The Tech Sultan

Sleek, compelling, and sharp, he is constantly on the lookout for the next thing, and confident enough to appear just a touch complacent.  There doesn’t seem to be a chink in his well-oiled corporate armour.

His career trajectory has not been predictable. It has involved several risky changes of orientation, but throughout, Nikesh Arora seems to have had a single goal in mind: always to challenge himself even if that means taking the less obvious route to success. 

He is currently the President of telecommunications giant SoftBank Corp.

Early Life and Education

Arora was born in Ghaziabad and completed his schooling from The Air Force School (Subroto Park), in Delhi.

 He graduated as an Electronic Engineer from IIT BHU in 1989.

After completing his engineering he had a brief stint with Wipro selling computers. He however, decided to pursue a management degree from the US and enrolled at Northeastern University, Boston. 

Career

Nikesh Arora worked for Deutsche Telekom, Putnam Investments and Fidelity Investments.

Arora worked as Chief Marketing Officer and as a Member of the Management Board at T-Mobile, Bharti Airtel, Europe and serves as a Trustee at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles, California. He joined Google in 2004.

He was Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Google Inc. (Google) since January 2011 until July 2014.

Previously he held multiple senior operating leadership roles at Google, serving as President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development from 2009 to 2010, President, Europe, Middle East and Africa from 2007 to 2009 and Vice President, Europe Operations from 2004 to 2007. 

Personal Life

Arora is married to Ayesha Thapar. Media called the wedding as the mother of all fat Punjabi weddings. Attended by the Who’s Who of Silicon Valley, Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the marriage was all over the US and Indian press.

A keen golfer and a fast thinker, Nikesh Arora is considered by his colleague and juniors as a team person and a cult-figure among Indian Googlers.

But despite being a globe-trotter (Arora travels 100 days a year) Arora is an Indian at heart. His colleagues say that Indian culture still plays a very important part of his life.

He eats Indian food at home (Arora carries his own bottle of hot sauce to add to his food in restaurants), his family speaks in Hindi and like all Indians he watches cricket matches, even if it is late in the night.

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