This Republic Day 2020, the government of India honoured 141 achievers including four Indian Americans with Padma awards for their distinguished service and contribution in their respective fields. All the recipients of Padma awards 2020 were felicitated by President Ram Nath Kovind on the 71st Republic Day in New Delhi, India. The third richest Indian-origin billionaire Romesh T. Wadhwani, marketing guru Jagdish Sheth, California University’s economics professor Prasanta Kumar Pattanaik, and S.P. Kothari, former deputy dean at MIT Sloan School of Management are the four Indian American Padma awardees in 2020.
Billionaire-cum-Philanthropist Romesh T. Wadhwani
One of the richest billionaires in USA and the wealthiest Indian Americans on Forbes’ 2019 list, Romesh T. Wadhwani is awarded the Padma Shri on the eve of the 71st Republic Day. The third richest Indian-origin billionaire in USA with net worth USD 3.3 billion, Romesh Wadhwani is the founder of CEO of Symphony Technology Group. A resident of California, he is not just an astute entrepreneur but a compassionate philanthropist too. His journey from the day his family relocated to India from Karachi during the Partition to the day he became the richest Gujarati businessman in USA, is full of inspiring tales. An IIT Bombay graduate with a PhD in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, he set up the Wadhwani Foundation with focus on socio-economic development in India. In 2012, he launched a world-class research facility at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru and named it after his mother, Shanta Wadhwani.
Marketing Guru Jagdish Sheth
Among the overseas Indians honoured with Padma awards is Indian American Jagdish Sheth from Atlanta, Georgia. Popularly known as marketing guru, Jagdish Sheth received Padma Bhushan for his contribution in literature and education. ‘Theory of Buyer Behaviour’, co-authored by him, is considered as a ‘bible’ of consumer psychology and marketing. It was Jagdish Seth who presented the Philip Kotler Presidential Award to Narendra Modi in January 2019. A Professor of Business at Emory University Goizueta Business School, he came to the USA for MBA studies at the University of Pittsburgh in 1962. He is a widely published author with more than 200 articles to his name in leading marketing journals across the world.
California University’s Professor Prasanta Kumar Pattanaik
One of the Indian American Padma Shri awardees, Prasanta Kumar Pattanaik received the prestigious honour in literature and education. A professor of Economics at the University of California, Pattanaik hails from Odisha. A graduate of Odisha’s Utkal University with a PhD from Delhi School of Economics, he has several feathers in his cap. Apart from being a fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association, Prasanta Kumar Pattanaik works as a research associate for the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. He shares the distinction of being an advisory editor for the journal, Social Choice and Welfare, with Nobel Laureate and economist Amartya Sen.
MTI’s Former Deputy Dean S.P. Kothari
S.P. Kothari from Boston is one of the Indian American Padma Shri recipients in 2020. Kothari is the Gordon Y. Billard Professor of Management. He was the deputy dean at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. An eminent alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad with a PhD from the University of Iowa, S.P. Kothari served as the chief economist and director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis in the United States. He was once the global head of Equity Research, Barclays Global Investor. The American Accounting Association honoured him with the Accounting Literature Award 2014. Indian American S.P. Kothari is one of the experts on India’s economic policies.
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