These Are The Most Influential Indians In US Tech

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reshma saujani Reshma Saujani Reshma Saujani with one of her Girls Who Code students.

Earlier this year, Satya Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO, underlining the rise of Indians and Indian-Americans in the U.S. tech world.

Today, around 15% of startups in Silicon Valley are founded by Indians, according to the research of Professor Vivek Wadhwa , himself a seasoned entrepreneur.

We've put together a list of some of the brightest minds, innovative dreamers, and most accomplished leaders.

"It's just one more symbolic thing that validates that our world is becoming much more global and is crossing boundaries," Padmasree Warrior, chief technology officer of Cisco Systems, told the LA Times, after Microsoft announced Nadella's new position. "It suggests that it's execution and results that matter in the end, regardless of where you come from."

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SATYA NADELLA

SATYA NADELLA

CEO, Microsoft

Satya Nadella is the third CEO in the history of Microsoft. He worked at the company for 20 years before winning the CEO title, as a VP in the company's business and online services divisions and heading up Microsoft's cloud computing efforts.

He's known internally as a smart and diplomatic person, who's good at getting warring factions to work together. He just announced his vision for Microsoft to become a software-anywhere company.

GOKUL RAJARAM

GOKUL RAJARAM

Product Engineering Lead, Square

As product engineering lead at mobile-payments startup Square, Gokul Rajaram oversees the startup's point-of-sale system, Square Register.

He was poached from Facebook in July, where he was in charge of developing new ad units as the company's product director of ads.

Rajaram joined Facebook in 2010 when it acquired the startup he was running with his brother, Chai Labs. Facebook essentially bought Chai Labs to hire Rajaram.

Before Chai, Rajaram spent 5 years at Google, where his last job was Product Management Director, AdSense. He was also a product lead for several Google acquisitions.

In short, Rajaram is a tech superstar, described by past colleagues as "a legend" and "beloved times ten."

VINOD KHOSLA

VINOD KHOSLA

Founder, Khosla Ventures

Vinod Khosla dreamed of starting his own technology company since he was 16.

First, Khosla co-founded Daisy Systems, a computer-aided design system for electrical engineers, followed by Sun Microsystems to build workstations for software developers (Oracle bought the company in 2010). He eventually became a general partner at the VC firm Kleiner Perkins.

Then he decided to start his own firm. He founded Khosla Ventures, one of Silicon Valley's top-tier venture capital firms, in 2004. Since, Khosla has backed companies like Square, Jawbone, ZocDoc, Indiegogo, and bitly. Khosla is also a founding board member of the Indian School of Business.

RASHMI SINHA

RASHMI SINHA

Founder and CEO, SlideShare

Rashmi Sinha is a designer, researcher, and entrepreneur who founder SlideShare in 2006 to let users upload and share their work and presentations with the world. The company was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012 for $119 million, and it now sees over 60 million unique visitors a month.

Before founding SlideShare, Sinha co-founded Uzanto, a consulting company that worked on projects for companies like eBay, Blue Shield, and AAA, and then MindCanvas, a game-like software for customer research.

SUNDAR PICHAI

SUNDAR PICHAI

Senior Vice President, Android, Chrome and Apps, Google

Sundar Pichai, formerly only in charge of Chrome, got a promotion in March 2013 to head up Android, taking over the role of Android founder Andy Rubin.

The vast majority (nearly 80%) of smartphone owners are Android users, which makes Pichai's job even more important. Android is becoming more hospitable to developers as it becomes less fragmented, and as Android app sales bring in more revenue.

AARTHI RAMAMURTHY

AARTHI RAMAMURTHY

Founder, Lumoid

Aarthi Ramamurthy is one of the most notable female entrepreneurs out there today. She spent six years at Microsoft working on its Visual Studio software development tool and on Xbox Live.

Before founding Y Combinator-backed Lumoid, a startup for letting people test-drive electronics before buying them, she co-founded a bra-fitting company called True&Co.

AMIT SINGHAL

AMIT SINGHAL

Senior Vice President, Google

Amit Singhal, a software engineer, was honoured with the title "Google Fellow" (meant for the most talented engineers) for his work on Google’s Algorithm. He's responsible for running the team that makes changes to the way Google search works.

Prior to joining Google in 2000, Amit was a senior member of technical staff at AT&T Labs.

CHET KANOJIA

CHET KANOJIA

Founder and CEO, Aereo

Chet Kanojia's company, Aereo, lets users stream live network TV (NBC, ABC, Fox, PBS, etc.) to your computer, smartphone or tablet using an anttena for only $8 a month, much less than the cost of paying for cable. The company has raised about $97 million, but broadcasters hate it and are fighting Aereo at the Supreme Court level later this year.

Previously, Chet was the founder and CEO of Navic Networks which gave TV networks real-time audience measurement tools to place ads.

RESHMA SAUJANI

RESHMA SAUJANI

Founder and Executive Director, Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani founded the high school program Girls Who Code. Saujani launched Girls Who Code last summer as an eight-week intensive program where high school women learn the basics of Ruby, HTML, Java, and more.

She's working to close the gender gap in engineering and increase the number of women involved with software engineering. Girls Who Code's partners include Goldman Sachs Group, Twitter, Intel, and eBay.

SHANTANU NARAYEN

SHANTANU NARAYEN

President and CEO, Adobe

Before being named CEO of Adobe in 2007, Shantanu Narayen acted as the company's executive vice president of worldwide products. He recently lead to Adobe's push to bring its creative suite to the cloud.

