I stand here today as a proud Global Indian, eager to share my own journey and the stories of other Global Indians. As an evangelist of this concept, I love showcasing the achievements and contributions of Global Indians.
My personal transformation into a Global Indian began during my time studying international business at the University of South Carolina. It was there that I first encountered the idea of a borderless world, where labor and capital could freely cross borders. As an Indian with many restrictions on movement and job opportunities, this concept deeply resonated with me and sparked a desire for change.
It became frustrating to realize that numerous jobs and opportunities were available worldwide, yet Indians faced limitations in applying for them. I firmly believed that Indians thrived when they went abroad, witnessing firsthand the positive impact it had on their personalities, families, and communities. Each Global Indian became a catalyst for change, bringing in ideas, networks, capital, and building Brand India.
Global Indians like myself were shaped by experiences in various places. For me, it led me to Silicon Valley during its technological renaissance, where groundbreaking innovations such as the Internet, mobile technology, Adobe Photoshop, LinkedIn, and Salesforce were born. This was a pivotal time for me, as I discovered the power of ideas and witnessed the significant role Indians played in the tech industry, particularly with the Y2K problem and the influx of H1B and student visas.
Returning to India from Silicon Valley, I witnessed a new breed of Indians. They were confident, ambitious, and globally-minded individuals who had embraced a go-getter attitude. This wave of global Indians marked an era of returnee entrepreneurship, where Indians came back to India, armed with international experiences and a spirit of innovation. These waves of migration and return created the largest diaspora in the world, with 32 million Indians spread across the globe.
The impact of Global Indians can be seen in every corner of the world. In the United States, Indians are the richest minority group, owning 60% of all hotels. Gujaratis dominate the diamond industry in Antwerp, and Indian cuisine, exemplified by dishes like chicken tikka masala, has become a part of global culture.
The stories of the diaspora are captivating, as they reflect the personal journeys and struggles of individuals who defied odds and made their mark on the world. From Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle against racial discrimination in South Africa to B.R. Ambedkar’s journey from an untouchable in India to drafting the country’s constitution, these stories inspire us and demonstrate the resilience and determination of global Indians.
The journey continues with individuals like Narayana Murthy, who hitchhiked his way back to India and went on to build Infosys, revolutionizing the Indian IT industry. Mukesh Ambani started as a petrol station attendant in Yemen before becoming the richest man in India through Reliance Industries. Satya Nadella, who took a chance and landed in the USA, eventually became the CEO of Microsoft.
The future of global Indians is ever-evolving. Innovators like Gitanjali Rao, a 15-year-old who developed a low-cost device to detect lead contamination, are shaping the narrative of the new generation. Their accomplishments remind us that the spirit of the Global Indian continues to inspire and bring positive change to the world.
As we celebrate the achievements of Global Indians, let us remember their remarkable journeys and the impact they have had on India and the world. These stories are a testament to the indomitable spirit, resilience, and determination that define the Global Indian identity.