Is this the best time to be an Indian in America?

Author: Tariq Khan
Vice President - Market Development and Diversity, Nationwide Financial Services
The changing face of America is creating new opportunities
We are living in a new environment today where the face of America is changing. The new face of America is very diverse and full of opportunities. The visionary leaders understand that taking advantage of multicultural America is a promising way to grow. Baby boomers are considered to be one of the most sought after and lucrative markets with nearly 80 million people. Many major companies are spending lots of money to get a piece of that business. On the other hand, the U.S. multicultural population is nearly 100 million and its buying power is likely to reach U.S. $5 trillion by the year 2007, yet this target group remains nearly untapped.

Do any of these facts affect your business? YES! We simply cannot afford to ignore these changes. Smart leaders will align their business plans to leverage the opportunity. Many smart managers understand the importance of growing diverse markets, however, they consider them too complex. In fact, these markets are quite uncomplicated and the cost of entering these markets is far lower than the mainstream market.

The Asian/Indian edge
The Asian American segment in general, and specifically the Asian-Indian/South Asian segment, creates a unique and desirable opportunity. I personally prefer the term South Asian as it essentially covers the larger target market that is quite similar in psychographics. As a marketer I would divide South Asians into two groups; South Asian consumers and South Asian talent for employment. The overall South Asian American population is under three million (around one percent of the total U.S. population); however, they attribute some desirable consumer traits to the market:

* The annual household income of Asian Indians is among the highest– even higher than the general population.
* The level of education of Asian Indians is among the highest.
* The population growth rate of Asian Indians is among the highest in America.
* One percent of the Asian Indian population represents nearly eight percent of the physicians in the country.
* One percent of Asian Indians own more than 40 percent of the budget hotels/motels in the country.

These statistics clearly make them a desirable consumer group as well as potential employees.

A sign of the time
It is important that we look at the bigger picture – think of yourself as an Asian American or multicultural American. It gives you a broader outlook immediately. We are fortunate to live in a time when the diversity-survival battle has already been fought and won by other groups, with the African American group leading the way for us in this country. We are living in America when a diverse background and knowledge is valued like never before is incumbent upon us to pave the way for our younger generation.

How can we contribute?
* Educate, educate, and educate our next generation: It is extremely important for us to understand that the core of our success will be educated and skilled South Asian-Americans who will take over from us. We must educate our next generation about our cultural values, integrity, honesty, and the academics needed to make a successful career. It is fine if all our children don’t want to be doctors, engineers, or lawyers as our parents wished for us. These children should follow their dreams if they want to be a musician or a chef, for example. They all can find successful career paths in this country as long as they strive to be the best in what they do.

* Mentor someone: Many South Asians have been successful in this country and it is our responsibility to adopt at least one person whom we can mentor to be successful in life. We can make a difference in the lives of many young Americans if we commit ourselves to exert an impact on at least one career. It may not take more than a few hours a year.

*Think big: We should be proud to be American, diverse American and Asian- American. We should not divide ourselves into smaller, insignificant groups, such as North Indian, South Indian, Punjabi, Gujarati, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi. As Asian Americans, we have many cultural values in common. As Asian-Indian, we are barely one percent of the total U.S. population, while as Asian American we are nearly five percent of the total population, and as multicultural American, we are more than 30 percent of the total population. I suggest we become a part of the larger, growing group.

Perception is reality!
There is a perception in America that India is taking American jobs – is it true? In some cases, the outsourcing can be justified, as consumers need quality products and services at competitive prices. Thus, a few jobs and services would be outsourced to countries like India. We have a good example of how the Japanese approached this. The auto industry was dominated by three big American companies up until the 1980s. Today, the Japanese automakers are almost as big as the Detroit giants. In fact, some of the top-selling vehicles in America today are Japanese. However, the animosity against Japanese automakers was subdued when major Japanese automakers opened their plants on American soil and provided jobs to local Americans. Indian companies have to strategically think on these lines and find ways to look at the American public not only as consumers but also as employees.

Education happens to be one of the most common reasons for many Asians to move west - for their own education or for the next generation. The role of China and India in the global economy is making Indians a sought-after talent around the world, especially in America. Almost all immigrants came here with a purpose and a mission. I consider myself fortunate to be living in America, a country that is among the most inclusive societies for people with diverse ethnic backgrounds. Indeed, we are living in interesting times. It is our job to keep it that way. Go global…locally!
Previous  article
Write your comment now

Email    Password: 
Don't have SiliconIndia account? Sign up    Forgot your password? Reset
Reader's comments(3)
1: From: Mrs. Mary David

This mail may be a surprise to you because you did not give me the permission to do so and neither do you know me but before I tell you about myself I want you to please forgive me for sending this mail without your permission. I am writing this letter in confidence believing that if it is the will of God for you to help me and my family, God almighty will bless and reward you abundantly. I need an honest and trust worthy person like you to entrust this huge transfer project unto.

My name is Mrs. Mary David, The Branch Manager of a Financial Institution. I am a Ghanaian married with 3 kids. I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of US$7,500,000.00 Dollars. This fund is the excess of what my branch in which I am the manager made as profit last year (i.e. 2010 financial year). I have already submitted an annual report for that year to my head office in Accra-Ghana as I have watched with keen interest as they will never know of this excess. I have since, placed this amount of US$7,500,000.00 Dollars on an Escrow Coded account without a beneficiary (Anonymous) to avoid trace.

As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your bank account on my behalf. I agree that 40% of this money will be for you as a foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, and 60% would be for me. I do need to stress that there are practically no risk involved in this. It's going to be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund so that the fund can be transferred to your account.

If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response to me. This is why and only reason why I contacted you, I am willing to go into partnership investment with you owing to your wealth of experience, So please if you are interested to assist on this venture kindly contact me back for a brief discussion on how to proceed.

All correspondence must be via my private E-mail ( for obvious security reasons.

Best regards,
Mrs. Mary David.
Posted by: mary lovely david - Monday 26th, September 2011
My Name is Tata I was impressed when i saw your profile at and will like you to email me back to my inbox so that i can send you my picture for you to know who i am.i belive we can establishe a long lasting relation ship with you.In addition,i will like you to reply me through my private e mail box (
This is because i dont know the possibilities of
remainning in forum for a long time.
Thanks,waiting to hear from you soonest.
Posted by: tata tatababy os - Friday 30th, October 2009
3: It gives us a sense of pride at knowing that the Asian American is doing so well.
Yes we should aim at being the multicultural American
and become the part of a bigger stream.
Posted by: swaminathan vaidyanathan - Saturday 27th, September 2008
More articles
by Kaushal Mehta - Founder & CEO, Motif Inc..
The retail industry is witnessing an increased migration of customers from traditional brick and mortar retail to E-commerce (online retail)...more>>
by Samir Shah - CEO, Zephyr .
You probably do because you are on the phone with them! For all of you working in some technical management capacity here in Silicon Valley,...more>>
by Raj Karamchedu - Chief Operating Officer, Legend Silicon .
These days are a mixed bag for me. Of late I have been considering "doing something bigger and better," in my life, perhaps seriously though...more>>
by Madhavi Vuppalapati - CEO of Prithvi Information Solutions .
IT Services Rise of Tier II companies The Indian IT outsourcing industry is going through very exciting phase in its business life...more>>
by Bhaskar Bakthavatsalu- Country Manager, India and SAARC of Check Point Software Technologies.
Data loss occurs every day through corporate email. In fact, given the sheer number of emails an organization sends every day, data loss inc...more>>