Indian technologists in Silicon Valley

Satya Nadella was appointed as Microsoft's chief executive in February, replacing Steve Ballmer. Photograph: ZUMA/REX

Satya Nadella was appointed as Microsoft’s chief executive in February, replacing Steve Ballmer. Photograph: ZUMA/REX

Ever since waves of Indian graduates poured into Silicon Valley in Northern California in the 1970s and 1980s, talented Indians have made breakthroughs, pushed boundaries and held positions of power in the world of technology and media.

Almost all the big US technology companies have technology pioneers of Indian descent, including the fathers of the USB and technology blogging.

Satya Nadella in February became Microsoft’s chief executive, replacing Steve Ballmer, which instantly propelled him into the highest-profile slot, but he is by no means the first Indian to make waves in the technology industry.

Ajay Bhatt

One of the most unsung technology pioneers is Ajay Bhatt, an Indian-American computer architect who is credited as being the father of the USB standard – something that almost every computing device uses today in some form or another.

Born in 1957, Bhatt graduated from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India and then went on to received a master’s degree from The City University of New York before joining Intel in 1990.

He became Intel’s chief client platform architect, but not before co-inventing USB, as well as several other crucial standards in graphics and computer architecture holding 31 US patents.

In recognition for his contribution to the PCI Express standard, which underlies several of the modern computer connection standards including the high-speed Thunderbolt connection, Bhatt received an Achievement in Excellence Award in 2002.


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