If India is shining at home, the diaspora is dazzling in America. What is more, it has stolen a march over the Chinese. Indians founded more engineering and technology firms in the US over the past decade than any other immigrant group, a new study reveals. Between 1995 and 2005, Indian immigrants founded more companies in these sectors than Chinese, Taiwanese and British immigrants put together. A fourth of all engineering companies founded in the US over the past one decade were started by immigrants. In 2005, these companies had sales revenue of $52 billion and employed 45,000 employees.
As many as 26 per cent of these firms had Indian founders. These findings were revealed on Thursday in a study conducted by Duke University's School of Engineering and University of California at Berkely's School of Information. The findings underline again how skilled foreign workers hold the key to the development of technology and engineering industries in the US. Vivek Wadhwa, executive in residence at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering and the author of the report, said many of the huge wave of Indian immigrants who arrived in the US after 1980 were knowledge workers.
This is borne out by two things: the fact that Indians obtained the most number of patents - after the Chinese - between 1995 and 2005; and that nearly half of all Indian-founded companies in the US are in the software sector. "These are the people who give the US its competitive advantage," Wadhwa said. "This shows that when Indians are given the environment, in which they can succeed, they can stand head to head with the best of the best, in Silicon Valley and elsewhere."