He first got his start at Adobe when he met an executive at a trade show back in the 90s. At the time, he was running the photo-sharing startup he founded, called Pictra. Adobe was about to launch its first image editing product and Narayen wanted Pictra's technology integrated. The executive said that he would have to deliver a solution by the next week, assuming that the conversation was over for good. But, amazingly, Narayen ended up pulling it off, according to Barrons.

In 2011, President Barack Obama has appointed Narayen as a member of his Management Advisory Board.

KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN

KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN

Founder, Stealth Product

Since he dropped out of medical school to pursue entrepreneurship, Krishna Subramanian co-founded a recommendation site called Burrp!, which was acquired by Mumbai's Network 18 in 2010 and BlueLithium, an online ad network that sold to Yahoo! in 2007 for $300 million.

He's most recently known for co-founding the mobile ad exchange network Mobclix, which sold to Velti, a large mobile ad company, for upwards of $50 million in 2010. He became Velti's CMO in 2011 and worked there until after he helped take the company public in September 2013. In October, he left Velti — which ran into financial difficulty — to work on a stealth startup.

"I am working on an exciting idea that is keeping me up at night and I can’t wait to share it with everyone soon," he told colleagues in an email. We look forward to finding out more.

RAM SHRIRAM

RAM SHRIRAM

Founder, Sherpalo Ventures

Ram Shriram founded Sherpalo Ventures back in 2000 to guide and mentor entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas. Since, the firm has invested in Paperless Post, StumbleUpon, Zazzle, and Mint.

He's also a founding board member — and one of the first investors in — Google. He was an early employee of the Netscape executive team, and was president of Junglee when Amazon acquired it in 1998 for about $185 million. He continued to work as an Amazon officer under founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Because of his extensive experience, Shriram is one of Silicon Valley's "golden angels."

PADMASREE WARRIOR

PADMASREE WARRIOR

Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Cisco

As the chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco, Padmasree Warrior is in charge of shaping the company's vision, as well as handling mergers and acquisitions.

Before Cisco, she was the CTO of Motorola and she's passionate about helping other women in tech succeed.

Cisco CEO John Chambers has said that she is "among the sharpest technology persons in the world" and hinted that she could take his place once he retires.

NEAL MOHAN

NEAL MOHAN

Vice President, Display Advertising Products, Google

Neal Mohan is the $100 million man.

He came to Google in 2008, after the company acquired DoubleClick for $3.8 billion, where he was senior vice president of strategy and product development. DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt ended up working for Twitter, and tried to poach Mohan from Google in 2011. It looked like Mohan would accept a position at Twitter, but in the end he didn't. Why? Reportedly, because Google made him an offer he couldn't refuse: More than $100 million in stock.

Colleagues have described Mohan as a visionary who predicted how brand advertising would fund the Internet, turned this vision into a plan, and then executed it.

Besides working for Google and DoubleClick, he has served in strategy and consulting roles at Microsoft and Accenture.

YASH NELAPATI

YASH NELAPATI

Engineer, Pinterest

Yash Nelapati was Pinterest's first full-time employee, and worked with founders Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp to get the site off the ground.

At this point, he's been at the company for more than four years. Along with Marty Weiner — the second engineer to join the company — he's responsible for keeping the site up even during times of explosive growth. Pinterest currently has more than 70 million users.

DHEERAJ PANDEY

DHEERAJ PANDEY

Co-founder and CEO, Nutanix

Dheeraj Pandey founded Nutanix, a company that offers an all-in-one hardware box for corporate data centers that combines a computer server and storage. Nutanix is essentially changing the datacenter as we know it, and the company looks like it's set firmly on the IPO path.

Before Nutanix, Pandey was a VP of Engineering at Aster Data and worked on the development of Oracle's Database storage engine.

“I’ve always challenged the status quo, but I’ve also learned a lot about what not to do," he told Forbes at the end of last year. "While our company is growing exceptionally fast, I also know that business is not a ‘Hail Mary’—you need to build the business 10 yards at a time,” says Pandey.

NAVEEN JAIN

NAVEEN JAIN

Founder, Immunity Project

Serial entrepreneur and investor Naveen Jain is working with a team of scientists and entrepreneurs who are trying to cure HIV/AIDS through their non profit organization Immunity Project.

They have already developed a prototype vaccine and completed preliminary lab testing, but are raising $20 million to start an official human clinical trial.

POOJA SANKAR

POOJA SANKAR

Founder and CEO, Piazza

Pooja Sankar's startup, Piazza, is a question-and-answer platform for students and teachers to collaborate, and it just raised $8 million from Khosla Ventures and Bessemer. Before founding Piazza, Sankar worked as a developer for Facebook, Oracle, and Kosmix.

She started Piazza while studying for her MBA at Stanford. Ironically, she failed a class in entrepreneurship because she was too busy running the business.

GUREET SINGH

GUREET SINGH

Co-founder and CEO, Ayasdi

Fast Company named Gureet Singh's startup — Ayasdi — one of this year's most innovative companies in big data. Ayasdi helps people find new trends in their data without the need to write code, queries, or ask questions by creating 3D visuals. The goal is to make it easier to use data to solve complex problems and the company has raised $20.7 million.

He develops multi-legged robots in his spare time.

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