Why do Indians as CEO are conquering the world?

Why does Global MNCs prefer Indians as CEO?

Till today we have seen Indians as CEO in large international MNCs. We’ve seen Indians lead and set an example for youth and young entrepreneurs around the globe. Whether it is Sundar Pichai (the CEO of Google), Satya Nadella (the CEO of Microsoft), Arvind Krishna (the CEO of IBM), and many more! Yesterday we heard the news Jack Dorsey steps down from Twitter’s CEO. Soon after that, the company appointed Parag Agrawal as the new CEO of Twitter. But on a different prospect if we notice the current population and unemployment rate we will always see a demand-supply mismatch in employment. Just like we have seen in the past few years India creates more billionaires than a few developed countries, but we haven’t seen much improvement in GDP per capita or poverty line. In some other article I’ll try to discuss these unbalanced issues in detail, today I’ll talk about Indians conquering the world as Chief Executive Officer.

First look at the data for Indians as CEO in large corporations

Below this table are the data of personalities that have been part of the organizations as CEOs. They may have been retired or resigned now.

Parag AgrawalTwitter
Satya NadellaMicrosoft
Arvind KrishnaIBM
Shantanu NarayenAdobe
Sundar PichaiAlphabet
Nikesh AroraPalo Alto Networks
Sanjay MehrotraMicron Technology
Revathi AdvaithiFlex
Jayshree Ullal Arista Networks
Anjali SudVimeo
Ajaypal Singh BangaMastercard
Rangarajan RaghuramVMware
Rajiv RamaswamiNutanix

Why do large companies prefer Indians as CEO?

We can’t unsee the first and most important point “Education“. If you see the personalities we mentioned above, one thing is common with all of them, which is education. They all are highly educated people. Also, one more thing to note is that most of them have done their post-graduate degrees from America or Europe.

 Indian immigrants are among the most educated in the United States; According to the Pew Research Center, 77.5% had a college degree or higher in 2016 – the highest proportion of any country with the highest ancestry compared to 31.6% of Native Americans. In terms of graduate-level, foreign-born students have filled the gap in recent decades, while fewer Americans are studying computer science and engineering, although growth is slowing. These are skills that not only big tech wants; For example, if you sell cupcakes online, you may feel more like a tech company than a retailer.

Read also: “The DART mission by NASA”

When the whole world was confused about what their children should do, Indians were busy producing engineers and doctors. You can call it our luck or be in the right place at the right time, but it works. Indians are prepared for the technological revolution. Adjustment too, For Indians arriving in the United States, it is much easier to conform to Western customs. In addition, they are “trained” to learn quickly and are very good at dealing with numbers. You get someone who adapts quickly and has a logical way of explaining why he or she knows something better than others.


Benefits Organizations Receive When Indians Work As Families. Now, I’m not being biased here when I’m saying this. When Indra Nooyi was appointed CEO of PepsiCo, well-wishers visited their mother’s home in India to congratulate her. Indra, who retired in 2018, had an idea: write a thank you card to the parents of the Pepsi star actor. “I am a product of my upbringing,” she said. “It occurred to me that I never thanked my manager’s parents for gifting their child to PepsiCo. The trusts that founders get from the beginning, that give founders and management a boost to take an opportunity of giving Indians as CEO.

Diversity and leadership

This is also not a new phenomenon. If you consider the 2013 export of data by Indians as part of Fortune Global 500 CEOs, that’s 30 percent. Today that number is increasing with an Indian as CEO. It is an emerging market with diversity, globalization, and high volatility. Indians as CEOs are almost content with diversity. This is due to the way people grew up in India, cultural diversity of language, caste and religion is the natural way of upbringing in India. Today, most global companies operate in diverse environments and CEOs have to adapt to the environment around them.

Leadership is another. Indians usually prove to be good guides in any difficult situation. As you grow up in an environment where basic infrastructure and systems are unreliable, you will learn to adapt, including working with fewer resources. Managers born in India are often prepared for the unexpected and eager to deal with ambiguity and control change. And if anything breaks, they come back quickly and work. Indians have good experience in fighting competitions. India’s limited resources and the huge population of 1.3 billion mean Indians face stiff competition from an early age. Whether you go to a good school or find your first job is a struggle. A well-known example is a competition for the country’s leading technical school, the Indian Institute of Technology or IIT, whose alumni include IBM’s Krishna and Google’s Pichai. In 2018, more than 10 lakhs students took the national entrance exam for one of the 12,000 places offered by the country’s 23 Indian Institute Technologies.


There are many questions about this concept, for example, if international MNCs want to empower Indians as CEOs, why would Indian companies hire foreigners as their CEOs? e.g. Wipro, current CEO is Thierry Delaport, Philip Hayden the CEO Himalaya, Günther Bucek, CEO Tata Motors etc. Why are these companies turning down the same opportunities that big overseas organizations are taking advantage of?

Although I only see this as a start. We will see more Indians running global companies, as well as Indians. Let me know if you agree/disagree. If you think there are other reasons why Indians continue to shine, please share them in the comments below.