Neerja Sethi, co-founder of IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel with her husband Bharat Desai and Jayshree Ullal, president and CEO of Arista Networks are among the Forbes annual list of America’s 60 wealthiest and most successful self-made women entrepreneurs, released here last week. The second annual tally of America’s wealthiest, most successful self-made women includes 60 trailblazers, 10 more than the total featured last year. While Sethi ranked 16th on the list, Ullal was on 30th position.
According to Forbes, Sethi and Desai started Syntel in 1980 in their Troy, Mich. apartment with $2,000. In its first year, the company only brought in $30,000 in revenue. Today it employs more than 25,000 people and boasts a recent market cap of $3.6 billion.
Sethi served as Syntel’s treasurer during its first 16 years of operations and is currently the vice president of corporate affairs, a role she has had since the company’s inception. She also sits on the board of directors alongside her husband, who remains chairman. Born in India, Sethi holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics, a master’s degree in computer science, and an MBA in operations research.
Born in London and raised in New Delhi, Ullal has a net worth of $ 470 million. She became president and CEO of Arista Networks in 2008 when it had no revenues and fewer than 50 employees. The company reported $ 838 million in revenue in 2015, after going public in June 2014.
“She took slightly more than an engineering team doing some good technology and turned it into the thriving network switch company it is today,” Arista co-founder David Cheriton was quoted as saying.
According to Forbes, the richest self-made woman in America is Diane Hendricks , the owner of ABC Supply, the largest wholesale distributor of roofing and siding in the country. Hendricks is now worth $ 4.9 billion, $ 1.2 billion more than last year when she was ranked second.
The 60 women, who are worth a combined $ 53 billion, have created some of the nation’s best known brands such as Gap and Spanx, while a number of them have also helped build some of the most successful companies in tech, including Facebook, eBay and Google.
Meanwhile, following up on her 2015 “Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year” win last year, Arista Networks chief executive officer Jayshree Ullal, along with the 49 other country winners, will be in Monaco for the 16th annual “Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year” Award.
The Indian American CEO was named the 2015 U.S. EY Entrepreneur of the Year winner along with Arista founder Andreas Bechtolsheim in November 2015 (I-W Nov. 18, 2015 http://bit.ly/1MTQw2E). The EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Forum is scheduled June 7 through June 12. A total of 55 entrepreneurs from 50 countries will compete for the worldwide title.
A winner, chosen by a seven-person panel of judges based on six criteria, including entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, global (or community) impact, innovation and personal integrity/influence, will be announced during a gala awards ceremony June 11. Previous winners of the award include Uday Kotak, of India-based Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., in 2014; and Narayana Murthy, founder and chairman of Infosys Technologies Ltd., in 2003.