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Non-Indian CEOs is the new fad for India-based Firms. These Company Heads Explain Why These non-Indian CEOs heading Indian companies is now the latest trend catching up.

By Komal Nathani

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The business-friendly atmosphere for entrepreneurs aided by the relaxation in government policies, increased investor interest in the Indian business landscape and the mushrooming of millennial entrepreneurs is leading to new phenomena – non-Indian CEOs.

These non-Indian CEOs heading Indian companies is now the latest trend catching up. But the question arises - what is it that interests these enterprising CEOs to leave their land and get attracted to Indian companies.

Three company heads tell us what lead to the road less taken.

Founder and CEO of GRT, Ben WH James

Growth is always a double-edged sword. It brings its advantages in increased incomes and rise in personal mobility for a growing population. However, within the confines of the overly-constrained networks in India, growth also translates into problems.

India needs to plan its cities and roads better due to major congestion. Failure to make the appropriate plans will lead to substantial increase in congestion and traffic delays. A major increase in air pollution is also a serious negative impact.

Founder and CEO of, Sean Blagsvedt

India is in midst of incredible change, with technology and better job opportunities at the core of that change. It's awesome to play a part in that change and get swept up in that hope.

"I started babajob because I read a research paper by Anirudh Krishna, a duke professor and IAS officer, that revealed that Indians most often elevate their economic class by getting new jobs but those opportunities are historically constrained by the strength of an individual's social network," says Blagsvedt.

Given that I figured that mobiles would eventually be in the hands of everyone, I thought there would be a huge need and opportunity to digitally and reliably connect aspiring job seekers to employers. If that worked, it felt like an incredibly worthwhile effort and use of my time - namely a scalable and digital innovation to raise incomes of millions.

Co-founder and CMO of, Blaze Arizanov

The diversity is what attracted me. Different flavors cultures imply different needs. You can bootstrap and sell almost anything in India.

Second will be the language friendliness. "I am convinced that a decade later India will surpass China in growth. Unlike China, every Urban Indian speaks English fluently and that makes it extremely easy for a foreign entrepreneur to build a local team and start a company in India," Arizanov said.

Because the problem is unique in India and the market for the need happen to be vast and unaddressed owing to the cultural constraints. Such service would still not be possible in say Saudi Arabia and the language barrier plus censoring government makes it extremely difficult in China. Between all these countries, India is a land of opportunities. There has never been a better time to startup in India.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!


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