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Two Indian-Americans among Forbes America 50 successful women



New York: Two Indian-origin women have made it to the Forbes list of America’s 50 most successful and self-made women.

India-born Neerja Sethi, 60, is ranked 14th with a net worth of $1.1 billion, while London-born Jayshree Ullal, 54, is ranked 30th with a net worth of $470 million in te inaugural “Most Successful, Self-Made Women in the US” list.

Elizabeth Anne Holmes, CEO of blood diagnostics company Theranos, tops the list with a net worth of $4.5 billion

According to Forbes magazine, “to be eligible for this list, women had to have substantially made their own fortunes. In cases where they started businesses with, and still share with, their husbands, we’ve assigned them half of that combined wealth”.

Neerja Sethi, an entrepreneur, is an alumnus of Delhi University and co-founded an IT consulting and outsourcing company, Syntel, with her husband, billionaire Bharat Desai in 1980.

“In its first year, the company only brought in $30,000 in revenue. Today, its market cap is well over $3 billion, and it has 24,000 employees worldwide,” Forbes stated in her profile.

“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.”

Sethi, a mother of two, also sits on the board of directors of the company alongside her husband, who remains chairman.

“Born in India, Sethi holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics, a masters degree in computer science, and an MBA in operations research . Through their family foundation, the couple pledged $1 million in 2014 to the University of Michigan to develop a start-up accelerator,” the profile reads.

London-born Jayshree Ullal was raised in New Delhi, and took over computer networking company Arsita Networks in California as president and chief executive officer in 2008, when it had less than 50 employees, transforming it to one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable networking firms by 2014.

“Ullal, who owns more than 10 percent of Arista’s shares, is one of America’s wealthiest female executives. She took slightly more than an engineering team doing some good technology and turned it into the thriving network switch company it is today,” Forbes quoted Arista co-founder David Cheriton as saying.

Cheriton and fellow co-founder Andreas von Bechtolsheim had previously worked with Ullal at Cisco, where she spent 15 years. She had earlier served as vice president of marketing at Crescendo Communications, which Cisco acquired in 1993.

Ullal, also a mother of two, got an electrical engineering degree at San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in engineering management at Santa Clara University.

“Ullal has donated some shares to a family foundation created in honor of her sister, who died of lung cancer. She has also earmarked some of her holdings for her two children as well as her niece and nephew,” her profile reads.

The first edition of “The Most Successful, Self-Made Women in the US” released by renowned financial and business magazine Forbes, includes Oprah Winfrey, Madonna and Nora Roberts. At least 15 women on the list were born outside the US.


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Gurbir S Grewal nominated to be the next attorney general of New Jersey, US

Gurbir S Grewal has been nominated to be the next attorney general of US and would be the first Sikh to assume the top state law enforcement position in United States

Gurbir S Grewal nominated to be the next attorney general of US.
Gurbir S Grewal nominated to be the next attorney general of US. Facebook
  • Gurbir S Grewal is nominated to be the next attorney general of New Jersey, US
  • He would be the first Sikh to assume the top state law enforcement position

In a historic first, a distinguished Sikh public prosecutor “who has experienced hate and intolerance first-hand” has been nominated to be the next attorney general of the US state of New Jersey.

If Gurbir S. Grewal’s nomination by Democrat Governor-elect Phil Murphy is approved by the State Senate early next year, he will be the first Sikh to assume the top state law enforcement position in the United States and the second Indian-American, after Kamala Harris, who held the position in California before her election to the US Senate.

Announcing the nomination in the state capital, Trenton, on Tuesday, Murphy said: “In light of all that is being thrown at us by the president, we need an attorney general unafraid to join our fellow states in using the law to protect all New Jersey residents.”

Grewal, 44, is the prosecutor of Bergen County, an important district across the river from New York city. He was appointed to by the current Republican Governor Chris Christie and that is likely to mute any opposition the senate.

Symbolic of the public acceptance of minorities despite scattered incidents of bigotry, two Sikhs were elected mayors last month, Ravi Bhalla in Hoboken, New Jersey, and Preet Didbal in Yuba City, California.

Vin Gopal, who became the first Indian-American to be elected to the New Jersey State Senate last month, said that Grewal is someone “not only eminently qualified, but who will bring a perspective to the office that is diverse and long-overdue.”

After Murphy made the announcement, Grewal said: “I wanted to give back to a country that has given us and other immigrant families like us so much.”

Turning to his three daughters, Kyrpa, Mayher and Mahek, who were with him, he said: “As someone who has experienced hate and intolerance first-hand throughout my life, I wanted to work to ensure we all live in and that the three of you grow up in a fair and just society.”

Grewal added: “I wanted to perhaps also show people that while I and others like me may look different or worship differently, that we, too, are committed to this country.”

Hailing Grewal’s nomination, Rajwant Singh, the co-founder of the National Sikh Campaign, said: “These are exactly the kind of role models our youngsters need to feel proud of being a Sikh and an American.”

“While America could be seen having a very polarized situation politically and yet there are some very shining moments to show that people of all backgrounds can aspire for top positions,” he added.

South Asian Bar Association President Rishi Bagga, said: “The decision to appoint a visible minority as the chief law enforcement officer for New Jersey reflects the diversity of the state and of the US, and is especially important in a time where minorities and immigrants have often felt targeted by law enforcement.”

Attorney General is a very powerful position New Jersey heading the Department of Law and Public Safety, which includes the state police.

Grewal has earlier served as an assistant federal prosecutor in New York and in New Jersey, where he was also the chief of the Economic Crimes Unit.

In the administration of former President Barack Obama, Indian Americans have held senior law positions. Neal Kumar Katyal was an Acting Solicitor General.

Sri Srinivasan, now a federal appeals court judge in Washington, did a stint as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General.

Vanita Gupta was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and headed the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

US President Donald Trump has appointed Uttam Dhillon to be his special assistant and associate counsel. (IANS)