January 9 2012: Once a year on Pravasi Bharteeya Divas or Overseas Indian Day, India remembers and recognizes those who have chosen to make a life beyond her shores. That day this year is being observed in Jaipur, with the Prime Minister leading the speaker –list on January 8 and 9. We saw little in this year’s agenda that recognizes the singular contributions made by non-resident Indians to what is now recognized and respected as the Indian brand of Information Technology. So we have decided to make amends.
Choosing half a dozen overseas Indians who have made a mark in the global IT scene is not easy: We recall the most recent contributions of Indians by way of leadership or innovation in some of the biggest infotech companies of the world. As we honour them, we also recall some who have chosen to cap their long careers by taking up voluntary work back home in India.
Sundar Pichai is today the senior vice president for Chrome at Google Inc ( he has been with them since 2004). A B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Sundar He holds an M.S. from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton Schoo. He is credited with the leadership in Google’s efforts to create a desktop and mobile browser. http://www.indiatechonline.com/indians-behind-chrome-os-475.php Sriram Vangal is Principal Research Scientist at Microprocessor Research, Intel Labs, ( he has been with Intel since 1995) and technical lead for the advanced prototype team that designed the industry's first single-chip 80-core, sub-100W “Polaris” TeraFLOPS processor (2006), and more recently the 48-iA core “Rock Creek” single-chip cloud computer (SCC). A BE in Electronics Engineering from Bangalore University, 1993 and an MTech in Computer Engineering from Nebraska-Lincoln ,1995, Sriram obtained his PhD from Linkopings Universitat in Sweden, 2005. http://www.indiatechonline.com/indian-behind-intel-solar-chip-project-565.php
Padmasree Warrior is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Cisco Systems ( from 2007) , and the former CTO of Motorola, Inc. ( she had a long stint with Motorola from 1984-2007). She led a develoment team of over 10,000 at Motorola and is credited with inspiting iconic designs like the Motorola Razr handset.
Warrior received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 1982. She holds masters in chemical engineering fromCornell University and serves as an advisory board member at both schools. Sanjay Jha who took over as co-CEO of Motorola Inc in 2008, had a long innings at Qualcomm, from 1994 and ended up as President of that company’s CDMA Technologies business in 2006. Today he is chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola Mobility. Jha is a Ph.D. in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Strathclyde and a B.S. in engineering from the University of Liverpool. Vyomesh Joshi is the executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard Company's Imaging and Printing Group. Joshi joined HP in 1980 as a research and development engineer. He became vice president in January 2001, became President of the Imaging and Printing Group in February 2001. Joshi holds a master's degree in electrical engineering from Ohio State University . http://www.indiatechonline.com/hp-leadership-changes-575.php Nandini Ramani is Oracle's Vice President for Java Client Development and , was actively involved in launching JavaFX in May 2007. She has been Sr. Director, Next Generation Platform Client Software Group at Sun Microsystems. Nandini is an alumnus of Stanford University and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore http://www.indiatechonline.com/javaone-hyderabad-2011-473.php Radha Basu helped create Hewlett Packard's first software centre in India, in 1978-1980. She headed of eight HP offshore software centres worldwide and ended up General Manager of HP's electronic business software division. After 20 years with HP she left to join a startup SupportSoft. She was the chairman and CEO from 1999-2006 of the company that reduces companies expenditures and time spent on customer service. Today it is known as Support.com. After retiring as CEO of SupportSoft, Radha and her husband Dipak created a global social enterprise, the Anudip Foundation. The goal of Anudip is to generate livelihoods for the unemployed and marginalized poor of India through rural centres for development of entrepreneurs and their empowerment with access to markets and capital. www.anudip.org
Today Radha is also Director, Frugal Innovation, and Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University where she is developing the Frugal Innovation Lab to channel the expertise of faculty and students from engineering, business, science and entrepreneurship into practical solutions for emerging markets.