Get to Know Raj Subramanian: the President and CEO of FedEx and 2023 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awardee
One of the most recent executives of Indian descent to ascend to the top of the corporate ladder is Raj Subramaniam. He was appointed President and CEO of FedEx, making him one of several Indian-Americans who have achieved success in the international business world.
Raj Subramaniam is in charge of directing the company and ensuring its success going forward in his capacity as president and CEO of FedEx Corporation.Since joining the firm in 2004, Raj Subramaniam has held various senior positions in operations and marketing across the FedEx portfolio of operating entities.
He brings to the position his broad background in international leadership, sharp business acumen, and emphasis on globalization. Under his direction, FedEx has advanced its digital capabilities and transformed the customer experience, both of which represent substantial advancements.
Subramaniam has recently implemented revolutionary projects such as same-day delivery, first-mile package pickup service expansion, and the integration of FedEx Air Freight into the FedEx Express network. He is also in charge of initiatives to lessen the negative effects on the environment, including the usage of electric vehicles, biofuels, and renewable energy sources. Raj Subramaniam was born in Trivandrum, India.Before earning his Master of Science from Syracuse University, he studied at IIT Bombay.
Raj holds positions on several governing bodies, including those of FedEx Corporation, First Horizon Corporation, the Advisory Board for the China Center of the US Chamber of Commerce, the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, and the US-China Business Council.
Journey of Raj Subramanian
Raj Subramanian was born to committed educators in Thiruvananthapuram, India. Raj’s father wanted him to enter the civil service. Raj, however, opted to pursue a career in technology.Raj was given the chance to study for MS at Syracuse University in the US under the Jamshedji Tata scholarship.
To cover the cost of his MBA at Texas University, his professor offered him the position of teaching assistant as he finished his studies. Raj was then appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of FedEx in 2019, after joining the company in 2009 as an Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Raj is married to IIM Ahmedabad alumna Uma, and three other members of his family have worked for FedEx.
His perspectives on Indian Americans
Regarding Indian-Americans’ contribution to the world economy, Raj Subramanian has a lot to say. In the current environment of digital transformation, Subramanian believes that Indian-Americans bring to the table specific skill sets that are becoming more and more valuable. “People who come in from India bring certain skills, and with the global economy’s focus on the digital transformation, those skill sets are increasingly valued,” he says. He also thinks it’s a good thing that there are more people of Indian descent working in the US now than there were 30 to 40 years ago.
As Subramanian specifies, “In the past 30 to 40 years, there has been a critical mass of Indian-born workers in the US. Just more of us are here!”
Additionally, Subramanian is pleased with the contributions Indian-Americans contributed in containing the Covid pandemic in India. He stated: “Particularly when we were dealing with the COVID second wave in India back in April, it was really illuminating.” On short notice, we set up a Zoom call over the weekend, and 60 Fortune 100 CEOs present since there is such a strong desire to assist with the crisis in India.
If the skill sets that Indian Americans bring to the table are valued, then “absolutely,” Subramanian said in response to the question of whether he felt that they were underrepresented in leadership positions at prestigious corporations.
He said, “I am a living, breathing illustration of the complete opposite of what you just said.”
“Yes, initially there were many tech industry leaders on the west coast, but I am an example of how that is not the case.”
Advice to Indian-Americans
Raj has some excellent advice for Indian-Americans. He thinks it’s crucial to learn and evolve rather than becoming complacent with what one already knows. “You can’t become stuck on what you already know and expect it to sustain you for the rest of your life.” You must always be learning.The ability to adapt is a crucial additional factor.
Maintain some of your core principles, but also keep an open mind to different situations, welcome other cultures, and discover new things, advises the speaker. Raj also suggests that people outside themselves consider how they may contribute to society. “I also tell individuals to constantly think beyond themselves—imagine what you can contribute to society as a whole,” he continues.
It need not be a major undertaking; it may easily occur in your neighborhood. Indian-Americans are in a good position to benefit from the many opportunities available in the US. Indian-Americans should try to learn, adapt, and make a difference while keeping Raj’s counsel in mind.