Seven Indian Americans among 2020 Forbes 400 billionaires

From 46 to 73, the seven have a combined wealth of $22.4 billion.

Seven Indian Americans with a combined wealth of $22.4 billion have made it to the 2020 Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans headed for the third year in a row by Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, America’s super-rich are doing better than ever,” Forbes said noting that their aggregate wealth at $3.2 trillion is up 8% from a year ago and a record in four decades.

A record 233 US billionaires did not make the cut this year, falling short of the $2.1 billion minimum needed to make the list.

Bezos’ fortune of $179 billion, as of July 24, 2020, is up 57% from last year. He is followed by Microsoft’s Bill Gates with a net worth of $111 billion

President 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.

Among Indian Americans, Jay Chaudhry, 61, CEO of cybersecurity firm ZScaler with a net worth of $6.9 billion tops the list ranked 85.

Romesh Wadhwani, 73, chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group with a net worth of $3.4 billion comes next ranked 238. He is the oldest Indian American on the list.

In the third place is Niraj Shah, the youngest of the lot at 46, with a net worth of $2.8 billion. The cofounder and CEO of online home goods retailer Wayfair is ranked 299 overall.

Shah also made it to Forbes Impact 50 list of “Investors seeking profit – and pushing for change.

Vinod Khosla, 65, founder of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Khosla Ventures, comes next with a net worth of $2.8 billion ranked 353.

The fifth spot among Indian Americans is shared by Aneel Bhusri, 54, CEO of business software firm Workday, Rakesh Gangwal, 67, of InterGlobe Aviation and Kavitark Ram Shriram, 63, an early Google backer, each with a net worth of $2.3 billion. All three are ranked 359 overall

Jay Chaudhry founded ZScaler in 2008. He and his family own 45% of the Nasdaq-listed firm which went public in March 2018.

Before ZScaler, Chaudhry founded four other tech companies that were all acquired: SecureIT, CoreHarbor, CipherTrust and AirDefense.

In 1996, Chaudhry and his wife, Jyoti, both quit their jobs and put their life savings to start cybersecurity firm SecureIT, his first startup.

His hometown, a village in the Himalayas in India, did not have electricity or running water until he was in the 8th and 10th grade, respectively.

Chaudhry moved to the US in 1980 to attend graduate school and now lives in the Bay Area.

Romesh Wadhwani, whose Symphony Technology Group brings in $2.5 billion in annual revenues, combined nine of his companies that were AI-focused into a new group called SymphonyAI in 2017, Forbes said.

After graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology, he went to Carnegie Mellon and received a Ph.D. in 1972 in electrical engineering.

The serial entrepreneur later founded Aspect Development, which i2 Technologies acquired for $9.3 billion in stock in 1999.

He sits on the boards of the Kennedy Center and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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 started Wayfair in 2002 with Steve Conine, who is also a billionaire. The two met as high school students at a program at Cornell University.

Shah and Conine ended up living in the same dorm their freshman year at Cornell and became good friends.

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’s venture capital firm, Khosla Ventures, 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.

Khosla spent 18 years at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (now called Kleiner Perkins) before launching his own fund.

In June 2019, Khosla said he believes artificial intelligence could replace traditional industries such as radiology and music.

Aneel Bhusri is CEO of business software firm Workday, which he cofounded with Dave Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft.

Bhusri started his career in the early 1990s at business software firm PeopleSoft, where he rose to become vice chairman.

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.

READ MORE: Seven Indian Americans on the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans (October 7, 2019)

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.

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.

The Miami resident owns close to 37% of the company and serves as a board member.

Gangwal and Bhatia had a bitter falling out in 2019 over corporate governance issues. Their dispute reached courts in London, Florida and Maryland, Forbes said.

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 US 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.

His portfolio includes online invitation service Paperless Post, online HR service provider Gusto and mobile advertising company InMobi.


Meet the three Indian American women on Forbes list of America’s Self-Made Women of 2019 (June 8, 2019)

Five Indian Americans on Forbes 400 list (October 4, 2018)

10 Indian Americans on the Forbes billionaires list (March 6, 2018)

One Comment

  1. Babubhai Sardarji (B. S.) Patel

    Hey vey good very good mane! they come clean my toilet no? thye say, the Ghandiji said, suk suk jio, then JHAADU maroi and clean the your neighbours TOILET. then you atains the MOKKSA> all these rich buys once they clean toilet they go strainht to heaven, when they meet 72 young pretyy fwaiitng for them. yes, only solution. So com come billiondair come clean all comunity toliets, good for u!!

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