Neha Narkhede: The Youngest Self-Made Woman Entrepreneur Who Made It To The India’s Rich List
Neha Narkhede, 37, the co-founder of Confluent, a streaming data technology company, is considered to be India’s youngest self-made woman entrepreneur.
Before founding Confluent, Neha Narkhede worked at LinkedIn, where she contributed to the development of an open source messaging system called Apache Kafka, which was designed to handle the networking site’s large data input.
“Eight years ago, she and her team decided to bring that technology to other businesses encountering the same problems with user data and founded Confluent, a data-streaming platform that IPOed last June,” according to a Forbes report published last month in August.
She was raised in Pune, Maharashtra, and attended the University of Pune, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from SCTR’s Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT). She left India in 2006 to pursue a master’s degree in computer science at Georgia Tech, and after graduating in 2007, she began her career at Oracle, followed by LinkedIn, where she reportedly worked as a software engineer. Only after that did she co-found Confluent, and it is worth noting that by June 2021, Confluent had risen to 25% on the NASDAQ, with a market valuation of US $11.4 billion.
At the Apache Kafka Summit in London that was organised by Confluent in 2019, Narkhede said 60 per cent of Fortune 100 companies were using Apache Kafka. “Even today, the new companies that get created digital wise use it as a basis for their business,” she said.
Neha Credits Her Parents For Instilling a Growth Mindset In her
“My parents did a number of things that still impact my life today. First, they instilled in me a belief that I could do anything. They helped me develop a growth mindset which allows me to approach things with the belief that over time I can learn something new even if I don’t know anything about it on day one. Second, they taught me the value of education. Third, they ensured that I was exposed to women role models; they were not in tech but they were women leaders in India that helped shape what I wanted to become in some way,” said Narkhede to Forbes.
They helped me develop a growth mindset which allows me to approach things with the belief that over time I can learn something new even if I don’t know anything about it on day one. Narkhede to Forbes
In an interview to CNBC, she said, “My father would discuss stories of these women who broke barriers. This cultivated a sense of empowerment in me, and made me believe that if people like them can do this impossible thing, then I can too.”
She previously appeared on the lists America’s Self-Made Women by Forbes in 2022, The World’s Top 50 Women in Tech in 2018, and Innovators Under 35 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2017.
She now works as an investor and advisor for businesses like Gem, Block Party, Material Security, Abacus AI, and Cortex Data, among others.