Sharing the honour with achievers like media mogul Oprah Winfrey, prolific writer Nora Roberts and Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, two Indian-origin women have made it to the Forbes list of America’s 50 most successful and self-made women.
India-born Neerja Sethi (61), co-founder of Syntel, and London-born Jayshree Ullal (55), president and CEO of Arista Networks, have made India proud by breaking the glass ceiling with their innovative work.
The list of The Richest Self-Made Women in the US is released by renowned financial and business magazine Forbes, and includes 60 achievers as measured by their net worth, with at least 15 women being born outside the US.
Ranked 16th on America’s Richest Self-made Women list, Neerja Sethi, a successful entrepreneur, is an alumnus of Delhi University who co-founded an IT consulting and outsourcing company, Syntel, in 1980 with her husband, Bharat Desai. The lady holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics, a Master’s degree in computer science, and an MBA in operations research. Having served as Syntel’s treasurer during its first 16 years of operations, she is presently the vice president of corporate affairs, a role she has had since the company’s inception. The hard working mother of two also sits on the board of directors alongside her husband, who remains the chairman. The billionaire couple also run a family foundation – they have pledged $1 million to the University of Michigan to develop a start-up accelerator.
Ranked 30th on the list, London-born Jayshree Ullal was raised in Delhi and is one of America’s wealthiest female executives. She took over the computer networking company Arista Networks in California as president and chief executive officer in 2008, when it had no revenues and less than 50 employees. She transformed it into one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable network switch firms by 2014 and now owns more than 10% of Arista’s shares. The lady earlier served as vice president of marketing at Crescendo Communications, which Cisco acquired in 1993. Ullal, also a mother of two, got her electrical engineering degree at San Francisco State University and her Master’s degree in engineering management at Santa Clara University. In honour of her sister who died of lung cancer, she has donated some shares to a family foundation created by her, while earmarking some of her holdings for her two children as well as her niece and nephew.