We have been talking about brands, its valuations, and strategies they have been using to acquire, engage and attract their target audience.
But who are the people behind those strategies? Who has been constantly motivating and leading the initiatives from the front? The answer to it is, an effective team lead by CEOs who carry long term vision and a constant chill even during the most difficult times.
In this article, we’ll be taking you through some Indian origin CEOs who have given their all to respective multinational companies and have been a major reason in their growth.
Indian Origin CEOs – The List
The order is random and there is no set parameter set for the list.
Coming from Pampady village of Kottayam district in Kerala, Thomas Kurian’s corporate life started in 1996 at Oracle holding various positions in product management and development.
He became Vice-President of Oracle’s eBusiness division and focused on giving Oracle a strong presence over the internet. Mr. Thomas then took the responsibility for Oracle Fusion Middleware product portfolio which later became Oracle’s fastest-growing business and industry’s leading middleware product suite.
After spending 22 years in Oracle, Thomas’s journey comes to an end. On 16th November 2018, Thomas joined Google’s Cloud organization and within a year he was promoted to senior vice president. He became the CEO of Google Cloud in Jan 2019.
CEO of Reckitt Benckiser is Laxman Narasimhan. A mechanical engineer from the College of Engineering, Savirtribai Phule Pune University and an MBA in German and International Studies from The Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
Probably the only one on the list who did another round of MBA in finance from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Laxman’s corporate career started with McKinsey, PepsiCo. Last year, Laxman Narasimhan became the CEO Reckitt Benckiser Group – A consumer goods company headquartered in Slough, England.
This needs no introduction! Sundar joined Google in 2004. As product management and innovation, Sundar led Google’s chrome, maps, Drive and Gmail. In 2015, Sundar became Google’s CEO (and later Alphabet Inc’s as well).
As a CEO, Sundar Pichai took the search engine (its software and services) to heights. Google is pretty close to hitting $1 Trillion by market cap.
Pichai Sundarajan aka Sundar Pichai was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. An IIT Kharagpur graduate earned his degree in metallurgical engineering and an MBA from Whatron School of the University of Pennsylvania where he was named a Siebel Scholar and Palmer Scholar. He’s one of the most recognized Indian origin CEOs.
Nokia might have been out of form (in India) but we can’t forget its hype before android took over the mobile phone market. Rajeev Suri – Indian-Singaporean business executive is the CEO of Nokia.
Born in New Delhi, grew up in Kuwait, he got exposure to the outside world at an early age. Our Indian origin visionary holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering in electronics and communications from the Manipal Institute of Technology.
Rajeev’s corporate career ranges from strategy, M&A, product marketing, sales, accounts leadership, regional and business unit leadership. On 29th April 2014, Nokia announced Rajeev Suri’s entry into the company as a CEO.
You’ll be amazed to know that our Indian origin visionary is the 2nd non-Finnish CEO of Nokia after Stephen Elop. Also, Suri is one of the rare (and lucky) people who has achieved heights who is not an MBA.
Shantanu grew up in Hyderabad and holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication from the University College of Engineering, Osmania University in Hyderabad and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and master’s degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University, Ohio.
Before he became the CEO of Adobe Systems, he worked with Apple Inc where he was director of desktop and collaboration products for Silicon Graphics then he co-founded Pictra Inc – a digital photo-sharing platform.
In November 2007, Adobe Inc. welcomed Shantanu Narayan as its new CEO after Bruce Chizen stepped down from the position.
Vasant is the CEO of Novartis – a global healthcare company based in Switzerland. Vasant’s parents are from Tamil Nadu but immigrated to the US in 1970.
He received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago, a Master’s degree from Harvard Medical School and his master’s degree in public policy from Jhon F. Kennedy School of Government.
Vasant Narasimhan also served at Sandoz International as Global head of Biopharmaceuticals & oncology injectables. Vasant joined Novartis in 2005 and held various positions in the company before he became the CEO.
One of our senior Indian origin CEOs on the list is Arvind Krishna. Since 2015 he has served IBM as senior vice president.
IBM found Arvind Krishna through a deal done with Red Hat (an American software company). The deal is said to be the biggest purchase done by IBM – $34 billion.
Microsoft’s CEO Saya Nadella is Fortune Businessperson of the Year and in Top 10 Global CEOs this year. A trillion-dollar company and an amazing person.
An electrical engineer from Manipal Institute of Technology. Then Satya went to the US to study computer science in 1990 and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Indian origin CEOs and trillion-dollar companies! Awesome combination.
Ajaypal Singh Banga:
On 1st July 2010, Ajaypal Singh Banga became the CEO of Mastercard (previously serving as a chief operating officer). In Feb, President Barack Obama appointed him to serve as a member of the President’s Advisory Committee to Trade Policy Negotiations.
Probably the most senior person we have on our Indian origin CEOs list is Ivan Manuel Menezes. Born in Pune, he completed his education at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi and an IIM-A alumnus.
He joined Diego – a British multinational alcoholic beverages company headquartered in London. Ivan’s Diageo is sharing its alcohol and beverages on 6 continents.
He’s the CEO of Harman International Industries. Together they produce, design and engineer products of carmakers, consumers and businesses globally.
Connected car systems, audiovisual products, enterprise automation are to name a few. Harman International is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.
And we’ve come to an end of the list. A huge shout-out to our Indian origin CEOs who are doing tremendously awesome out there.