The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston hosted a naturalization ceremony for 200 new citizens Feb.13, where the keynote speaker, an Indian-American Silicon Valley entrepreneur, described his experience of the American Dream.
At the event, where 14 people of Indian origin became citizens, M.R. Rangaswami regaled the audience with his story.
“President Kennedy said, “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”—and that is the immigrant story. Let me tell you mine,” said Rangaswami, describing his journey to where he is today, a successful entrepreneur, who co-founded the Sand Hill Group in 1997, an early “angel” investor company, was listed on the Forbes “Midas” list of investors, and founded the non-profit Indiaspora, which says its goal is to unite Indian Americans and to transform their success into meaningful impact in India and on the global stage.His speech was shared with News India Times by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Indiaspora.
“I am grateful that my two daughters were born in the United States and can realize their own dreams just like all of us,” Rangaswami said in his speech, shared by the JFK Presidential Library, with News India Times. “We have all come here for our own reasons and have traveled different paths but now we share a common bond as Americans.”
Rangaswami’s story while familiar to many Indian-Americans who came to the U.S. as students with $8 dollars in their pocket, is dotted with experiences of his changing life from Ohio to Houston and then to California, sizing up his failures and transforming those into success in Silicon Valley, even before the technological revolution brought in the Internet age.
“Luckily, I recovered once again, and the third time was the charm. I was then able to create my own future in California. Who knew 37 years ago that Silicon Valley would become the center of the universe!,” said Rangaswami who became a citizen in 1994. His Sand Hill Group has invested in 75 startups, many of them started by immigrants, Rangaswami said, indicating that he is also deeply involved with issues of environmental sustainability.
In celebration of their new citizenship, the Kennedy Library presented each new citizen with a commemorative edition of the inaugural address of President John F. Kennedy, and held a reception for them and their families.