10 Things You Didn’t Know About Neerja Sethi

Neerja Sethi is a business tycoon who made a mark for herself in the competitive world of technology and business. As the co-founder of Syntel Corporation, she has not only made a significant contribution to the tech industry but also paved the way for women in entrepreneurship. Despite her well-known status, there are certain aspects of her life that remain less familiar to many. Here are ten fascinating things you didn’t know about Neerja Sethi.

1. She is of Indian Origin

A fact that is not so well-known about Sethi is that she was born and raised in India, making her an inspirational figure for aspiring entrepreneurs in the country. Despite living and working in the United States, she has never forgotten her roots and values her Indian heritage immensely.

After getting her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Delhi University, she traveled to the United States for her Master’s degree in Computer Science. This decision marked the beginning of her phenomenal entrepreneurial journey and her successful career in information technology.

2. Syntel Corporation Started as a Family Business

A fascinating element of Sethi’s success story is that Syntel, a now-multinational IT company, started as a family business. In 1980, Sethi and her husband, Bharat Desai, founded the company from their Troy, Michigan apartment with initial investment was a meager $2,000.

Syntel began modestly, offering software development and maintenance services. However, under Sethi’s oversight as the vice president of corporate affairs, the company soon witnessed exponential growth and developed into a leading global provider of integrated IT and knowledge process services.

3. Her Husband is Also a Successful Entrepreneur

Neerja Sethi’s life partner, Bharat Desai, is not just a supportive husband but also a successful entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Syntel and served as the chairman of the company. He was born in Kenya and raised in India before moving to the U.S. for higher education.

Both Sethi and Desai have served key roles in propelling Syntel to new heights. Their collective hard work and dedication laid a firm foundation for the company, which now serves numerous Fortune 500 clients across various industries.

4. She is Among the Richest Self-Made Women in America

As a testament to her hard work and business acumen, Neerja Sethi has earned a place among the richest self-made women in America. According to Forbes, she was listed as the 16th richest self-made woman in the U.S. in 2016.

This Indian-origin entrepreneur’s net worth is calculated at $1.1 billion, all thanks to the gargantuan success of her tech firm, Syntel. Her place on the Forbes list exemplifies the paradigm shift in the business world, with women increasingly making their mark.

5. She Sold Syntel to Atos For $3.4 Billion

In October 2018, a crucial decision led to another significant development in Sethi’s professional journey. Neerja Sethi and her husband sold their company, Syntel, to the French IT firm Atos for an incredible $3.4 billion.

This lucrative transaction added significantly to the couple’s wealth. Despite selling Syntel, Sethi continues to inspire many with her unparalleled entrepreneurial journey and her role in transforming a humble business venture into a tech giant.

6. She Values Employee Engagement

Neerja Sethi strongly believes in employee engagement and its pivotal role in business growth. She has always been outspoken about the importance of maintaining a healthy work environment and acknowledges that a company’s success heavily depends on its employees.

Sethi’s ability to value and motivate her staff is one of the many reasons behind Syntel’s monumental success. She strives to create a supportive and engaging workplace, ultimately fostering the growth of both her company and its stakeholders.

7. She is a Private Person

Despite her immense success and fame, Neerja Sethi is known to maintain a private lifestyle. She keeps her personal life away from the public gaze and has a low-key presence on social media platforms.

This quality reflects her focus and dedication to her entrepreneurial pursuits. She prefers to let her work speak for her, and it indeed has a lot to say about her accomplishments and immense contributions to the technology sector.

8. She is an Inspiration for Women

Neerja Sethi serves as an inspiration for women all over the world, proving that gender is no barrier to achieving great heights in business. She has broken multiple glass ceilings in the world of technology, a sector often dominated by men.

Her story motivates countless women striving to make a mark in entrepreneurship. By overcoming various hurdles, she has encouraged female entrepreneurs globally to believe in their abilities and realize their dreams.

9. She Has a Philanthropic Side

Apart from her role as a businesswoman, another lesser-known aspect of Sethi’s character is her philanthropic spirit. She strongly believes in giving back to society and has been involved in numerous charitable activities over the years.

Sethi and her husband, Bharat Desai, donated $1 million to the University of Michigan to develop the Desai Accelerator for budding entrepreneurs among students and alumni. This generous gesture showcases her commitment to nurturing future generations of entrepreneurs.

10. She is Committed to Encouraging Digital Transformation

Neerja Sethi is passionate about driving digital transformation across industries. She recognized the potential of digital solutions early on and has committed herself to help organizations leverage the power of digital technologies for growth and development.

Under her leadership, Syntel offered exceptional IT and knowledge process services, helping enterprises enhance their operational performance. Her remarkable foresight and innovative thinking make her a significant player in shaping the future of the tech industry.

Interesting Links

Learn more about Neerja Sethi and her inspiring journey through the following links: