Four Indian American executives were among the winners from the from the five regions from across the country that announced their respective Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year competitions last week, with heads moving on to the national selection. The 30th anniversary of the event will culminate in a national award winner selected this fall.
Instituted and sponsored by Ernst & Young, a multinational conglomerate, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes entrepreneurs in such areas as innovation, excellence, financial performance and business leadership from more than 140 cities across 60 countries. The entrepreneurs were selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous winners of the award, leading CEOs, private capital investors and other regional business leaders.
The finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Award include Eric Basu, the founder and CEO of Sentek Global Consulting in San Diego. A graduate in molecular biology from San Jose State University, Eric Basu is a seasoned entrepreneur and leader in information technology, with strong understanding of military operations and security. His company Sentek Global leads government programs and commercial IT operations. He is also a board member of the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence.
One of the Indian Americans among EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 finalists in California, Manish Chandra is the CEO of Poshmark which he launched in 2011. Poshmark is an app-based fashion marketplace where users can catch up with like-minded fashion freaks and pick trends from the latter’s style-books or collections. Users can also use Poshmark app to sell what they don’t wear anymore.
Among the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalists in 2016, AppDynamics’ founder Jyoti Bansal is one of the successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs from India. His India to USA journey with an H1B visa is an inspirational story of ‘American Dream’. An IIT Delhi graduate, Jyoti Bansal had to wait 7 years to fulfill his entrepreneurial dreams until he got an employment authorization document (EAD) as part of the green card process.
Among the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 finalists in California, Vivek Ravisankar is a cofounder and CEO of HackerRank. A computer science graduate from the National Institute of Technology in India, Vivek had lost out on a high-paying job offer during campus placement, which proved to be a blessing in disguise. A minor error in the final round of the interview made him discover the potential entrepreneur in him, and he founded Interviewstreet.com in Bangalore to help job seekers with mock interview sessions online.
Among the other winners were three heads of businesses in the Ohio Valley region, including Ankur Gopal, chief executive officer at Louisville, Ky.-based Interapt; Elkhart, Ind.-based Kem Krest president Amish Shah; and Louisville, Ky.-based V-Soft Consulting Group Inc. president Purna Veer. Additionally, in the Greater Philadelphia region, chairman and chief executive of Customers Bancorp Inc. Jay Sidhu advanced to the EY national Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
“EY has had a tremendous history in honoring outstanding entrepreneurs over the past 30 years,” EY said in a statement. “This year’s winners have not only taken their companies to the top, but they have also acted as mentors to their employees and made impressive contributions to their communities.”