Seven Indian American make it to Forbes’s top 400 richest in US


Seven Indian-Americans have figured in Forbes’ list of richest Americans, topped by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for the third year in a row.

The 2020 Forbes list of 400 Richest People in America has been topped by Bezos, 56 who has a net worth of $179 billion and has occupied the spot of the richest person in the US for the third year in a row.

Bill Gates is ranked second on the list with a net worth of USD 111 billion. The richest people in the US saw their wealth swell despite the coronavirus pandemic’s devastated impact on the economy.

“Pandemic be damned: America’s 400 richest are worth a record $3.2 trillion, up $240 billion from a year ago, aided by a stock market that has defied the virus…Even in these trying times mega-fortunes are still being minted,” Forbes said.

The list has seven Indian-Americans – cybersecurity firm ZScaler CEO Jay Chaudhry, Founder and Chairman of Symphony Technology Group Romesh Wadhwani, cofounder and CEO of online home goods retailer Wayfair Niraj Shah, Silicon Valley venture capital firm Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla, Managing Partner of Sherpalo Ventures Kavitark Ram Shriram, Airline veteran Rakesh Gangwal and Workday CEO and Cofounder Aneel Bhusri.

Rounding out the top five on the list are Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on the third spot with a net worth of $85 billion, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, ranked 4th and with a net worth of $73.5 billion and chairman, chief technology officer and co-founder of software giant Oracle Larry Ellison, ranked 5th with a new worth of $72 billion.

President Donald Trump is ranked 339th on the list with a net worth of $2.5 billion.

Chaudhry, 61 is ranked 85th on the list with a net worth of $6.9 billion. He founded ZScaler in 2008 and the company went public in March 2018.

Forbes said in 1996, Chaudhry and his wife, Jyoti, both quit their jobs and put their life savings to start cybersecurity firm SecureIT, his first startup. Wadhwani, 73 has been ranked 238th on the list and has a net worth of $3.4 billion.

His Symphony Technology Group brings in $2.5 billion in annual revenues and Wadhwani combined nine of his companies that were AI-focused into a new group called SymphonyAI in 2017, Forbes said.

On the 299th spot is Shah, 46, who has a net worth of $2.8 billion. Shah started the business in 2002 with Steve Conine, who is also a billionaire. Wayfair, which now offers more than 18 million products, generated $9.1 billion in net revenue in 2019, up 35 per cent from the previous year, Forbes said

Khosla, 65 is ranked 353rd with a net worth of $2.4 billion. Khosla cofounded computer hardware firm Sun Microsystems in 1982 and spent 18 years at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers before launching his own fund. In June 2019, Khosla said he believes artificial intelligence could replace traditional industries such as radiology and music, Forbes added.

On the 359th spot is Shriram, 63, who has a net worth of $2.3 billion. Forbes said an early Google backer, Shriram has sold off most of his stock but remains on the board of its parent company, Alphabet. Born in India, Shriram studied math at the University of Madras. His portfolio includes online invitation service Paperless Post, online HR service provider Gusto and mobile advertising company InMobi.

Gangwal, 67 is ranked 359th on the list and has a net worth of $2.3 billion. Forbes said Gangwal made his fortune from InterGlobe Aviation, the parent outfit of budget airline IndiGo, India’s largest by market share. Gangwal cofounded IndiGo, headquartered outside Delhi, with Rahul Bhatia in 2006 with one aircraft, it said.

On the 359th spot is Bhusri with a net worth of $2.3 billion. Bhusri is CEO of business software firm Workday, which he cofounded with Dave Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft. Bhusri started his career in the early 1990s at business software firm PeopleSoft, where he rose to become vice chairman. Bhusri has been on the Forbes Midas List six times since 2008 and in May 2018, Bhusri joined the Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy, Forbes said.