image of Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe

The Inspirational Story Of Shantanu Narayen

‘Success without IIT’ is not just a catchphrase. Many people have made this phrase a reality. Here is the success story of a non-iitian who refused to settle for less. Shantanu Narayen is the one who acquired big dreams through his hard work, talent, and courage.

Born into a prosperous family in Hyderabad, Shantanu Narayen is the current Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Adobe.

Adobe needs no introduction. It is one of the largest and most renowned software companies in the world.

Shantanu Narayen has been a keynote speaker at several industries and academic events. A holder of five patents, Shantanu believes ‘If it feels right, it should work out.’ 

Shantanu Narayen’s Education 

Shantanu Narayen completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from the famous Osmania University in Hyderabad.

After that, he pursued a master’s in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Then, he went to the University of California to receive his MBA degree.

Born into a Tamil family, Shantanu Narayen has completed his schooling at the Hyderabad Public School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in the Electronics and Communication Engineering stream. 

For higher education, Shantanu obtained Master’s in Computer Science in 1986. It was in the year 1993 when Shantanu earned his MBA degree from the University of California.

Have you heard of the bowling green state university? Isn’t it remarkable that Shantanu could translate his non-IIT bachelor’s from Osmania and a Master’s from Bowling Green State University into a supremely successful career? 

Awards and Accolades

In 2009, Shantanu Narayen bagged the prestigious American Indian Foundation (AIF) Business and Philanthropic Leadership Award. In the same year, his name was published among ‘The Top Gun CEOs.’ 

Shantanu Narayen was awarded the honorary doctorate from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University in 2011. Later in 2011, Narayan was appointed as a member of the advisory board of the former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

Apart from numerous prestigious awards and positions, Shantanu Narayen has also served as the independent director of Pfizer. Furthermore, Mr. Narayen has been the vice-chairman of the US-India strategic partnership forum.

He was at the 12th position in the list of the business person of the year. This list was created by the famous Fortune magazine.

Also, a well-known newspaper ‘The Economic Times of India’ had also awarded him as the Global Indian of the Year. Both of these events hold great significance in Shantanu’s life during the year 2018. 

The series of significant and joyful happenings in Shantanu’s life did not end here. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award in 2019.

Family and Personal Life

Shantanu Narayen was born in Hyderabad in 1962. He was second son of the family. He stayed there till he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering.

His mother was a professor. She taught American Literature. While his father was a businessman who operated a plastic company. 

Shantanu came in contact with his wife Reni when he was at Bowling Green State University. His wife is a recipient of a doctorate in clinical psychology.

The couple has two sons, namely, Shravan Narayen and Arjun Narayen. At present, Shantanu lives with his family in Palo Alto. 

When it comes to personal habits, Shantanu has a keen interest in cricket and sailing. Interestingly, he has even represented India in sailing at the Asian Regatta competition.

During his childhood, Shantanu used to had a passion for journalism. When allowed to choose between Engineering and Medicine, Shantanu decided to opt for engineering. This was because the sight of blood usually got him nervous. 

Shantanu Narayen hit the list of the most successful businessmen of the 21st century. It is great to know that his net income accounts to be 167 million dollars a year.

Shining History of Shantanu Narayen 

Right from the beginning, Shantanu Narayen was a very ambitious person. He had high aspirations and knowledge. The only thing he lacked was experience. 

At the time of the campus recruitment, Shantanu did not opt for multinational companies. Instead, he decided to join a startup called MeasureX Automobiles System in the year 1986. The company gave him much needed real-world expertise. 

The following year, in 1989, Shantanu Narayen joined the computer giant Apple. There, he served in different management portfolios for the next six years. 

His tenure at Apple was interesting. There, he came in contact with his mentor, Gursharan Singh Sandhu. The person from whom he learned the way of facing challenges.

In the next period, Shantanu joined as the director at Silicon Graphics. The company dealt with desktop and related products. He served at the company for few years. 

From then onwards, Shantanu Narayen never looked back. He joined Adobe Systems as the senior vice president. Later on, he got promoted to the post of chief vice president of Adobe worldwide products. 

Shantanu Narayen As a CEO of Adobe

In 2007, Shantanu came across a turning point in his life. He became the chief executive officer (CEO) of Adobe Systems.

Shantanu didn’t reached that position simply from his present position. It was his work ethic, hard work, and extensive understanding that made him qualified enough for the post. 

During the tenure of Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Systems achieved great success and became a leading software company in the world. 

Shantanu Narayen was the mastermind behind Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia and Omniture at 3.4 billion dollars and 1.8 billion dollars, respectively. These two were the significant accomplishments for Adobe as well as Shantanu in 2005 and 2009, respectively. 

Shantanu also headed Adobe’s move to a subscription business. All these efforts have paid off victoriously.

Today, Adobe is valued at over $200 billion. Its stock has increased almost 20 times since Shantanu became CEO. This is a CAGR of over 24% year over year for the last 17 years. 

In addition to Adobe, Shantanu is a member of the board of directors at Dell Inc, Pfizer Inc, and Haas School of Business, California. Moreover, Shantanu is also the president of the Adobe Foundation, a philanthropic branch.

Final Thoughts

It’s an undeniable fact that Shantanu Narayen is one of the most successful people of his era. 

In simple terms, he is an Indian-American businessman who climbed to the summit of success through his determination, hard work, sharp intelligence, and devotion. He is no less than a powerful source of inspiration for the coming generation. 

According to Shantanu Narayen, if he wouldn’t have been a business executive, he would have decided to be a professional golfer. 

And, he did not go to an IIT. This is something truly admirable!