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2 Indians on US' richest self-made women list

02 June 2016

Sangita Agarwal

Two Indian-origin women have featured on the Forbes' annual list of America's 60 wealthiest and most successful self-made women entrepreneurs who have "crashed ceilings through invention and innovation".

India-born Neerja Sethi, who co-founded IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel with her husband Bharat Desai, is ranked 16th on 'America's Richest Self-made Women' list while president and CEO of Arista Networks Jayshree Ullal (55) is ranked 30th.

According to Forbes, the richest self-made woman in America is Diane Hendricks, the owner of ABC Supply, the largest wholesale distributor of roofing and siding in the country. Hendricks is now worth USD 4.9 billion, USD 1.2 billion more than last year when she was ranked second.

Ms Sethi (61) has a net worth of USD 1.1 billion. Her company employs more than 25,000 people and boasts a recent market capof USD 3.6 billion.

She is currently the vice president of corporate affairs, a role she has had since the company's inception. She also sits on the board of directors alongside her husband, who remains the chairman.

Born in London, raised in New Delhi, Ullal has a net worth of USD 470 million. She became president and CEO of Arista Networks in 2008, when it had no revenues and fewer than 50 employees. The company reported USD 838 million in revenue in 2015, after going public in June 2014.

"She took slightly more than an engineering team doing some good technology and turned it into the thriving network switch company it is today," says Arista co-founder David Cheriton.

Other notable names on the list include TV czar Oprah Winfrey, who moved up three spots to number two and has a new worth of USD 3.1 billion. Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's fortune is now USD 1.4 billion, up a third from a year ago making her one of the year's biggest gainers.

The youngest person in the ranks is 26-year-old singer and pop icon Taylor Swift, who made her debut at number 60 with a net worth of USD 50 million, thanks to her 1989 World Tour, which grossed a quarter of a billion dollars last year.

Altogether, 16 of the most successful self-made women made their fortunes in fashion or retail, more than any other sector.

Technology was second with 13, but six of those were C-Suite executives hired at technology companies in the early days, meaning only seven founded their businesses, added Forbes.