The 2010 Inc. 5000: Top 10 Indian Entrepreneurs

Courtesy Company
9 of 10

Rao Marella, Co-founder and President

Global Wedge
Riverside, California

No. 172
2009 Revenue: $14.3 million
Three-Year Growth: 1,643.39%

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Marella didn't come to the U.S. for a degree. Rather, at the age of 45, he was put in charge of the U.S. branch of an Indian company that did importing and exporting. However, soon after Marella arrived, the company folded. "That was like a blessing in disguise," he says, because "in the U.S. there is a good entrepreneurial environment." He started Global Wedge with his wife Sarada in 2001 and the solar panel materials company has grown with alacrity thanks to increased interest in alternative energy sources.