Henrik Ibsen, the Norwegian playwright from the 19th century, would say that a community is like a ship, everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm. To produce the Greater Los Angeles Area community book, Project Chair Inder Singh and his team worked very hard to select and shortlist names that could find space in the following pages.
Southern California is home to several successful Indian Americans, perhaps the most across any region in the USA. They come from various walks. What marks them out is their quest for excellence. Their stories are inspiring for every generation of reader. Dr A S Marwah, for instance, arrived in the USA over 66 years ago on a Dental Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. This intellectual nonagenarian has not just been a dentist, but a guiding beacon for the community at large. Growing up in undivided Bengal, Mani Bhaumik walked barefoot four miles each day to school from the thatched mud hut where his family lived. In June 2016, Dr Bhaumik made a donation of USD 11 million to the UCLA’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, all thanks to the fairy-tale success he achieved in the USA. During his younger days BU Patel had the same problem as Mani Bhaumik, his family could hardly afford two square meals a day. An opportunity to escape from his impoverished existence came when he moved to Zambia to join relatives from his Gujarat village. In 1976, sensing a Uganda-like trouble for Indians, he immigrated to the USA. Today his firm has completed over 200 acquisitions and sales transactions worth over USD 4 billion. Dr R Narayanaswami has been a distinguished space scientist with NASA—an institution where Indians have been shining like stars—before venturing out into his own. KV Kumar is the proud recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, awarded to those distinguished American citizens that exemplify a life dedicated to community service—he’s put in over 100,000 hours of volunteer work.