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Six NRIs head top American firms

Besides Cola queen Indra Nooyi, NRIs are running five other companies figuring in the Fortune 1000 list.

india Updated: Apr 22, 2007 15:01 IST

Cola queen Indra Nooyi is not the only person of Indian origin heading a behemoth like PepsiCo in the US - she is in company with five others at the top of the latest Fortune league of American corporate giants.

Besides PepsiCo, the global soft drink giant, persons of Indian origin are running another five companies figuring in the expanded Fortune 1000 list of the biggest firms in the US, published in the latest issue of US-based business magazine.

While PepsiCo tops the list of the Indian-run firms in the US at 63rd rank, it also features Hartford Financial Services, Rohm & Haas, Sigma-Aldrich, Tellabs and LSI Corporation, all of which have an India-born as the CEO.

The US-based cola giant is led by Indra K Nooyi as its president and CEO, a position she assumed last year.

Chennai-born Nooyi was elected to PepsiCo's board and became President and Chief Financial Officer in May 2001 after serving as Senior VP and CFO since February 2000.

The list also has at 82nd rank, Hartford, a diversified insurance and financial services firm, which has an IIT-Mumbai alumni Ramani Ayer as chairman, president and CEO.

Rohm & Haas, a US-based global specialty materials company, is also led by an another IIT graduate, Rajiv L Gupta, as the company's Chairman, President and CEO. The company has been ranked at 292nd position in the Fortune list published in the April 30 issue of the magazine.

Joining ranks with them in the exclusive club of Indian origin CEOs of Fortune-listed US firms are chemicals maker Sigma-Aldrich's Jai Nagarkatti, semiconductors and storage device firm LSI Corporation's Abhijit Y Talwalkar and telecom equipments maker Tellabs' Krish A Prabhu, who is the third IIT-alumni on the list.

While PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi is a celebrated business woman globally as well as in India, the other five CEOs also carry enormous respect in their respective fields.

Ayer has held various senior positions in Hartford group since 1973 and is also a member of the board of directors of the American Insurance Association.

Similarly, Raj Gupta joined Rohm and Haas in 1971 as a financial analyst and has held various positions of increasing responsibility at the company. He was elected to the Board of Directors in December 1998 and became Vice Chairman in January 1999. Subsequently, he was named chairman and CEO in October 1999 and assumed additional title of president in early 2005.

Jai Nagarkatti, who was born in Hyderabad, has been president and CEO of Sigma-Aldrich since January 2006 and has spent over 30 years at the company.

Tellabs CEO and President Prabhu joined the company in 2004 and prior to that has been CEO of Alcatel USA, the American arm of the French telecom major, between 1997-99. He began his telecom career in 1980 at AT&T's Bell Laboratories as a member of the technical staff.

Talwalkar, who was appointed as president and CEO of LSI, joined the company from Intel, the global leader in semiconductor space, where he served as a vice president.

However, on a disappointing note all the six Indian run companies, including PepsiCo, have moved down the ranking on this year's Fortune list.

While PepsiCo is down two places from 61st to 63rd rank, Hartford has moved down from 78th rank last year to 82nd position, Rohm & Haas is down from 282 to 292, Sigma-Aldrich has lost 15 positions from 909 to 924, Tellabs from 838th to 845th and LSI Corporation has slopped from 829th to 864th position in this year's list.