Jay Chaudhry is the top billionaire of Indian descent in the US. He saw his net worth increase from $3.4 billion in 2018 to $12 billion in 2021. The 2022 stock market rout, however, has caused his net worth to plunge to $8.3 billion, according to Forbes. Chaudhry has overtaken Miami-based aviation guru Rakesh Gangwal, who previously held the top spot (2018 and 2019).
Forbes lists several US billionaires who are of Indian descent. Here's the top 10:
#1. Jay Chaudhry (Net worth: $8.3 billion)
The CEO of Zscaler, Jay Chaudhry, was born in Panoh, a small town Himachal Pradesh without running water. Today, Chaudhry has the highest net worth of any Indian American in the US. His rise from a remote Himalayan town to Wall Street is a motivational tale of American Dreams. Chaudhry is one of the most successful Indian-origin businessmen in the San Francisco Bay Area's cyber security industry.
After had a brief career in sales and marketing roles at companies like IBM, he co-founded Zscaler, a virtual security checkpoint for businesses exposed to cyber risks, in San Jose, California. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati and Harvard Universities. In contrast to other millionaires, he claims his success has been driven by his “very little attachment for money. I definitely do not feel like a billionaire even with a billion-dollar fortune.”
#2. Vinod Khosla (Net worth: $5.3 billion)
Vinod Khosla's net worth has increased from $2.3 billion in 2020 to $5.3 billion in 2022, thanks to a boost in his wealth. Khosla, a former co-founder of Sun Microsystems, is currently the second-richest Indian American, as per Forbes 2022. After graduating from Mount St. Mary's School in New Delhi, he attended the IIT Delhi, before moving to Carnegie Mellon University, and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
As a teenager, he first became interested in technology as a teenager after reading an article about the birth of Intel. He co-founded the Indus Entrepreneurs (NiE), a nonprofit network of entrepreneurs, and Khosla Ventures, a venture capital firm in Menlo Park, California.
#3. Romesh T. Wadhwani (Net worth: $5.1 billion)
His family shifted from Pakistan to India during the 1947 Partition. Today, Wadhwani is the richest Gujarati in America. The founder and CEO of Symphony Technology Group is a self-made serial entrepreneur. Based in California, Wadhwani has moved to the third rank among the richest Indian-origin American billionaires on Forbes 2022, as his net worth spiked to $5.1 billion, from $3.4 billion in 2020.
Wadhwani, known a compassionate philanthropist, is an alumnus of IIT Bombay in electrical engineering and holds a PhD degree from Carnegie Mellon University. He set up the Wadhwani Foundation with several initiatives including the National Entrepreneurship Network to drive socio-economic development in countries like India. In 2012, he opened a research centre at the National Center for Biological Sciences in Bengaluru.
#4. Rakesh Gangwal (Net worth: $4 billion)
Rakesh Gangwal was born in Kolkata. Now based in Miami, Florida, Gangwal has with a net worth of over $4 billion, which makes him the fourth richest Indian-origin American among the 400 billionaires in America, according to Forbes 2022. A former co-founder of IndiGo, India’s largest low-cost airline, Gangwal was the richest of 10 Indian-origin American billionaires in 2018.
A huge drop in his fortunes came due to the pandemic’s impact on aviation. An alumnus of IIM Lucknow in mechanical engineering, he studied MBA at Wharton School of Pennsylvania University and lived his American Dream when he became the Chairman of US Airways Group, after a stint in strategic planning for United Airlines in 1984. Gangwal co-founded IndiGo in 2006 and formed InterGlobe Aviation Ltd. in 2000. Based on domestic market share, IndiGo is now India's largest low-cost carrier.
#4. Niraj Shah (Net worth: $2.8 billion)
Shah is the son of Indian immigrants. Shah received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Cornell University in 1995 and is currently the CEO of Wayfair, a US e-commerce company that deals in home goods online that he co-founded in 2002. His grandfather ran a "steel manufacturing business in India, making pots and pans"; his father worked for GE as a mechanical engineer; and after his retirement, joined Wayfair early on, providing financial advice, and still works for the company.
Shah is married to Jill Shah; they have two children, and live in Boston. In 2013, Jill Shah sold her alternative medicine directory Jill's List, which employed 7 people, to California-based MINDBODY, and now runs their Boston office. Niraj Shah co-founded the Shah Family Foundation with Jill in 2017, which supports education and healthcare programs.
