Co-sponsored by the Center for Emerging Markets and Cornell’s Emerging Markets Institute the inaugural lecture series, “The Other One Perfect: Indians in America,” was recently held to explore how Indians-Americans came to be so successful in the United States.
Featuring main speaker Devesh Kapur, author of “Indians in America” and University of Pennsylvania professor, as well as Santhana Krishnan, president of CIMCON Lighting, Inc., and Venkat Srinivasan, Rage Frameworks, Inc. founder and CEO, the lecture focused on Indian-Americans in the U.S. as successful “outliers” and the steps taken to achieve those accomplishments.
Kapur outlined three “phases” of Indian immigration that have occurred since the late 1960’s: “early movers,” followed by “family-oriented” and the latest “IT generation.” Kapur explained a few reasons why Indian-born immigrants are outliers in the U.S., including a higher median household income average in certain counties than their counterparts and more dispersion across the U.S., as compared to immigrants from other Asian countries.
“Indians have done very well in the U.S., but why they’ve done well has nothing to do with the fact that they’re Indian,” Kapur concluded. “Had that been the case, India would have done much better and people wouldn’t have left there in the first place.”