Silicon Valley emerged as a hotspot for Indian software graduates in the 1970-80s. Ever since, they have broken the glass ceiling for immigrants, pushed the boundaries of technological innovation and many have secured highly visible positions of power. From the likes of Vinod Khosla cofounding Sun Microsystems to Sabeer Bhatia establishing Hotmail to the new crop of leaders including Sundar Pichai becoming the CEO of Google,Satya Nadella becoming the CEO of Microsoft and most recently Jyoti Bansal selling his app performance management company App Dynamics to Cisco for $3.7 billion, a long list of success stories have emerged over the years. “I was in the US on an H-1B visa and I had to wait many years to get my Green Card before I could start a company of my own. If you already have an established start up in India, moving to Silicon Valley to establish a presence is a bit easier,” said Jyoti Bansal, founder of AppDynamics to ET. Ajmer-born Bansal moved to US with dreams of setting up his own venture in 2000, but it took him seven years of working for other startups before he got the employment authorisation document that allowed him to launch his own company. “The first challenge for Indian-origin founders is to overcome visa and immigration issues before they can start a business in Silicon Valley. And the most important ingredient missing is the lack of experience selling and marketing in US and international markets, but that will come over time,” Bansal said. In 2016, according to the US Census Bureau, Indians stood out as the richest, as well as the most educated ethnic group in the country. Most recently, in an environment that’s becoming increasingly hostile, MadeByImmigrants was formed in association with the Amercian Civil Liberties Union. This comes as US president Donald Trump has made his views clear on immigrants taking away local jobs. The project said immigrants had set up over 65 companies, creating over 500,000 jobs in US, with Indian entrepreneurs and those at a leadership level contributing close to 35%-40%. “At Google alone, 40% of the engineers are Indians, it’s common for quite a few of them to set out and start ventures on their own. Even at the leadership level there are Indians heading various verticals,” a senior executive at Google told ET at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. According to the Migration Policy Institute, there were 89,000 Indians living in Silicon Valley in 2015, with most involved in the tech industry. Newer enterprise tech Indian startups Postman, Nutanix and Helpshift had to overcome a series of challenges ranging from insurance, office space, making local recruitments to adapting to cultural changes. “Setting up shop in a new country can be complicated. Everything is a bit different–banks, insurance, ways of doing business. We found our investors, Nexus Venture Partners, who have a base in Silicon Valley, to be super helpful on recruitments, finding an office, business advice on day to day challenges,” said Abhinav Asthana, cofounder of Postman. According to Abinash Tripathy, founder of Helpshift, the top two issues Indians face are adaptation to the culture and lack of a local network. “We are just starting to see the first generation of product startups emerge from India, which is very exciting,” said Tripathy. “The process of the ecosystem maturing to the point where we will create globally competitive companies is a multi-decade process that has just started,” he said.