#5. Aneel Bhusri (Net worth: $2.3 billion)
Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and CEO of Workday Inc., is one of the wealthiest billionaires and businessmen of Indian descent. He was educated at Brown University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. His first job after college was as a corporate finance analyst at Morgan Stanley, after receiving his MBA from Stanford.
Bhusri sits in the Intel board of directors. He is also a partner at Greylock, which has invested in well-known brands like Facebook, Airbnb, Tumblr, and Groupon. From $1.85 billion in 2018 to $2.3 billion in 2020, his wealth has increased remarkably. He is currently based in California's San Francisco. He cofounded Workday with Dave Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft. In 2013, He was the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipient. In 2020, he bagged grabbed the Great Place to Work CEO For All Leadership Award.
#6. Kavitark Ram Shriram (Net worth: $2.3 billion)
Born in Chennai, India, Kavitark Ram Shriram is one of the most well-known Indian-origin investors in California, with a net worth of $2.3 billion. Kavitark, one of the original Google investors, earned a degree in mathematics from Chennai's Loyola College.
Before his $250,000 investment in Google, he worked for Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon and one of the richest man in the world. Shriram sits on a board member of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, established Sherpalo in 2000 as a venture financing company for tech entrepreneurs By making a staggering $61 million donation to Stanford University, he joined the group of leading Indian-American benefactors.
#7. Brian Sheth (Net worth: $2.2 billion)
Brian N. Sheth is the former CEO and President of Austin, Texas-based private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. His father was an immigrant from India who worked in finance and marketing, and his Irish-Catholic mother worked as an insurance analyst. With an estimated net worth of $2 billion, Sheth was included in the Forbes 2018 World Billionaires list. He was also included in both Forbes' and Fortune's lists of the "40 under 40" in 2015.
He is the youngest Indian American billionaire on Forbes' 2019 list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. He is a conservationist and a Wharton School graduate from Pennsylvania University. In Austin, Sheth co-chairs Global Wildlife Conservation, a group devoted to protecting the environment and animals. Sheth held positions at Bain Capital, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, and Goldman Sachs before starting his own business.
#8. Jayshree Ullal (Net worth: $1.43 billion)
Jayshree Ullal, one of the wealthiest self-made businesswomen in the US, is the only woman of Indian descent on the Forbes billionaires club. Ullal, the president and chief executive officer of the computer networking company Arista Networks, was included in Forbes' 2018 list of billionaires due to her $1.43 billion net worth.
Jayshree’s father’s name is Sudarajan Vedantham (physicist) and her mother’s name is Nirmala Vedantham. Her father is known to be among the founders of the Indian Institutes of Technology. She spent early 5 years of her life in London and later, shifted to India and pursued her schooling at Covent of Jesus & Marry, New Delhi. She moved to the US at the age of 16, obtained an electrical engineering degree from San Francisco State University. Ullal had a significant career boost when Cisco Systems acquired Crescendo Communications and promoted her to senior vice president of Data Center & Switching. She was a Santa Clara University graduate with a master's degree in engineering management.
#9. Bharat Desai (Net worth: $1.27 billion)
Bharat Desai was born in Kenya and reared in Ahmedabad, India. He earned his electrical engineering degree from IIT Bombay and went on to complete his MBA in finance at the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He co-founder of Syntel and was listed as the 10th-richest Indian American billionaire in 2018.
Desai started Syntel with $2,000 and initially ran it out of his Michigan apartment. He is now based in Florida and holds board positions with a number of organisations, including the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is among the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the Gujarati American community.
#10. Thomas Kurian (Net worth: $1.2 billion)
Thomas Kurian, one of the most successful Indian executives in the world, was born in Kerala in 1966 to PC Kurian and Molly. Currently, Kurian is the CEO of Google Cloud, a post he held since 2018. He was the second richest Indian executive in the world whose net worth was more than twice that of his boss, Sundar Pichai. His identical twin brother George Kurian has been the CEO of NetApp since 2015. Their father was a chemical engineer.
They did their schooling from Bengaluru's St Joseph's Boys High School. Both were meritorious students. They both went to the IIT Madras. However, they dropped out as they got admissions in Princeton University. They moved to the US at age 16. After earning a degree in electrical engineering he earned an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business.