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May - 2005 - issue > Editor's Desk
Wait and watch the new breed
Pradeep Shankar
Monday, May 2, 2005
Since siliconindia’s first issue in August 1997, we have written about every Indians’ journey into the world of entrepreneurship. Many took their ventures public and achieved success.

In recent years, around 25 percent of technology ventures in the Silicon Valley have had Indian brains behind them. These brains have established more than 1000 firms, created corporations and contributed a combined market value of $250 billion.

The lurking question within me is how have we, as a minority ethnic group, contributed to the growth of our economy? First generation Indians were risk takers. The very fact that many moved to the U.S. and built companies speaks of their high-risk abilities.

Many were exceptional students with high caliber who had a great desire for knowledge and economic success. Born in a developing country, their aims were high. Common themes across their success profiles are apparent even today. These are clear reflections of India’s political, social, religious and cultural environment, coupled with excellence in technical education, meritocracy, hard work, and agility to grab opportunities.

As we begin to recognize the achievements of these first generation entrepreneurs, a new breed of entrepreneurs—the second generation Indian entrepreneurs—have started creating success stories.

If you look at the American history, you can see great pool of immigrants. Indian immigrants have in a way helped built the next wave of entrepreneurs for India’s economy. This second generation exudes a different attitude than the first.

Being born and raised in the U.S. they are equipped with a homegrown formula for success—be it risk taking or technical knowhow.

While globalization is the talk of every town, many realized the need to have an India strategy right from day one of setting up the venture. It is quite interesting to see the second-generation set up their subsidiaries in India for development work. In a sense, they are reestablishing their India connection!

Students who pursued (and still pursuing) education in the U.S have not necessarily caught with the Silicon Valley bug. If you look at the trend, many Koreans, Japanese and Europeans who came for higher education went back to their country, due to economic stability. Back home they get stable jobs with equal or higher pay. And currently the same trend is caught among Indians’ as well.

As the center of gravity shifts to Asia more challenging work will be in countries like India. This increases the chance of recent immigrants to go back either for high-end jobs or start a venture in their homeland. In fact, there are signs that India is emerging as a breeding ground for new entrepreneurs where there is continuous fermentation of new ideas stimulating new challenges.

But this, is just the start. As this phenomenon unfolds we will track it for you.
We look forward to your feedback to this exciting edition.

Pradeep Shankar
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