Press release

Dr. Romesh Wadhwani Receives Padma Shri 2020 Honor


Entrepreneur Recognized by Government of India for Distinguished Public Service

MUMBAI and LOS ALTOS, Calif.—Feb. 14, 2020 –The Wadhwani Foundation and SymphonyAI announced today that Dr. Romesh Wadhwani has received a Padma Shri 2020 award for trade and industry. Dr. Wadhwani is the founder and chairman of both the SymphonyAI and the Wadhwani Foundation.

The Padma Shri is one of the highest civilian honors given by the government of India and recognizes distinguished service. The President of India confers the award annually at a special ceremony.

Click to Tweet: @SymphonyAI founder and CEO Romesh Wadhwani received Padma Shri 2020 Award from Government of India:   #AI #socialgood #wadhwanifoundation #symphonyai

In 2001, Dr. Wadhwani established the Wadhwani Foundation to accelerate job creation and economic development in India and other emerging economies through large scale initiatives in entrepreneurship, innovation, and skilling. Today, the Wadhwani Foundation is active in India and more than 20 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Wadhwani Advantage and Wadhwani Entrepreneur are two large initiatives for helping thousands of entrepreneurs start new businesses and enable thousands of SME businesses each year to accelerate their growth, creating a large number of new jobs. The Wadhwani Advantage initiative helps tens of thousands of students each year learn employability and soft skills and get placed in high-quality jobs.

In 2018, Dr. Wadhwani and his brother Sunil Wadhwani established the Wadhwani Institute for AI for Social Good in Mumbai, a non-profit research institute and global hub for developing AI solutions for social good in public health, education, skilling, job creation, and infrastructure.  Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the Wadhwani Institute in 2018. WIAI was awarded the Google Prize in 2019 for one of its innovative initiatives.

Dr. Wadhwani is the founder and CEO of SymphonyAI, a fast-growing operating group of leading AI companies for transforming business. Founded in 2017, SymphonyAI offers a new generation of advanced AI solutions to drive revenue growth and operational excellence for customers in healthcare, retail, financial crime prevention, manufacturing and process industries, defense, and media. Prior to this, Dr. Wadhwani built Symphony Technology Group over 15 years from startup to $ 2.5B in revenue and 15,000 employees.

Ajay Kela, president and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation, said: “Besides his significant financial contribution, Romesh has worked hard for decades in service to others through deep engagement with the activities of the foundation as he built and expanded his businesses. It is gratifying that Romesh’s efforts to create jobs, teach entrepreneurship and equip workers with 21st-century skills are being recognized by the Government of India. We congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.” 

Romesh Wadhwani, founder, chairman, and CEO, SymphonyAI, and founder and chairman, Wadhwani Foundation, said: “I am humbled and honored to receive the Padma Shri award from the Government of India. I believe that high-quality jobs are the key to social progress and harmony, as well as to the growth and vitality of India. This is why Wadhwani Foundation is laser-focused on large scale initiatives for driving job growth.”

About Wadhwani Foundation
Wadhwani Foundation was founded in 2000 by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies through large-scale job creation. The Wadhwani Foundation operates in 25 countries, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, East Africa, and Latin America. The foundation works in association with governments, corporations, mentors, investors, and educational institutes. Its five major initiatives are driving job creation through entrepreneurship, skills development, and innovation.

About SymphonyAI

SymphonyAI is the fastest-growing private group of B2B AI companies, backed by a $1 billion commitment to deliver next-generation AI solutions for transforming the enterprise. Since its founding in 2017, SymphonyAI has grown rapidly to a group of six companies with a combined revenue run rate of more than $300 million. Over 1,700 talented leaders, data scientists, and other professionals operate the group under the leadership of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful serial entrepreneurs, Dr. Romesh Wadhwani. Website: