- The trailblazers featured in the 11th edition of the annual list have made a mark on issues like global warming, reproductive health, student debt and financial freedom.
Among the 600 who have made it to the coveted list for their work in diverse fields is actress Iman Vellani, the protagonist Kamala Khan of the Disney+ miniseries “Ms. Marvel.” The Pakistani Canadian will reprise the role in the film “The Marvels,” alongside Brie Larson and Teyonah Parris.
Shehryar Khan, CTO of MarketPryce, is the sole South Asian in sports for co-founding a marketplace where athletes and agents can connect with brands. Kishore Kothandaraman, the cofounder of Goldcast, an event marketing platform for business-to-business marketers, is the only Indian American chosen for Marketing & Advertising.
Art & Style
Brooklyn, New York-based multidisciplinary artist Anjali Chandrashekar, one of the first South Asian cartoonists to be published in The New Yorker, features here. She also has two pieces of art, on nuclear disarmament, in the United Nations’ permanent collection. Joining her are digital creator Tanya Gupta of New York City, and Urvi Sharma, co-founder of INDO. Gupta, whose passion is content creation, is a lifetime MENSA member. Gupta became the first Indian-American Adobe Creative Resident in 2021 and has edited more than 100 portrait editorials for Tom Ford Beauty, Disney and more. Sharma’s brand blends traditional techniques with contemporary design. She was named one of Dwell’s 24 Designers to Watch as well as NYCxDesign Emerging Product Designer of the Year.
Veeraj Chugh, co-founder, of Opal Camera is among those that are in this industry for “creating products that better everyday life.” Chugh’s company produces webcams that use ML and hardware to improve sound and image quality for video meetings and recordings. Ayush Jain, co-founder of Altro; Priyanka Jain, co-founder, Evvy, which works to close the gender health gap by researching women and people with vaginas; Ashika Mulagada, co-founder, LifeAt; Aanandh Chandrasekar, co-founder, PetPair, a pet adoption marketplace that matches overcapacity shelters to adopters and fosters; Rushil Srivastava, co-founder, Simplify Jobs, a recruiting platform for jobs and internships; Sahaj Garg and Tanay Kothari, co-founders, Wispr AI; and Yoodli co-founders Esha Joshi and Varun Puri.
Indian immigrant Ish Baid, who studied at the University of Michigan, worked in software engineering at Facebook before launching Virtually in 2019, an edtech that offers online educators a data dashboard. He is among those in the education field who are “bringing access and opportunity to the classroom and beyond.” Rounding off the category are Bhavin Gupta, co-founder of Fynn; Vivek Pandit and Sayyid Ali, co-founders of PeduL; and Bangladeshi American Anayet Chowdhury, co-founder of ArgoPrep.
Boston, Massachusetts-based Supratim Das, Senior Associate, Corporate Development at Electric Hydrogen, along with Rupamathi Jaddivada, Director of Innovation at SmartGridz in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have made a name in this important field. Raafe Khan of Houston, Texas, Director of Energy Storage at Pine Gate Renewables joins them, as does Shashank Sripad, who co-founded And Battery Aero, a company in stealth to build batteries for electric aircraft with the support of an $11.9 million ARPA-E grant; and Sumreen Rattan and Gurmesh Sidhu, c-founders of Moment Energy, which recycles electric vehicle batteries when the cars stop being used and repurposes them for off-grid energy generation projects. Also included in the section is Tej Grewal, co-founder, Qube Technologies in Calgary, Canada, with a mission to detect and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial operations.
Kashish Gupta and Tejas Manohar, co-founders of Hightouch, which helps organizations like Spotify, AutoTrader and the NBA to sync customer information from data stores to software tools like Salesforce and Facebook Ads, are listed for their work in this industry. Others include Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran, co-founder, Luminai, a startup, which automates companies’ internal workflows, has secured nearly $20 million in funding from backers like General Catalyst, Moxxie Ventures and Craft Ventures; and Deepak Chhugani, co-founder of Nuvocargo which is dually based in Mexico City, Mexico, and in New York City, and is a digital logistics platform facilitating trade between the U.S. and Latin America.
Ria Bhutoria, General Partner at Castle Island Ventures in New York; Jump Crypto President Kanav Kariya of Chicago; Austin, Texas-based private securities marketplace Destiny & Forge founder Sohail Prasad; Kinjal Shah, Partner at Blockchain Capital, also of Austin; Arjun Bhuptani, co-founder of Connext Labs in Park City, Utah; and Sri Lankan American Sara Samarasinghe, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley in New York, feature in the list for their work in this sector.
Food & Drink
Two Indian Americans are listed here. Pulkit K. Agrawal founded The 5th Ingredient in 2017 after immigrating to the U.S. from India. The company’s algorithms enable breweries to improve beer quality, save costs and time, and achieve the perfect brew. Samah Dada, founder, DadaEats, always had a reverence for food, as she grew up watching her mother cook Indian dishes every night. This led her to find innovative ways to elevate her recipes in her own space in food media. Dada has since gone on to write her own cookbook “Love To Cook It,” which is a collection of unique recipes inspired by Dada’s plant-based cooking and Indian heritage. Currently, she is filming the third season of her show, “#COOKING,” which airs on NBC’s Peacock.
