A trio of Indian American executives from across the country has won the regional events for this year’s Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Shiva Rajagopalan, CEO of Seven Lakes Technologies, won the business services award in the Greater Los Angeles region; Payal Kadakia, founder and CEO of ClassPass, won in the New York region; and Atul Gupta, president of Advanced Technologies Group LLC, won the federal services award in the Upper Midwest region.
The three joined Dheeraj Pandey, president and CEO of Nutanix Inc., and Jayshree Ullal, president and CEO of Arista Networks, who were named emerging and networking category winners respectively in the Northern California region on June 12 (see India-West’s earlier story here: http://bit.ly/1d4pKWh).
Winners were selected by an independent judging panel comprising previous award winners, leading CEOs, private capital investors and other business leaders.
Rajagopalan, who holds a bachelor’s in engineering from IIT Bombay, founded Seven Lakes Technologies in 2009. Since the company’s inception, Rajagopalan has expanded it to more than 60 employees and locations in Los Angeles, Houston and Bangalore.
Seven Lakes has evolved from developing data integration solutions into a leading provider of oil and gas enterprise software and field data capture.
Starting as a data architect in the real estate industry, Rajagopalan successfully led many projects to consolidate various sets of disparate data to make business processes more efficient.
He later worked in the oil patch at Chevron in California where he noticed large-scale inefficiencies in data, business processes and analytics across the industry.
In 2009, Rajagopalan started working on contract for Linn Energy and later that year, Seven Lakes Technologies was born to help oil and gas companies better manage, visualize and make informed decisions from their data.
Kadakia has been a dancer since the age of three when she started training in Indian classical and folk styles of dance. Her passion for dance, entrepreneurship, and making the world a more active, happy place led to the founding of ClassPass, according to her personal Web site, www.payalkadakia.com.
ClassPass is a membership program for fitness classes across multiple gyms and studios, making working out more engaging, accessible and affordable.
Kadakia also founded The Sa Dance Company, a contemporary Indian dance company.
Prior to founding ClassPass, Kadakia, who has a degree from MIT in operations research and economics, worked as a consultant at Bain & Company and in Warner Music Group’s digital strategy and business development group.
Gupta founded the West Des Moines, Iowa-based ATG in 1991. Since 2000, the company specializes exclusively on providing all software solutions needed to effectively and efficiently operate a large correctional agency, according to Gupta’s LinkedIn page.
ATG is one of the largest solution providers in this space, with clients including the U.S. Department of Justice, and the California, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Oklahoma departments of corrections.
Gupta has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Grinnell College in Iowa. In addition to his time with ATG, Gupta has served as the senior research analyst at the Principal Financial Group; vice president at the Computer Supply Store; and director of information systems at Principal International.
More than a dozen regions have yet to name their 2015 winners, which will occur in the coming weeks.
Several Indian American and South Asian American entrepreneurs have been nominated for the regional awards, including Satya Tiwari, Asif Ramji and Raj Sardana in the Southeast region; Raj Malik, Rohit Mehrotra and Mehul Patel in the Southwest region; Vinita Gupta, Dr. Setul Patel and Dilip Bhargava in the Gulf Coast Area region; Rina Parikh, Bharat Parikh, Rajesh Sinha, Navneet Puri, Jaswinder Chadha, Panna Sharma, Hiten Patel, Pankaj Mohan and Abdul Naushad in the New Jersey region; Kinesh Doshi and Parag Batavia in the Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia region; and Abhi Shah, Pallabi Saboo, Sandeep Somaiya and Mehul Sanghani in the Greater Washington region.
The national awards gala is scheduled for this November in Palm Desert, Calif.