Two Indian-Americans made this year’s Forbes list of America’s Most Powerful CEOs 40 And Under, marking another milestone in the rise of Indians in businesses across the nation.
Each of the 20 chief executives who earned a Forbes spot currently heads one of the United States’ highest market valued publicly-traded companies (as of Feb. 13). Earning the 19th and 20th spots, Indian-American CEOs Hari Ravichadran and Ashish Pandey epitomize the role that Indian professionals are playing in America’s changing business community.
Well-educated, business-savvy, and driven by sharp ambition, these powerful CEOs may have a thing or two to teach their American colleagues.
Ravichadran and Pandey are in good company. Forbes’ number one spot again went to Google’s 40-year-old CEO, Larry Page, who is also 17th on Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Powerful People”. Facebook’s 29-year-old Mark Zuckerberg took second. He’s the only person on the list who is not in his 30s. And for the second consecutive year, third place went to 38-year-old Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer.
So how did two young Indian-born immigrants win spots on a Forbes list dominated by U.S. natives? Let’s take a look.
- B.S. in Computer Engineering (Mississippi State University)
- M.B.A. (The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania)
- Electrical Engineering Graduate Studies (Stanford University)
Hari Ravichadran is the 38-year-old co-founder and CEO of one of the world’s largest web hosting companies, Endurance International Group (EIG), which boasts a market cap of $2.1 billion and recently enjoyed a successful IPO on the NASDAQ under the symbol EIGI.
Ravichadran got his start in 1997 when he first co-founded EIG by another name, Bizland.com. Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, the dot-com bubble company’s mission was to help small U.S. businesses get online without emptying their bank accounts. The company struggled when the bubble burst, but Ravichadran brought it back to life when the economy smoothed out. With 14 employees and a new name, Endurance International Group, Inc. was born.
With lessons learned from his initial hardship, Ravichadran grew EIG by focusing on two things: acquiring smaller web hosting companies, and developing outstanding back-end developer tools. He succeeded. EIG grew exponentially, and recently filed for a $400 million IPO.
CEO Ravichadran went on to help EIG acquire more web companies, including Intuit Inc.’s web businesses and web hosting competitor HostGator.com LLC. Today, EIG has more than 2,500 employees and more than three million subscribers located throughout the world.
- B.S in Engineering (Shri Govindram Seksaria Institute of Technology and Science)
- M.B.A. (Indian Institute Of Management India)
Since December 2012, Ashish Pandey, also 38 years old, has been CEO of asset management firm Altisource Asset Management Corporation (AAMC), which is headquartered in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In partnership with Altisource Residential Corporation (RESI), AAMC manages a portfolio of real estate assets (non-performing mortgages) and helps RESI in its goal to acquire single-family rental homes. According to his BusinessWeek Executive Profile, “Mr. Pandey is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the Altisource Asset Management Corporation.”
Although AAMC has the lowest market cap on this year’s list at $1.8 billion, the company is no straggler. AAMC is valued at three times the amount of last year’s lowest market cap, reflecting the increasing successes of Indian-American CEOs.
What They Have In Common
Ravichadran and Pandey work in two very different industries and live two very different American lives, but coincidentally, their key business strategies are quite the same. Both of their companies have made billions through acquisitions, and as their educational backgrounds show, both CEOs are dreamers.
BloombergView’s Leonid Bershidsky said it best. “There is nothing specifically Indian about empathy, humility, patience and an ability to dream. Yet it is these qualities that appear to have created the ‘Indian club’ of overachievers in global business.”