Recognized for saving lives and creating a more equitable future are several professionals working in healthcare like Nikhil Patel, founder of Craniometrix, which is developing an easy-to-use Alzheimer’s test that can be taken on a smartphone, and Saumya Sao, founder of The Violet Project by Johns Hopkins Medicine, a digital health platform, supplying the youth of Maryland with free period packs and safe sex products. Joining them are Vineet Erasala and Peeyush Shrivastava, co-founders of Genetesis the developer of a biomagnetic imaging tool allowing doctors to measure the heart’s magnetic field and diagnose cardiac issues. Grow Therapy co-founder Manoj Kanagaraj also features in the list for the online therapy platform that matches customers to therapists; as is Ankit Gupta, co-founder of drug development platform Reverie Labs. Also listed in Toronto, Canada-based Aadil Ali, a postdoctoral fellow and clinical scientist whose research led to the development of a novel organ transplantation device by Traferox Technologies, a biomedical device company.
Manufacturing & Industry
Leading the category is Harshita Arora, co-founder of San Francisco-based startup AtoB, which aims to help lower them with a payment system specially designed for truckers. More than 24,000 American trucking companies use the app to handle fuel purchasing, payroll, taxes and accounting. “We’re the Stripe or Square for transportation,” says Arora, who grew up in India.
Others include Sajag Agarwal, co-founder, Movley, a product-inspection company, which works with small- and medium-sized brands that have operations in China; Aarav Chavda, co-founder, Inversa Leathers, making environmentally regenerative leathers from invasive species, including lionfish and Burmese python; Rahul Sonwalkar and Tanuj Tiwari, co-founders of LiveTrucks to eliminate wasted trucking capacity; Raghavender Sahdev, co-founder and CEO of Toronto-based autonomous trucking firm NuPort Robotics; and Sagar Jaiswal, CTO and co-founder of Argentum Electronics in Toronto, Canada, which aims to top energy waste when AC power is converted to DC. Also listed are Nuha Siddiqui and Kritika Tyagi, co-founders of Erthos, which provides plant-based plastic alternatives are FDA compliant, biobased certified, and on the shelves of commercial retailers.
Listed here are producer, musician and technologist Arushi Jain of Brooklyn, New York, and Sonali Mehta, director of digital marketing at Arista Records. Jain, who popularized Hindustani Classical Music for a new generation, has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Tasmanian Museum. As a first-generation Indian American woman, Mehta works to increase representation for the South Asian diaspora within the music industry. Prior to Arista, Mehta spent six years on YouTube’s artist team where she co-launched the first-ever official South Asian diaspora playlist, “Sub Condiment.”
This section includes Shree Bose, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate at Duke University School Of Medicine; Nikhil Garg, Assistant Professor at Cornell Tech; and Sneha Goenka, a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University. Bose won the Google Global Science Fair as a 17-year-old, but she didn’t stop there. She now studies how cancer cells adapt their metabolism to grow in different environments, has an asteroid named after her. She has also co-founded Piper Learning, a company that creates STEAM learning opportunities for students. Garg’s research uses the tools of computer science and economics — including machine learning, data science, game theory — to understand and improve government and marketplace allocation. This work has been applied to improving government services in NYC and Chicago. At Stanford, Goenka co-led the development of a whole-genome sequencing process for disease diagnosis that set a World Record for speed.
Creating a name in the social media space is Pakistani American Zaria Parvez of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Global Social Media Manager at Duolingo, one of the most influential voices in corporate social media. “Under her direction, Duolingo has become known for its irreverent, snarky presence on TikTok,” notes Forbes. She is joined by Rushir Parikh, co-founder, Popchew, a New York-based startup that helps creators develop digital experiences, launch their own food brands and deliver their food to fans. Also listed is Neel Yalamarthy, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development at Mythical, the media company founded by creators Rhett and Link. He oversees M&A, venture investments and new business launches.
Those included here are “leveraging business smarts to save the world,” Forbes says. They include: Jhillika Kumar, co-founder of Mentra, the world’s largest neurodivergent employment network; Canadians Nuha Siddiqui and Kritika Tyagi, co-founders of Erthos, which provides plant-based plastic alternatives are FDA compliant, biobased certified, and on the shelves of commercial retailers; and Pakistani American Ahmed Qureshi, founder of Valorant Health, which brings chronic and mental health resources to more than 40 million Americans in underserved communities.
Retail & Commerce
Several Indian Americans are in this category for “reinventing how we shop, on and offline,” according to Forbes. They include Kunal Rai, co-founder of Gently, which lets shoppers simultaneously search for items across resale sites; Anuj Mehta, Kushal Negi, Akash Raju, cofounders of Glimpse, aims at helping brands reach customers in new ways at a time when social media ads have become less effective; Sneh Parmar, cofounder, Lucky, which helps online brands tell shoppers whether their products were carried at any nearby stores; Janvi Shah, co-founder, HUE, which makes it easier to buy makeup online; sisters Niki and Ritika Shamdasani, co-founders, Sani, which caters to the 82% of South Asian Americans that wait to go abroad to shop for Indian weddings.