Meet Neerja Sethi, now #24 on Forbes America’s self-made women list


The Delhi University graduate, with net worth Rs 8,200 crore, founded a billion-dollar company from her flat

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Sethi, a graduate in mathematics from Delhi University, a master’s in computer science from the University of Oakland, and an MBA in operations research, co-founded IT consulting and outsourcing company Syntel with her husband Bharat Desai in 1980. The venture was started from their apartment in Troy, Michigan. Both of them were working for TCS in the US when they met and decided to get married.

Neerja Sethi is one of the most successful Indian American billionaire businesswomen. She started this entrepreneurial journey with her husband with an investment of $2,000 in 1980, when she co-founded the IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel. Born in India in 1955 Sethi now lives in Fisher Island, Florida, US.

According to Forbes, Neerja Sethi has a total net worth of USD 1 billion as of 2022. Starting out with an initial investment of just $2,000, they pulled in a mere $30,000 in first-year sales. Syntel racked up $924 million in 2017 revenues and has 23,000 employees, 80% of whom are in India.  In 2018, French IT firm Atos SE bought Syntel for USD 3.4 billion. Neerja did not join Atos after the acquisition but she got an estimated USD 510 million for her stake, as a result of this acquisition.

She has been on Forbes’ America’s richest self-made women list several times. In 2022, she was on 24th rank. In 2021, Neerja Sethi was among the five Indian-American women who were featured in the Forbes list of ‘America’s Richest Self-Made Women.’ In 2015, she was ranked 14 on the inaugural Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women.

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