America. The land of opportunities. The land that welcomes all.
America. The melting pot of diverse cultures. Where the enterprising ones succeed amidst all odds.
At last count, entrepreneurs with origins in sub-continental India were deemed to have an average net business income of $52,086.
Not convinced? They do say the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
And what better way to highlight why America is the place to be for small business entrepreneurs of Indian origin than to spotlight them one-by-one. According to some independent estimates, during the period of 2006-2009, Indian Americans added as much as 40,000 jobs to the national economy. This is remarkable considering the fact that America was undergoing the financial crisis of 2008.
So without further ado, let us take a look at 15 Indian small business owners in the US that have come a long way into their own. They have gone on to become titans of the industry, successful startup founders and innovators in their fields.
1. Dr. Kiran Patel (Freedom Health)
The Zamibian-born and Indian-educated Dr. Kiran Patel is a man of traditions.
And even greater ambitions as his ownership of the billion-dollar Freedom Health business demonstrates.
He once had his quaint little medical practice in India, which he never regrets leaving behind. The experience however, taught him about the issues plaguing the medical practice.
It is this insight that proved instrumental in Dr. Patel opening his own HMO medical insurance business in America. The plans on offer account for a variety of budgets, ensuring that patients only pay according to their needs and requirements.
2. Promod Sharma (Criterion Systems)
Promod Sharma, after serving at a bevy of tech and IT companies in America, wanted to try his hand at launching his own business. In 2005, he finally founded Criterion Systems in Vienna, VA.
His firm is now considered critical to many governmental departments in the US, thanks largely to the Eastern values that Sharma adheres to in business as well – trust.
His firm supplies identity management solutions for everyone from the DoD and the DoE as well as the Intelligence community.
3. Bhavna Vasisht and Anuj Khurana (ARK Solutions)
Want to hear a tale of two people who found the American dream? Look no further than Bhavna Vasisht and Anuj Khurana of ARK Solutions Inc., a SAP services provider in America.
"I was told America is a land of opportunity, and boy were they right," Khurana says of his journey from India to America, armed with nothing more than some 2 suitcases and a little money.
And the rest as they say, is history. It involved a lot of hard work and effort from Vasisht and Khurana to realize their dream.
4. VInit Bharara (Diapers.com)
The Bhangra playlist on the iPod of Vinit Bharara rarely gets any rest.
Even though he was raised in New Jersey, VInit’s parents overcame a lot of hurdles to ensure that he had the best of both the east and the west. He still loves his mom’s parathas than donuts though.
He now runs a super-sucessful ecommerce store in America, Diapers.com, ensuring that no baby gets left behind. His scrappy startup ships to as many as 65 destinations worldwide and offers everything from baby formula, wipes, clothing and gear for kids.
5. Vijay Gunturu (Sirsai)
An immigrant to America from the Indian state of Andrapradesh, Vijay Gunturu wanted a better education. He enrolled for a Masters program at Ohio’s Wright State University, making a living as a software developer.
After observing the trends in the American IT scene for some time, Vijay was one of the visionaries who saw the wave of outsourcing. He founded SIrsai in Seattle, giving companies in the region an affordable means to avail tech services.
6. Anshu Bhatnagar (2pi Solutions)
Talk about getting inspired.
Anshu Bhatnagar studied in a high school in Seoul, meeting a lot of entrepreneurs during his time there.
His is one of those classic stories where a man leaves a cushy six figure salary and secure job in the IT industry in order to start his own business 2pi Solutions. His firm serves the needs of the Washington DC-based government as a government contractor.
7. Sanjay Kamlani (Pangea)
Some would say entrepreneurship runs in the family.
This is certainly true for Sanjay Kamlani. He established a legal outsourcing firm Pangea3 in America after picking up on his father’s entrepreneurial streak.
And yes, that was just the start of Kamlani’s business ventures since he is now looking to invest in his home country and seek out opportunities.
8. Vidya Ravichandran (GlowTouch Technologies)
Before it became India’s very own Silicon Valley, Bangalore was home to Vidya Ravichandran.
Her father pushed Vidya to break barriers and overcome all odds, financing her education in America and almost going broke in the process.
But it seems that Ravichandran Sr’s efforts paid off as Vidya became head of her own outsourcing firm GlowTouch Technologies.
9. Atul Parikh (AB Star Group)
Atul Parikh is another one of those guys who just wanted to have their own gig.
He left his stable and secure position in India’s fast-paced IT industry in the hopes of making it big in America.
He did. He created his own software company, sold it and then went on to other managerial projects.
He even produced an independent film before going on to launch his company the AB Star Group in Silicon Valley. Talk about having a diversified portfolio.
10. Gaurav Gurbaxani (Onlinebusiness.org)
Gaurav Gurbaxani is one of those self-taught and self-made gurus of online business.
He runs a successful website, offering his insights as well as in-depth guides for aspiring online business owners of the future.
And besides, what good is knowledge if it isn’t shared? That seems to be working out for Gautam’s OnlineBusiness.org fabulously.
11. Dina Mistry (The Playful Indian)
Talk about doing what you love. Dina Mistry always had an eye for design, colors, illustrations and every other pictorial element out there.
And thus the Playful Indian was born, her very own e-store that specializes in greeting cards, illustrations posters and other decorative adornments.
Her products have proven to be a hit with American, Australian and Indian consumers alike.
12. Prachee Devadas (Synergy Enterprises)
As a CEO of a company with 120 employees across America, Ms Devadas has come a long way to establish one of the most reputable IT, sales, marketing and management consulting services here today. Dubbed as Synergy Enterprises, the Houston-based company under Ms. Devadas prides itself on its personalized and dedicated service to clients.
13. Naveen Jain (formerly InfoSpace)
Naveen Jain wears a lot of hats. He even has a boundless amount of energy that’s unhampered by age or wealth. And he’s just started.
He has established a string of ventures, with Infospace one of his most famous creations. Infospace offers search engines that added zing, fetching search results in the zip of an eye since 1996.
14. Nickhil Jakatdar (Vuclip)
NIckhil’s tale is a remarkable one. Whilst studying for his PhD at Berkeley, Nickhil Jakatdar founded Timber Technologies, his first startup.
After a short span of 3 years, his company became a hot property and was sold for $138m. His next two startups also ended up with similar success.
Now he’s CEO of his company VuClip, riding high on the wave of mobile video media. His company provides instant streaming options to any device on any network, a concept that’s sure to be a hit with teens and adults alike.
15. Sid Bhatt (Aarki)
Mobile is big.
Mobile is the advertising model of the future.
With this in mind, Sid Bhatt created an ad display network and technology that ensured that businesses got the biggest bang for their buck.
And he did it all be making his Aarki platform capable of designing, buying and optimization all in one.
These are but just a handful of Indian entrepreneurs who have achieved their life’s calling in the United States. In today’s uncertain economic climate, it is entrepreneurs and small business owners with a penchant to innovate that are turning out to be the bulwark against unemployment and stagnating growth.