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BW Businessworld

Over $5 Trillion In Market Cap: The (Indian) Midas Touch

Indian-origin CEOs have wielded their expertise to steer the largest corporations with a combined market capitalsation exceeding a staggering USD 5 trillion, which is higher than the GDP of India

Photo Credit : BW Businessworld


The persistent Indian presence at the top flight of high-worth companies worldwide has underscored the Midas touch of leaders from the subcontinent. While the likes of Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella and Shantanu Narayen helm the top-most tech companies of the world, another breed of leaders such as Reshma Kewalramani and Laxman Narasimhan lead multi-billion-dollar empires ranging from Pharmaceuticals to Coffee chains.  

But irrespective of the industries and companies they lead, these leaders have made significant contributions to global business, driving impressive growth and increasing market capitalisation.

Since taking over as Microsoft's CEO in 2014, Satya Nadella has led the company to unparalleled success. In fact, Microsoft's market capitalisation has witnessed remarkable growth. In 2023, the company's market cap reached USD 2.47 trillion, representing a significant increase of 38.21 per cent from 2022. But the growth in the market cap since Nadella took over as Microsoft’s CEO in 2014 has been a remarkable 547.89 per cent from USD 381.72 billion in 2014. This remarkable growth reflects the successful implementation of Nadella's strategic vision, with a strong focus on cloud computing, software-as-a-service, and emerging technologies.

Since Sundar Pichai began his reign at Google-parent Alphabet, the company’s market capitalisation grew by almost 70 per cent to USD 1.56 trillion in 2023. Pichai's emphasis on innovation, expansion into diverse industries, and strategic product development have been key drivers of Google's success.

Meanwhile, Shantanu Narayen has been a driving force behind Adobe's success since becoming CEO in 2007. Under his leadership, Adobe has witnessed significant growth and 679.26 per cent growth in market capitalisation to USD 189.57 billion. What drove this growth? Narayen's emphasis on subscription-based models, cloud-based solutions, and empowering creatives has been pivotal in Adobe's industry leadership.


Market Cap



USD 2.47 trillion

Satya Nadella


USD 1.56 trillion

Sundar Pichai


USD 189.57 billion

Shantanu Narayen


USD 205.60 billion

Vasant Narasimhan


USD 117.66 billion

Arvind Krishna


USD 112.33 billion

Laxman Narasimhan

Vertex Pharmaceuticals

USD 82.92 billion

Reshma Kewalramani

Micron Technology

USD 75.64 billion

Sanjay Mehrotra

Cadence Design Systems

USD 63.11 billion

Anirudh Devgan

Palo Alto Networks

USD 66.48 billion

Nikesh Arora


USD 57.64 billion

Rangarajan Raghuram

Emerson Electric Co.

USD 45.02 billion

Surendralal Karsanbhai

Microchip Technology

USD 41.80 billion

Ganesh Moorthy

Arista Networks

USD 51.37 billion

Jayshree Ullal

Realty Income Corporation

USD 39.68 billion

Sumit Roy


USD 36.96 billion

Shankh Mitral


USD 31.28 billion

Francis de Souza

LyondellBasell Industries

USD 28.16 billion

Bhavesh V. Patel

Enphase Energy

USD 24.78 billion

Badrinarayanan K


USD 28.17 billion

Ajei Gopal


USD 25.93 billion

Yamini Rangan

Waters Corporation

USD 15.05 billion

Udit Batra


USD 19.68 billion

Jay Chaudhry


USD 14.45 billion

Prahlad Singh


USD 15.50 billion

George Kurian

Nordson Corporation

USD 12.50 billion

Sundaram Nagarajan

Match Group

USD 10.41 billion

Sharmistha Dubey


USD 11.49 billion

Amanpal Bhutani

Albertsons Companies

USD 11.69 billion

Vivek Sankaran


USD 8.69 billion

Kunal Kapoor

The Indian Edge 

In the realm of global business, Indian-origin leaders have ascended to the pinnacle of success. They have wielded their expertise to steer the largest corporations with a combined market capitalsation exceeding a staggering USD 5 trillion, which is higher than the GDP of India.

But what exactly sets these leaders apart? According to Raghu Raghuram, CEO at VMware, the reasons are manifold, beginning with the "Law of Large Numbers." In the technology sector, Indians have perpetually thrived, boasting a significant presence within the industry. Moreover, India's unwavering reverence for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) manifests itself in the country's remarkable production of STEM graduates, surpassing even the most accomplished nations. This ardent focus on STEM education has served as a bedrock, nurturing a pool of skilled professionals poised for global leadership.Raghu Raghuram, CEO, VMware

Besides, many of the Indian-origin leaders embarked on a voyage to foreign lands, traversing the contours of their careers, and gradually ascended the corporate echelons. Raghuram said that India exported a lot of people over the years and they went through their careers and rose through the ranks to eventually become CEOs. “Satya (Nadella) would have been a CEO of some company, even if he was in India,” he added.

Rangarajan (Raghu) Raghuram was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors at VMware on 1 June, 2021.

VMware market cap over years:

Year       Market cap                  Change

2023     USD 57.33 billion           9.79%

2022     USD 52.22 billion           7.21%

2021     USD 48.71 billion          -17.27%

Experts opine that part of the CEOs’ triumph lies in an upbringing steeped in fierce competition, where limited opportunities in education and employment birthed in them the characteristics of determination and resilience. A ceaseless battle against the odds, from the earliest stages, also instilled within them a tenacity that enabled them to navigate challenges with unwavering focus and steadfast perseverance.

Another possible catalyst for their success could be exposure to setbacks from an early age. These formidable leaders have honed their skills in the crucible of chaotic circumstances, contending with inadequate resources and possibly even high-pressure exams. Such adversities bring about adaptability, empowering them to thrive amid ambiguity and uncertainty. Armed with such attributes, Indian-origin leaders confront the volatile, intricate terrain of the business world.

Securonix CEO Nayaki Nayyar told BW Businessworld that Indian-origin leaders bring to the table technology skills backed with strong cultural skills such as 'patience' and 'empathy'. These skills rooted in their cultural heritage, imbue the leadership approach with the tenets of servant leadership – a philosophy centred on serving teams, organisations, and customers. “I have seen most of the Indian CEOs embrace this approach,” she added.

Nayyar also said that more Indian-origin leaders are expected to come through the ranks as a lot of them are seeing their careers evolve beyond technical roles. “In the last 5 to 10 years, I've seen a lot of people evolve and get into business roles, P&L roles and running entire businesses. That kind of prepares you and trains you and gives you the experience you need for leadership roles,” she said.

Looking ahead, the Indian-origin leaders will continue to drive the growth of their companies market capitalisation through strategic decision-making, innovation, market expansion and customer-centric approaches. Their visionary leadership and ability to navigate complexities will position their organisations for success in an ever-evolving global marketplace.