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Tamils from South Asian region (Tamilnadu, Srilanka, Malaysia, Singapore etc) have immigrated to US starting from mid 19 th century. Tamils have contributed to the growth of US and in turn have grown as a community. Based on the data collected in 2010 census, there are about 130,000 Tamils living in US. Numerous Tamil professionals have not only contributed but excelled in their field. Even though there have been Tamil luminaries in various fields, there had not been a platform or forum for Tamil youth to learn from and interact with these luminaries. This thought was what drove Melissa Keerthika Subramanian and Soundara Lakshmanan to come up with the idea of Tamil American Pioneer Award. They brought this idea to FeTNA Board and the Board approved the same.

Following this, starting in 2014 FeTNA convention in St. Louis, Tamil American Pioneer Awards have been awarded to people who are passionate trailblazers in their careers, who are paving the way for the next generation.


  • Mr. Michel Susai - Mr. Susai founded his first company, NetScaler, in 1997. NetScaler makes application appliances to handle tasks like load balancing, content caching and remote access functionality, along with optimizing delivery of custom web applications. It’s been estimated that around 75% of Internet users have interacted with NetScaler’s applications every day. In 2005, NetScaler was sold to...
  • Dr. Ilaya Ramanan Rajagopal - Dr Rajagopal, a native of Madras, India received his Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Saveetha University, Chennai, India in 1999. At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he first completed a 2 year Graduate Research Program in Dental Biomaterials in the Department of Prosthodontics and Dental Materials in 2002. Following that he completed a two-year...
  • Dr. Nambi Seshadri - Dr. Nambi Seshadri is among of the top ten engineers in the wireless technology worldwide and probably one of five most well recognized engineers of Tamil origin in the US. Dr. Seshadri obtained a Bachelor of Engineering in telecommunications from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli in 1982. Following that, he immigrated to US where...