Five Indian-Americans figure among America’s 400 richest people, in a list again headed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, according to the survey by Forbes magazine. Symphony Technology founder Romesh Wadhwani, co-founders of outsourcing firm Syntel Bharat, Syntel’s Neerja Desai, airline veteran Rakesh Gangwal, entrepreneur John Kapoor and Silicon Valley angel investor Kavitark Ram Shriram figure in Forbes’ ‘The Richest People In America 2016’ list.
Gates tops the list for the 23rd year, now with a net worth of $81 billion. Wadhwani has been ranked 222nd on the list with a net worth of $3 billion.
Educated at IIT-Mumbai, he is the chairman of Symphony Technology Group, an empire of 17 data, technology, healthcare and analytics companies that together earn more than $2.8 billion in annual revenue, Forbes said.
The Desais rank 274th on the list with a net worth of $2.5 billion. Started in 1980, their firm Syntel generates over $950 million in revenue and has nearly 24,000 employees across the globe, Forbes said.
Gangwal is ranked 321 on the list with a net worth of $2.2 billion. He is an aviation entrepreneur, who co-founded InterGlobe Aviation, which operates budget airline IndiGo, that is India’s largest by market share.
US resident Gangwal owns more than 40 per cent of the company and currently serves as a board member, Forbes said. Kapoor, who ranks 335 on the list with a net worth of $2.1 billion, is the chairman of two drug companies – Akorn, which specializes in “difficult-to-manufacture” prescription drugs and Insys Therapeutics, which produces an opioid for cancer patients, Forbes added.
Shriram ranks 361 on the list with a net worth of $1.9 billion. According to Forbes, Shriram, who was one of Google’s early backers, has sold of most of his stock but remains on the board of its parent company, Alphabet. Since 2000, he has been investing in young technology startups through his firm, Sherpalo Ventures.
Sriram’s portfolio includes online card and invitation service Paperless Post, web and mobile app testing service Optimizely, and mobile advertising company Inmobi.