This Article First Appeared In The Daily Star On Nov 9, 2022
Rishi Sunak’s ascent to the pinnacle of British politics has sparked celebrations across India. But while a brown-skinned devout Hindu leading the United Kingdom is certainly remarkable, Sunak’s rise points to a broader, longer-term phenomenon: the growing prominence of the Indian diaspora across the Western world.
This trend has been evident for some time, especially in the private sector, where Indian-born executives have risen to leadership positions at major US-based multinational corporations. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, and former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi are probably the best-known examples, but there are many others. According to S&P Global Ratings, no fewer than 58 Fortune 500 companies are currently run by CEOs of Indian descent. This list does not include Nooyi, who stepped down in 2018, and former Twitter chief Parag Agrawal, who was fired last month by new owner Elon Musk. But it is still long and varied, ranging from technology powerhouses like Adobe (Shantanu Narayen) and IBM (Arvind Krishna) to coffee powerhouses like Starbucks (Laxman Narasimhan).