Neerja Sethi Net Worth & Biography
|Popular Name:||Neerja Sethi|
|Real Name:||Neerja Sethi|
|Profession:||Businesswoman, Investor, Entrepreneur|
|Net Worth:||$1.1 Billion|
Every time a power list is made or an Indian American success story goes viral, it is typically the name of some of the most prominent men of Indian origin. However, alongside every big name like Satya Nadella or Sundar Pichai is also the success story of several Indian American women, who have succeeded in leaving something bigger than a dent in the glass ceiling. Neerja Sethi’s name is mentioned as one of the most successful women of Indian origin whose success stories started with gradual steps, small investments, and big dreams. She belongs among the top three richest Indian-origin women in the United States today who are not just inspirational to a new generation of immigrant women but are working hard towards changing the power dynamics in boardrooms as well.
Sethi’s success story started when she co-founded the Information Technology consulting and outsourcing company Syntel along with her husband Bharat Desai back in the year 1980. What started in the small apartment of the couple in Troy, Michigan, United States gradually expanded to become a global success story. Sethi earned an estimated $510 million for her stake in Syntel after French IT firm Atos SE purchased the company for $3.4 billion in 2018. She had been working at Syntel as an executive since 1980 and did not join Atos after the acquirement.
Early Life: Childhood, Education
She was born in Delhi, India, to Indian parents who were buoyant enough to sponsor her schooling. Having always been brilliant from day one, Sethi performed flawlessly in high school and earned herself an admission into Delhi University from which she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She also attended the same institution for a Master’s degree in computer science before moving to the United States to attend Oakland University for an MBA in operations management. It was during her time studying at Oakland University that she met her soon-to-be husband and business partner Bharat Desai.
Professional Life: Entrepreneurial Career
It’s not every day that a woman from Indian smashes glass ceilings to emerge as one of the twenty richest women in the United States of America. Neerja Sethi has indeed done well to register her name on that list.
She made her fortune with the Information Technology consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel which she co-established with her husband from their home in Troy, Michigan, in 1980. The couple started to rewrite their story together by investing just $2000 to start Syntel, which was founded to imitate the IT firm which they both worked at in the past.
In the first sixteen years of the Syntel Company, Neerja Sethi served as the treasurer and moved steps forward to become the Vice President, corporate affairs, a position that she still occupies. She is a board member of the company and equally plays several other key roles within the establishment all in a bid to ensure the top-ranking IT firm’s continuous excellence.
Neerja and her husband faced several hurdles in the beginning when they tried to burst into the American software service industry. The couple, during an interview, revealed that they had to overcome “biases in many people’s minds”.
In the first year, Syntel recorded a profit of only $30,000. But the founders persisted and after about four years, the company recorded its first million dollars. Syntel went on to acquire several steady businesses and Neerja Sethi played a major role in it.
Syntel set up several offices in the country and also recruited large numbers of Indians to be a part of its workforce in the United States. Slashing costs of labor seemingly didn’t make the United States Department of Labor happy and it ordered probes into the company’s labor practices. Despite all that Syntel and its founders have faced throughout the years of their existence, the company only continued to wax stronger. At this moment, Syntel employs more than 25,000 staff and has a market capitalization of $3.6 billion.
Achievements: Awards & Honors
Neerja won by co-founding the highly-rated Syntel which is a known IT consulting and outsourcing company. Her achievements so far have won her several awards and nominations, as well as recognition from individuals and institutions within the United States and in India as well.
In 2015, Sethi was ranked number 14 on the maiden Forbes list of America’s wealthiest Self-Made Women. She has also been ranked 16th by Forbes on its list of most successful American women, a feat that puts her name in the same bracket as Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg, and Beyoncé Knowles.
Despite all the challenges they faced at the beginning of their business, Neerja Sethi and her husband focused on their common goal and succeeded in leading Syntel to receive its share of success and recognition. The company’s accolades include – 70th on Business Week’s ‘Hot Growth Companies’ list, 29th on Individual Investor magazine’s 1998 ‘America’s Fastest-Growing Companies’ list, and 2nd position on Forbes magazine’s list of ‘Best 200 small companies in America’.
Personal Life: Marriage, Children
Neerja Sethi is married to Bharat Desai. She and her husband met at work while they were both working for IT firm Tata Consulting Services. Together they decided to create a similar model and later started their own company by investing just two thousand dollars out of their pocket.
They reside in Michigan in the United States with their children
Despite experiencing motherhood as a mother of two, no situation was big enough to prevent Neerja from guiding her company to greater heights of accomplishments.
Her beloved husband, Desai serves as a board member for the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Neerja Sethi Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets
Indian American entrepreneur Neerja Sethi’s net worth of $1.1 billion has been made from the IT company Syntel Inc which she co-founded in 1980 along with her husband. She earns a decent pay from her position as director at the company for over sixteen years. Sethi has also been the Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Syntel and was the company’s Secretary and Treasurer from 1980 to 1996.