SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The Indian-American community has established itself as one of the country’s wealthiest ethnic groups, with an average per capita income north of $100,000 per year. For contrast, that means Indian Americans, on average, make $15,000 more than Taiwanese-Americans, which represent the next richest ethnic-American group. Aside from their communal fiscal success, a handful of Indian-Americans stand atop the mountain and have amassed a fortune big enough to place them on the Forbes list of billionaires.


Manoj Bhargava, Founder and CEO of Innovations Ventures LLC, 5-Hour Energy

Net worth: $1.5 billion (Forbes 2013 estimate)

The Princeton University dropout now serves as a businessman and philanthropist, and is the founder of Innovations Ventures, the company best known for its creation of the popular 5-Hour Energy drink.

Born in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India in 1953, Bhargava moved with his family to Philadelphia in 1967. He attended Princeton for one year, ultimately returning to India where he spent the next 12 years of his lifetraveling between a group of communal monasteries owned by the Hanslok Ashram. He eventually returned to the U.S. to work at his parents manufacturing company.

In 2015, Bhargava joined the Giving Pledge campaign, vowing to donate 99 percent of his net worth to charity. He additionally co-founded the Hans Foundation, a charitable trust fund which was created in an effort to provide a source of endowment for Indian not-for-profit organizations.


Vinod Khosla, Founder, Khosla Ventures

Net worth: $1.51 billion (Forbes 2016 estimate)

The Sun Microsystems co-founder sold his stake in the company years ago, which he used to found his own venture capital firm, Khosla Ventures, which has since seen massive success in Silicon Valley. Khosla’s affinity for technology stems from a childhood curiosity that was born after reading a magazine article that outlined the founding of chip giant Intel.

After completing his bachelor’s in electrical engineering at IIT Delhi, 20-year-old Khosla tried and failed to found a soy-milk company in his native India. He left the nation to obtain his master’s in the U.S. in biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Additionally, he obtained an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1980, and went to work afterward for an electronic design automation company, Daisy Systems.

Alongside three of his friends, the group co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982, with Khosla serving as the company’s chairman and chief executive until 1984. He left Sun the same year to start his venture capital firm, and three years later in 1987 would join Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a general partner. Khosla Ventures ultimately came to fruition in 2004.


Kavitark Ram Shriram, Investor

Net worth: $1.85 billion (Forbes 2016 estimate)

Shriram accumulated the majority of his wealth after investing on the ground floor of Google, a little known company at the time of its conception. The venture capitalist previously served under Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, a company he joined in 1998 when it acquired Junglee, an Indian online comparison shopping firm of which he served as president.

Born in India, Shriram studied math at the University of Madras before moving to the U.S. and joining Netscape as an executive in 1994. In 2014, Shriram and his wife donated $61 million to the engineering programs of Stanford University, where both of his daughters attend and Shriram currently serves as a trustee.


Bharat Desai, Chairman, Syntel

Net worth: $2.6 billion (Forbes 2016 estimate)

A self-made billionaire, Desai partnered with his wife in 1980 to co-found his company, Syntel, with an initial investment of just $2,000. The IT consultant and outsourcing firm has since grown to generate north of $900 million annually in revenue, and employ a figure of 24,500 people worldwide.

Desai was born in Kenya but raised in India, and obtained his bachelor’s in electrical engineering at IIT Bombay. He worked and immigrated to the U.S. in 1976 under the auspice of Indian multinational conglomerate Tata, where he served as a programmer. He would go on to obtain his MBA from the University of Michigan, and is currently a board member for institutions across the country, including the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Romesh Wadhwani, Founder and Chairman, Symphony Technology Group

Net worth: $2.8 billion (Forbes 2016 estimate)

Next to his service as chief executive of Symphony Technology Group, which he founded, Wadhwani is also the leading philanthropist who serves as Executive Chairman of Symphony Teleca Corporation, MSC Software Inc., Symphony Health Solutions Inc. and Shopzilla Inc.

Wadhwani earned a degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay prior to garnering a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon.

Before the establishment of Symphony as the leading American tech firm, he was previously the founder, chairman and chief executive of Aspect Development, which he created in 1991. In 2000, he sold the company to i2 Technologies for a whopping $9.3 billion. He additionally founded the Wadhwani Foundation in an effort to foster and fund entrepreneurship in India, and plans on donating much of his accrued wealth in order to accelerate economic development in the emerging economies.