Kumar speaks with a cadence to others, while tossing his black hair to one side. He wears a long-sleeved shirt, baggy trousers, and likes to look at each other through square glasses. The appearance looks messy and unsophisticated, and it looks a bit outdated. Given the variety of sophisticated outsiders that Silicon Valley CEOs have to deal with, such attire may not be appropriate. However, when he talks about the battery, his candor and candor are revealed. When Chamberlain met him at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., battery conference, it felt like “this guy keeps his word and does what he says.” With a sleek haircut and baggy pants and a jacket, Cinkula was the “businessman” of the duo at first glance. Chamberlain looked them up and down and saw “two promising young entrepreneurs.”
Kumar grew up in the eastern Indian city of Patna, on the south bank of the Ganges River. Every day after school, Kumar and his friends go to a nearby open space to play cricket and football. At dusk, there may be a power outage for 3 to 4 hours, and the lights of Wanjia are plunged into darkness, so he reviews his homework under the kerosene lamp. After finishing his homework, he rushed outside again and continued to play in the dark. He was the youngest and most beloved of the six children in the family. His father mused that this environment hindered his education. So, at the age of 10, Kumar packed up and transferred to a military school. The school is located in Hazaribagh, a heavily forested mountainous region in Jharkhand, about five hours south of Patna. “I cried a lot – every time I went to school, I cried,” Kumar said of the experience. But when he got to school, he immediately played with other children of the same age, and his sadness was long forgotten.
About 100,000 students in India take the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance exam every year, competing for 2,000 admissions places, with an acceptance rate of about 2%. In comparison, Harvard’s acceptance rate was 16 percent in 1986, a year when Kumar also took the college entrance exam. Although the admission rate of IIT is extremely low, it is still difficult for students to resist the huge temptation – if admitted to any one of IIT’s seven campuses, students are expected to become India’s top tech talent, rivaling those in the US or anywhere else in the world. In fact, IIT students often go to Silicon Valley in the United States after graduation and hold various important positions in Silicon Valley. The students taking the test shoulder the ardent expectations of the family. Kumar said that if you are on the gold list, “your life will be worry-free”.
Kumar is eager to study at IIT. He took the IIT entrance exam and scored in the top 1800 for a place in IIT Statistics. It was something to celebrate, but Kumar couldn’t be happier. He not only wants to read IT, but also wants to read the school’s engineering major. The graduates of IIT are enviable, and they will be praised when they hear that they are IIT alumni, but few people know that IIT also has a major in statistics. Kumar didn’t meet the cut-off for an engineering major. He was more frustrated than excited.
One of Kumar’s brothers said he was misled – it was a good thing to be admitted to IIT and that he should “cherish the precious opportunity of going to IIT”, be it statistics or any other major. However, Kumar’s father agreed with him. His father said, “Why did you study statistics? You should study engineering.”
Kumar has another option. With good test scores, he can go to the Technical Institute in Varanasi. The city is a 4-hour drive from Patna, west of the Ganges River. Varanasi Institute of Technology, a prestigious institution, was soon incorporated into IIT. However, it is inconceivable for Kumar that graduates of the Varanasi Institute of Technology generally go to steel companies or other basic industrial enterprises in less creative jobs. He didn’t know what could be worse than studying statistics and then working in the steel industry. At this point, his parents stepped in: Varanasi was relatively close, which reassured his mother; and an engineering career was more stable, which was in line with his father’s wishes. So the teenager got up and went to Varanasi to study.
Three years after entering school, news came from the United States. According to recent graduates of Varanasi Institute of Technology alumni, the United States offers PhD scholarships and high-paying job opportunities for outstanding graduates. IIT graduates dominate the technical and engineering job market in India, but in the US where you graduate from is not the key factor. As long as you are talented, you can stand on the same starting line as IIT graduates.
Kumar decided to give it a try. In his senior year, he prepared for the GRE test while collecting admissions information for American universities. Eventually, he received a letter from a university in the United States. The University of Rochester offered him a full scholarship, which included a stipend of $1,000 a month. The condition is that he serve as a teaching assistant and other on-campus jobs. However, he can go straight to Ph.D.
Previously, no one in the Kumar family had been to study abroad, and his mother persuaded him to give up the idea of going abroad. However, he did not want to give up halfway, he had to go abroad. His father raised the airfare for his son. Kumar arrived in New York almost penniless. He is 21 years old this year.
Kumar arrived in the U.S. amid a massive influx of Asian immigrants into Silicon Valley and the U.S. tech industry. Asian talent holds one-third of Silicon Valley’s tech jobs and one-half of software development jobs. More than a quarter of U.S. Ph.D. recipients are foreign immigrants, half of them from Asia. About 40 percent of engineering and computer science PhDs were born outside the United States.
This demographic profile appears to have given rise to racial ambivalence. A black executive in Silicon Valley said the surge in the number of Asian workers was not accidental, but that technology companies “are not willing to hire Americans, they prefer to use H-1B visas to bring in talent from overseas.” This residence permit is issued annually to foreigners with special skills. It is true that the Silicon Valley tech world employs very few black people. However, we could find no evidence that any race was particularly admired or excluded. In the case of battery circles, other factors appear to have contributed to some bias.
About 25 years later, you will find the most obvious phenomenon in the battery race, and that is that the above-mentioned trend of staff structure is deeply ingrained – the majority of the battery research and development teams in the United States are foreign immigrants. The occasional American-born battery scientist. In Thackeray’s small group, most of the researchers’ families have lived in the United States for generations, as did Chamberlain’s. However, Thackeray himself was born in Pretoria, South Africa. Chamberlain’s deputy Tony Blair is from Palmerston North in New Zealand’s North Island. Chamberlain’s immediate boss, Emilio Bunel, was Chilean.
The same goes for think tanks in the U.S. battery industry: John Goodenough grew up in Connecticut, Cui Yi of Stanford University was born in China, Venkat Srinivasan of Berkeley was born in India, and Yeming Jiang of MIT was born in Taiwan, China. In the corporate world, Sujit Kumar and Mike Sinkura and all the scientists on their team were born in India.