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Indian Superstars To Influence American Business

The Conference Board's prestigious magazine, Across the Board, has published an article titled “The Indians Are Coming” in which it sees Indian business gurus changing the face of American enterprise.

The authors of the article are Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove, founders of Suntop Media and recently launched London Business Press. They are the creators of the first ranking of business gurus, the Thinkers 50 (

A new up-and-coming generation of Indian business thinkers are ready to join a pantheon of superstars that includes C.K. Prahalad, Ram Charan, Nobel Prize economist Amarty a Sen, Vijay Govindarajan, and Sumantra Ghoshal.

A growing number of noted academics at leading U.S. business schools have Indian roots, says the article. This group includes Rakesh Khurana, Nitin Nohria and Krishna Palepu of the Harvard Business School; Jagdish Bhagwati at Columbia; Deepak Jain and Mohanbir Sawhney at Northwestern's Kellogg School, and Raj Reddy at Carnegie Mellon.

Rising numbers of Indians are enrolled in leading MBA programs around the world. For the first time this year, they will comprise the largest national contingent at INSEAD, a major business school with campuses in Europe, Asia, and the United States. At IMD, the Swiss-based business school, the number of Indian MBA students has more than doubled since 2001, and at ESADE in Barcelona, Indian enrollment has quadrupled in the last four years.

The authors note that prominent business journalists have Indian backgrounds, including The Wall Street Journal editorial features editor Tunku Varadarajan, Parminder Bahra from The Times of London, and many others. "Among the people who influence business thinking, there is an increasingly Indian presence."

While nobody can predict the long-term influence on American business, it is clearly expanding. One major reason may be the ability of Indian business thinkers to see business in a truly global sense. And, the authors point out, they do not automatically regard the United States as the center of the commercial universe.