American technology innovation has a growing pattern: putting Indian immigrants at the C-level, and frequently, as the CEO. As you have probably heard, Twitter Inc. became the latest Silicon Valley titan to appoint an Indian-born chief executive officer, Parag Agrawal, joining the ranks of fellow major tech companies Microsoft, Adobe, and Alphabet (Google), among others. What can we learn from the continued trend of Indian leaders at the top of these household tech companies?
Immigration makes us more innovative
The biggest business edge we have in America is the ability to innovate. In fact, the US consistently ranks among the top most innovative companies in the world. One factor to that innovation is bringing in talent that has different learning styles, work styles, ideas, trends, and experiences. These different experiences bring a different viewpoint to the drawing board–or development table. Research and development, knowledge impact, and software spending are all top areas of innovation for the US, among other areas. As with Agarwal, he did research internships at AT&T, Yahoo, and Microsoft prior to joining Twitter and was hungry to make an impact at his new workplace with learnings from major technology players. He joined Twitter in October 2011 as an ads engineer, Agarwal has also held the title of Distinguished Software Engineer.
Foreign talent can accelerate transformation
Companies that are seeking to propel their company to the next level frequently look to foreign talent. Why is that? Foreign nationals who come to work for a US based company on an H-1B visa have invested ample time and energy into finding the right professional opportunity in the United States. They are less likely to job hop and look for competing roles, because they feel a sense of loyalty to the company that has sponsored their visa. They spend that energy looking for ways to do their jobs better, to transform stale processes, and to make an impact at their place of employment. In fact, Agarwal has been integral in launching project BlueSky at Twitter. The research initiative is focused on developing a set of open and decentralized standards that would give users more control of their content, help social media companies collaborate on how posts are promoted, and potentially allow for more effective management of misinformation and other harmful content.
We have shared in the past that diverse workforces help weave a solid, impactful company and community fabric. While some foreign nationals may seek student visas, H-1B visas, investor visas, and other programs offered by the US immigration system, one thing is clear: America is a country of immigrants, and will continue to be so.