HBS Alumni Association: Indian-American network in Silicon Valley is transforming lives


Rohit Jain, CIO of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association and an investor with Harvard Business School Angels, says that many Indians who moved to the US for coding jobs have more than just technical skills. Their diverse education in India, which includes more than just math and science, has taught them how to solve real-life problems, negotiate, and make a positive impact on society.

“The fact that we knew programming well also helped many Indians to make a natural progression to management roles in the US. And, of course, having degrees from top American management schools brought more to the table with many Indian Americans making big transitions to CEO and senior VP positions,” said Jain who began his career as a programmer in the US. He later transitioned to leadership roles in companies like Upwork and IBM.

“The Indian-American network in Silicon Valley, where I live, has given the community the power to have a meaningful impact and transform people’s lives. For me that aspect is more important than just making a lot of money,” added the man who is currently the vice president of technology at iRhythm. This digital healthcare company is transforming how cardiac arrhythmias are diagnosed using wearable bio-sensing technology and advanced machine learning.

Indian Americans have not only succeeded in corporate America but also in academia. Many have become deans and leaders at top universities, including Srikant Datar, the current dean of Harvard Business School, and his predecessor Nitin Nohria. “It is usually the ability to see things holistically and do better for everyone that has served Indian Americans well; from CEOs of global companies to dean business schools,” he said, adding, “An ecosystem of CEOs of top companies and leaders in academia collaborating to promote innovation is not new in America; and now with Indian Americans in several leadership positions it is getting amplified from an Indian perspective. The ability of such a network to bring something back for India and build bridges in exciting.”

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