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Indian Influence in the West

A new type of indian is setting out to regain influence in the western USA. From a story in this week's Economist we read of Vinod Khosla, the son of an Indian army officer who gained his degree from the Indian Institute of Technology. He migrated to the US in the mid 1970's and completed an MBA at Stanford Univeristy in 1979. In 1982 he and colleagues from Stanford helped to found Sun Microsystems ('SUN' stands for Stanford University Network). From 1986 he went on to become a billionaire as a partner at Kleiner Perkins, a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm famous for its early investments in AOL, Amazon, Compaq and Google. There were many other tech migrant workers from India who were part of the tech boom in California's 'silicon valley'. After the tech crash in 2000 many of them went back to India and are the backbone of India's ascendency in tech support industries.

Vinod Khosla has stayed on in California and is currently immersing himself in a campaign to tax oil, get Californians to endorse clean energy and use more ethanol in a state-wide vote next November. Taken together with our story a few weeks ago on the growth of foundations ('Philanthropy's Tech Echo'), the are some new forces at work for change from the rich tech boys.

Posted Saturday, 25 March 2006


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