You must have often seen people of Indian origin in prominent leadership roles in some of the world’s biggest companies, such as Sundar Pichai as the CEO of Google, Satya Nadella as the CEO of Microsoft, Shantanu Narayen at Adobe, and many others heading global companies. But you may not have heard much about Indian-origin world leaders.
Have you ever thought that just like the Indian diaspora is successful in business leadership roles, Indians also hold important political positions in influential countries? The biggest and classical example of this is Rishi Sunak, who is the Prime Minister of the UK and one of the youngest PMs in the history of the UK.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important Indian-origin world leaders and politicians around the world that you should definitely know about.
1. Singapore: President – Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Singapore, which is one of the highly developed countries, has a president of Indian origin named Tharman Shanmugaratnam. He is the 9th president of Singapore. On September 2, 2023, Tharman announced that he has won this election with 70.4%.
2. Portugal: Prime Minister – Antōnio Costa
Cristiano Ronaldo’s country, Portugal, also has a Prime Minister with ties to India, named António Costa. Now, you might not think that the name sounds Indian, but there is a story behind it. Costa’s grandfather, Luis Afonso Maria de Costa, was a resident of Goa, India, and his relatives still live in Margao, Goa today. António Costa has been serving as the Prime Minister of Portugal since November 26, 2015.
3. Ireland: Taoiseach (head of government) – Indian-origin World Leader ‘Leo Varadkar‘
Whenever I heard the name of Ireland, the first image that came to my mind was MMA legend Conor McGregor. This beautiful and highly developed European country has a Prime Minister named Leo Varadkar, who has Indian roots.
Leo served as the Taoiseach (head of government or prime minister) of Ireland from 2017 to 2020, and he has been in his position again since December 2022.
Varadkar was born on January 18, 1979, in Dublin, Ireland. His mother is of Irish descent, and his father, Ashok, was an Indian immigrant and a doctor by profession.
Prime Minister – Pravind Kumar Jugnauth
Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, as the name suggests, belongs to the Indian community. He has held his position as the Prime Minister since January 23, 2017.
President – Prithvirajsing Roopun
The 7th President of Mauritius, Prithvirajsing Roopun, has been holding his office since 2019. The beautiful country of Mauritius has many prominent leaders, including the Prime Minister and several other major politicians of Indian origin.
5. United Kingdom: Prime Minister – ‘Rishi Sunak‘ Indian-origin World Leader
This is the biggest and classic example of Indian-origin political leaders. Rishi Sunak has been the UK’s Prime Minister since 2022, making him the first British-Asian prime minister.
The British, who ruled India for over 200 years, had said at the time of leaving India that Indians wouldn’t be able to run their country well. And today, an Indian is the Prime Minister of their country and is managing the UK quite effectively, which is quite ironic.
Related Article – Indian-origin CEOs: 11 Indian Diaspora’s Corporate Titans
6. Indian-origin World Leader United States of America: Vice President – Kamala Harris
It’s impossible to talk about leaders of Indian origin without mentioning Kamala Harris. Becoming the Vice President of the United States is indeed a significant achievement.
Kamala Harris’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born on December 7, 1938, in Madras, British India, and her father, Donald J. Harris, was Jamaican-American.
Recently, another Indian-origin politician, Vivek Ramaswamy, has been gaining prominence in US politics. It’s possible that in the near future, the US might even have a President with Indian roots, and there are signs that this could happen.
7. Guyana: President – Irfaan Ali
The president of the South American country Guyana is also Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who has connections to India. Ali was born into an Indo-Guyanese Muslim family, and he has been the tenth and current president of Guyana since 2020.
8. Seychelles: President – Wavel Ramkalawan
On October 25, 2020, Ramkalawan won the presidential election and became the 5th President of Seychelles.
These were the names of Indian-origin world leaders individuals who are leading their respective countries and are of Indian origin. Indians have not achieved this distinction by chance; they have earned a high position in the world through their hard work and dedication. Regardless of the field, people of Indian descent have established their presence and proven themselves on the global stage.