Tag Archive for 'Indian diaspora'

Obama Inauguration Ball, Bollywood style

Behind-the-scenes at the Indiaspora Ball for Barack Obama’s 2nd Inauguration. Bollywood dance by Mona Kahn Co. Music by “Red Baraat” bhangra band & Shankar Tucker. With host Wendy Bounds.

Islam’s eloquent face

As a Kashmiri Indian woman, Daisy Khan prefers high fashion to hijab. In New York Times Michael Grynbaum profiles the eloquent and indefatigable  public face of the maelstrom surrounding Park51, the Islamic community centre she and her husband Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf trying to build.

Daisy Khan had never seen so many Jews in her life. The year was 1974, and Ms. Khan, an awkward, artistic 16-year-old who had just emigrated from India to the suburban Long Island enclave of Jericho, N.Y., was attending her first day of school in America. It was not going well. Her fellow students giggled at the newcomer with the dark skin, exotic accent and unfamiliar religion. Few Muslims, it seemed, had ever attended the mostly Jewish Jericho High School. When a teacher asked her to stand and introduce herself, the questions came fast: Did she ride a camel? Did she ride an elephant? more

India to Silicon Valley and back

Sean Randolph in Asia Sentinel:

By 1986, nearly 60 percent of Indian Institute of Technology engineering graduates were migrating overseas, mostly to Silicon Valley. Research by Berkeley’s AnnaLee Saxenian found that by 1990 a third of the Bay Area’s science and engineering workforce was foreign born. One fourth of its engineers – 28,000 – were Indian, more than half with advanced degrees. By 1998, as the tech boom neared its peak, 774 of the 11,443 tech firms started since 1980 had Indian CEOs. From 1995 to 2005, 15 percent of Silicon Valley startups were launched by Indians – the largest number for any immigrant group.

Today about half of California’s 475,000 Indian immigrants live in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second largest community in the country after New York. Its profile is unique: median income is $107,000, 75 percent of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 70 percent are in management or professional positions.

The economic contributions are impressive. Immigrants from India have founded iconic Silicon Valley firms such as Sun Microsystems (Vinod Khosla), Brocade (Kumar Malavalli), Cirrus Logic (Suhas Patil) and Hotmail (Sabeer Bhatia). Behind this lie pivotal contributions to technology innovation, including ethernet (Kanwal Rehki), fiber optics (Narinder Kapany) and the Pentium chip (Vinod Dham). Many Indian entrepreneurs, having achieved success, have gone on to become venture capitalists, investing in and supporting a new generation of startups.

Now a new migration is underway, which promises to jumpstart innovation in India. It has three drivers: reduced opportunity in the US after the dot-com collapse and the second recession in a decade; sustained growth of 8 to 9 percent in India, which may now offer more entrepreneurial opportunity than the US; and India’s development as a technology platform and market with global scale. More:

Unjoin the dots

In the Hindustan Times, Sagarika Ghose says the much of the uproar over Joel Stein’s article on Indian immigrants in Time magazine is misplaced. Indians should learn to take themselves less seriously and Indian immigrants need to integrate more into the countries they adopt.

Indian ‘dotheads’ with their multiple-armed, elephant-nosed gods have taken over the once pure white American town of Edison, New Jersey and destroyed the memories of innocent white boyhood. That’s the burden of Joel Stein’s controversial article in Time magazine that led to so much uproar among the Indian American community that Time and Stein were forced to apologise. But while Indian Americans have expressed their outrage at Stein’s ‘humour’ and asked why a mainstream publication like Time should publish such an article, there’s also an argument that Indians should learn to take themselves less seriously. more

Previously on AW:

Furore over Time essay

IIT alumnus named Harvard B-School dean

A chemical engineer from IIT (Bombay), Nitin Nohria has just become the first Indian-origin dean of Harvard Business School. The 48-year-old Nohria, who has been a faculty member at HBS since 1988, will take over from Jay Light on July 1.

Read more here, here and here.

In the Boston Herald, Nohria tells Thomas Grillo that business has a greater purpose

Nitin Nohria was named the new dean of Harvard Business School yesterday .

The 48-year-old management professor and ethics expert’s appointment comes as the nation’s faith in financial institutions has been shaken. Nohria acknowledged the challenge of rebuilding the trust that’s been lost. more

Finally, check out a list of published articles by Nohria here.

The NRI is obsolete

S. Mitra Kalita in the Asian Wall Street Journal:

Beyond growing up and becoming comfortable in my skin, the creation of a fluid world makes less necessary split personalities, hyphenated identities, the alphabet mulligatawny medley of ABCDs, FOBs, LTOBs, PIOs or OCIs.

(For those new to Indians’ maddening love of acronym, that would be American born confused desis, fresh off the boat, longtime off the boats, persons of Indian origin, overseas citizens of India. No need to learn the jargon, though. Read on.)

Then there’s the most outdated label of all — the NRI, or nonresident Indian. Besides defining a people by what they are not, it ignores the possibility that technology and globalization has created: going back, straddling multiple homes, being here and there. More: