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May - 2009 - issue > In My Opinion

Indian Entrepreneurialism Version 4.0

Vivek Ranadive
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Vivek Ranadive
I first came to the U.S. in 1974 with only $50 in my pocket and a desire to get the best technical education I could. In the process, I also discovered that I had a passion to create and grow businesses, something that I have now been pursuing as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur for over 20 years. Over these years, I’ve watched a fascinating evolution among the Indian entrepreneurs of the Valley.

It is interesting to note that in 1970, 51,000 immigrants from India were recorded living in the United States. By 2006, that number had grown nearly 30-fold to 1.5 million, making Indians the fourth largest immigrant group in the United States. Many of this group have found a home in the U.S. start-up culture and thrived. Today, they have become the most dominant ethnic group in Silicon Valley, running over 700 technology companies with aggregate sales in the billions of dollars.

But beyond the statistics, what I find fascinating is how Indian entrepreneurialism has evolved from technical leadership to global business leadership in what I believe are four distinct phases – or, in the parlance of enterprise software, four major “versions.” Each version has broken new ground and provided the basis for growth in the version that followed. It’s important to note that sometimes the versions represent different generations and sometimes they represent the stages of evolution within the same individual.

Version 1.0 – The Expert

The 1970s roughly marks this first version, where larger numbers of technically skilled Indians began coming to Silicon Valley. They were well educated, having studied at highly competitive technical schools in India, such the IIT schools. They were also highly motivated and attracted to the notion of working at a large, global corporation, such as HP, where they could capitalize on their expert skills and have the chance to contribute to significant new innovations that could make a broad impact.

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Reader's comments(1)
1:nice thinks....... it is good for starter like me just preparing to enter in the world of enterprenurship. your 20 years valuable experience will certainly help us.
Posted by: mithilesh singh - 11th May 2009
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