As 2021 comes to an end, the world has been abuzz with new developments in Covid-19 pandemic or anything related to it, but there were Indian-origin techies, actors and entrepreneurs who made a lasting impact in their field and rose to fame amid the crisis.
Parag Agrawal: The India-origin software engineer, Parag Agrawal, 37, joined the likes of Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai and other top bosses of IBM, Adobe and Palo Alto Networks after he was appointed the CEO of Twitter in December. He has been the Chief Technology Officer since 2017, and had been a confidant of former CEO Jack Dorsey in carrying out strategic initiatives at Twitter. Agrawal was born in Mumbai and studied computer science and engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology. He moved to the US in 2005 and pursued a doctorate in computer science from Standford University. He joined Twitter in 2011 before completing his doctorate and became the key member of the engineering team that oversaw advertising technologies. Agrawal helped Twitter shift to cloud computing services from Amazon and Google to streamline operations.
Adarsh Gourav: Adarsh Gourav, 27, rose to fame in ‘The White Tiger’, standing out in the rags-to-riches story against Priyanka Chopra and Rajkummar Rao. He made his character Balram speak through his silences and his eyes expressed anguish and aspirations of a young man of early 2000s. Cannot wait to see him in ‘Extrapolations’ with Meryl Streep and Kit Harington.
Anupam Tripathi: The Indian actor was recognised globally in hit Korean dystopian drama ‘Squid Game’ on Netflix. Anupam Tripathi’s passion for acting took him to South Korea and made him bring the best in his Asian character, Ali, in ‘Squid Game’. Ali taught the audience how to face hardships with having a strong belief that “everything’s going to be alright” and hope that will help you tide through unending obstacles. His character was selfless, caring, hard-working, loyal and innocent in the show.
Jay Chaudhry: The entrepreneur with a net worth of $16.3 billion, and among the 400 wealthiest Americans, according to Forbes, Jay Chaudhry became the richest Indian American in 2021. He founded Zscaler in 2008, a cloud-based information security firm, and four other companies in the US – AirDefence, a wireless security firm, CoreHarbor, which provides B-2-B e-commerce hosting and management services, Secure IT, a cybersecurity firm, and CipherTrust, the first email security gateway. He and his family owns 42% of the Nasdaq-listed Zscaler. He was born in Himachal Pradesh and went to the US in 1980 to attend the University of Cincinnati. Chaudhry remains a private person and keeps a low profile.
Harish Patel: After working in films such as ‘Mr India’, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ and ‘Ghatak’ among others, Harish Patel is back in the spotlight with Marvel film ‘Eternals’. The actor, who said he always wanted to work in a Marvel film, is essaying the role of Karun. ‘Eternals’ is directed by Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao and also stars Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, Gemma Chan and others.