreneurs in Richest Americans list

Desai, Wadhwani, Khosla make the cut.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: Three Indian-American entrepreneurs are on the Forbes Magazine’s annual list of the richest 400 Americans.

Bharat Desai (#252), Romesh Wadhwani (#260), and Vinod Khosla (#352) made the cut, with wealth estimated at $2.2 billion, $2.1 billion, and $1.5 billion, respectively.

Desai is the Florida-based founder of Syntel, a publically traded IT and outsourcing company which he founded in 1980 with his then-future wife, Neerja Sethi. The company, which was started with an initial investment of just $2,000, now has annual revenue of almost $724 million (as of 2012). Desai relinquished his CEO title at the company in 2010 to Prashant Ranade, but retains a position as Chairman of the Board, as well as his status as a majority shareholder. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, and received his MBA from the University of Michigan. He is a board member of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Wadhwani is the founder of Symphony Technology Group, a Palo Alto-based private equity firm that develops various IT companies. He is also on the Board of Trustees for the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Wadhwani is also a graduate of IIT Bombay, and he received his master’s and Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University in electrical engineering.

Finally, Khosla was one of the original founders of Sun Microsystems in 1982. Currently, he runs Khosla Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California. He earned his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay, his master’s in biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and his MBA from Stanford. His wife, Neeru Khosla, is the co-founder of the CK12 Foundation, which is a non-profit dedicated to reducing the costs of K-12 education for low-income families. Vinod Khosla is also well-known for his stance on environmental preservation, and has advocated passionately for clean energy and technology over the years.

Number one on the list, yet again, was Bill Gates, with an estimated net worth of $72 billion. Business mogul Warren Buffet came in at #2 with $58.5 billion, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison landed at #3 with $41 billion.

The full Forbes 400 list can be found at the Forbes website.

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