The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

April - 2000 - issue > Cover Feature

Work, Wisdom And Wealth

Friday, November 21, 2008

All around us, we are witnessing the creation of tremendous, nearly incredible amounts of new wealth. This phenomenon is unlike the history of any other wealth creation; these rallies are more fickle, the numbers are higher and the spoils are going to more people. The recipients of this wealth are, so to speak, the second generation of the high-tech wizards who flourished in the past century. These are rewards for dreaming a dream of a better-informed and connected world, and for being gritty enough to see it through — as well as lucky enough to see it come true.
Granted, plenty has already been written about wealth, especially this new type of wealth-generation. Lists abound, enumerating the wealthiest individuals in various fields and geographical regions. So why create yet another list?

What you have in your hands is more than a list; it is a chronicle of a remarkable time in history. Each individual’s profile is almost like a page out of their personal diaries, reflecting the values, the mission and the inspiration that they stand for individually and collectively. We did not find even a single individual who did what they all could have done: made money enough for his or her family, quit, and headed off for a lifelong vacation. Wealth has, in fact, brought to many a renewed sense of responsibility and gratitude and a drive to multiply it for themselves and others in their circle and in their community.

Rich South Asians in technology have shown a great deal of compassion and concern for the less privileged. Their record in philanthropy is far greater than that attributed to Silicon Valley as a whole. As you will read in the profiles that follow, these successful leaders are funding several noteworthy social and educational projects in India, as well as giving back substantially to their alma maters in the United States and India.

This newfound money is often not as tangible as it seems. The new high-tech companies, especially the ones in the Internet sector, have far from proven their business model – several of them have yet to even show profits! So individual wealth often has little connection with real assets and value, and has more to do with long-term investor expectations, a bullish market and shares and options that may be difficult to liquidate because doing so may send a distress signal to investors, who may panic and abandon the stock. Such insecurity makes the recipient of this wealth humbler and more dedicated to take the work to its final conclusion. After all, if all this new business was simply money for the sake of it, there would be a lot more turnover at the top level.

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