Dr Narinder Singh Kapany is one of the lesser-known success stories of Indians in the Silicon Valley.
Dr Kapany is regarded as the father of fibre optics, the technology behind devices from endoscopy to high-capacity telephone lines. Without fibre optics much of the high-speed data transmission would not be possible.
Unfortunately his fame has been rather limited. In 1999, Dr Kapany was named as one of seven 'Unsung Heroes' by Fortune magazine in their 'Businessmen of the Century' issue.
His research and inventions have encompassed fibre-optics communications, lasers, biomedical instrumentation, solar energy and pollution monitoring. He has over one hundred patents and was a member of the National Inventors Council.
Dr Kapany is also involved deeply with arts and philanthropy. He has promoted Indian art abroad and has donated generously to the Asian Art Museum in the US.
Dr Kapany was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for his contribution in promoting Indian arts and studies abroad and for his philanthropy.