The Indian Increase

Why the number of Indians in power continues to grow


Kushi Maridu

Seniors Arissa Khan and Anagha Sudhindra participate in a lab in AP Physics 2 to further their understanding in the STEM field.

Kushi Maridu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella and, now, Rishi Sunak. 

CEO of Google, CEO of Microsoft, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, respectively. 

Indians are taking over powerful positions throughout the world. The positions these emerging minorities have secured have shocked much of the world and have left many wondering how Indians have made such strides.

With India’s population reaching 1.4 billion, Indians make up nearly 18% of the world population. This itself statistically means around 1 in 5 people in leadership positions should be of  Indian descent.

Due to so many people concentrated on a small area of land, it is necessary to find ways to maximize resources and find more optimal solutions. To do this, Indians must fight an uphill battle against corruption, flawed infrastructure and bureaucratic indecisions. Already being successful at finding innovative solutions on a smaller scale, certain individuals can carry these skills into the corporate world on a larger scale.

An example of this is seen with Nadella. The CEO of Microsoft grew up in Hyderabad, one of India’s highest populated cities. He joined Microsoft in 1992 and slowly moved up the ranks until he became CEO in 2014. Nadella was a valuable asset to the company long before he became CEO. He helped develop one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world and helped outperform Microsoft’s metrics in many ways.

Because of India’s high population, there are very few opportunities for high-level jobs in India. This causes many Indians to migrate to the West for higher education. America’s Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 caused an increase in migration for many Indians to the West in search of opportunities in the “land of opportunity.” For example, Nadella moved to the US to study at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee to study computer science. Pichai, Google’s CEO, moved to and studied at Stanford for material sciences and engineering and Wharton School for an MBA.

In addition to getting education abroad, many have found success from Indian education.

India’s education system focuses heavily on STEM from a young age, which heavily attributes to their success as leaders of multinational corporations. Added to this is pressure from Indian parents for their children to acquire STEM-related occupations. 

Senior Arsh Virk’s parents encourage him to find a future career in the STEM field. “My parents usually tell me to focus more on the STEM-related classes so that I can study something STEM-related in college. My interest in STEM has also increased as I take these classes,” Virk shared.

Back in India, this push towards STEM is justified. India’s chain of public colleges, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), are harder to get into than Harvard, with an acceptance rate between 0.5% and 2.5%. With such a low acceptance rate, many Indians are forced to compete academically to get seats in these prestigious universities. CEOs such as Pichai and IBM’s Arvind Krishna have attended and graduated from IIT, showing their academic prowess.

As Indians got more educated and discrimination decreased in the West, it was easier than ever for people of color to acquire and hold positions that were traditionally assigned to white people. Many Indians took advantage of this. They started in normal-level jobs and slowly moved up the ranks as opportunities arose. 

This was the case for Sunak, the UK’s first Prime Minister of color.

Contrary to popular belief, Sunak is not directly from India. He’s only of Indian descent, born in South Africa to Indian immigrant parents.

Sunak’s career first consisted of business jobs. He worked as an analyst for Goldman Sachs from 2001 to 2004 and then worked with hedge funds from 2007 to 2014. He then joined the British Conservative Party in 2015 and competed in the race in Richmond, UK and ended up winning the seat. He kept the seat as a Member of the Parliament in both the 2017 and the 2019 elections. In 2019, Sunak was also assigned the position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He continued to gain popularity and eventually, Sunak ended up as the 57th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

It is safe to say this is only the beginning of the rise of Indian leaders. India gained independence from the Imperial British rule only in 1947. It took less than seven decades for India to recover and start producing world leaders. As time goes on, the world will see more positions of power taken up by Indians.