In July, the Forbes list of ‘America’s 100 Richest Self-Made Women’ for 2023 was released, featuring four Indian-origin business leaders. Among them are Neha Narkhede, co-founder of the cloud company Confluent; Jayshree Ullal, president and CEO of the computer networking firm Arista Networks; Neerja Sethi, co-founder of the IT firm Syntel; and Indira Nooyi, former chair and CEO of PepsiCo. Together, they possess a combined net worth of $4.06 billion. The youngest among them is 38-year-old Neha, whose success serves as an inspiration for thousands of young Indians.

Meet Neha Narkhede

Neha Narkhede, the co-founder and board director of Confluent, a tech start-up, has achieved significant recognition for her accomplishments. In the latest rankings, she has been listed as the 50th wealthiest self-made woman in America, with an impressive net worth of $520 million. This accolade was reported by Forbes in 2022, where she held the 57th position on the top 100 list.

Adding to her achievements, Neha Narkhede secured the 336th rank on the IIFL Hurun India Rich List 2022. This remarkable feat also makes her the youngest Indian-American to achieve such a position. Notably, she was previously featured in the prestigious World’s Top 50 Women in Tech list back in 2018. Her current net worth stands at a commendable Rs 4,700 crores, solidifying her position as a trailblazer in the industry.

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Her Education & Career

Meet Narkhede, a Pune-born professional who recently gained fame for her outstanding achievement in the tech industry. She completed her graduation from Savitribai Phule Pune University before setting her sights on the United States. In 2006, she moved to the U.S. to pursue her post-graduation studies at Georgia Institute of Technology.

After completing her education, Narkhede joined Oracle as a principal software engineer and later moved on to LinkedIn, where she became the lead of stream infrastructure. It was during her tenure at LinkedIn in 2011 that she, along with her colleagues Jun Rao and Jay Kreps, made a significant breakthrough.

Together, they created Platform Apache Kafka, a remarkable open-source messaging system specifically designed to handle the massive influx of data on networking sites. The creation of this technology marked a significant milestone in the world of data management.

Narkhede’s dedication and expertise have undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the tech community, and her contributions to the field will continue to be celebrated for years to come.

Beginning of Her Meteoric Rise

In 2014, Neha Narkhede, along with two colleagues, bid farewell to LinkedIn and co-founded Confluent. As Chief Technology Officer, she played a vital role in driving the company’s popularity and value to new heights.

Confluent’s focus on making Apache Kafka accessible to more businesses led to a remarkable market capitalization of $7 billion. In 2020, Neha assumed the position of a board member, continuing to steer the company’s impressive growth.

In 2021, Confluent made its public debut, reaching a valuation of $9.1 billion with a net worth of $586 million. Neha Narkhede’s stake in the company amounts to 6 percent.

Later in 2023, Neha Narkhede made headlines by announcing a new venture called Oscilar, a fraud detection firm.

Success Led to an Avalanche of Recognition 

Neha’s achievements with Confluent garnered widespread recognition. She was listed in Forbes America’s Self-Made Women List in 2022, named among The World’s Top 50 Women in Tech in 2018, and recognized as an Innovator Under 35 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2017.

Drawing on her valuable experience, Neha has actively contributed to the tech ecosystem by serving as an investor and advisor to promising companies such as Gem, Block Party, Material Security, Abacus AI, and Cortex Data.