Sai Naik’s father came to America from Mumbai in the 1960s with little more than the few cents in his pocket and an abiding love of Elvis Presley. Over the decades that followed, he earned a PhD in materials engineering, held a series of well-paid jobs, and went on to develop hundreds of commercial patents for his employers. “He came here with nothing, so he couldn’t start his own business, or take full advantage of his potential,” says Naik. “But I was able to take risks he couldn’t. That’s how I was able to start my own company, instead of going to work for someone else.” Now, Naik is the founder and CEO of Mavin Global, a global workforce development software company with 100 employees, about half of whom are in the United States, and revenues of more than $10 million a year. “My father laid the foundation for our family,” Naik says. “My responsibility is to build upon his having come here, and hopefully make an even bigger impact.”
Naik founded Mavin Global in 2010, and the company now has hundreds of clients, from mid-sized businesses to blue-chip companies, and has helped thousands of workers to develop and document the skillsets that employers are actively seeking. Through a partnership with Microsoft, Mavin works with employment agencies to help displaced workers, underemployed minority communities, and others to get back on their feet. “The software is a tool we’re using to try to push change and make an impact,” Naik says. Helping his fellow Americans is especially important. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the Rust Belt, and my heart bleeds for what’s happened in areas like this,” he says. “At the end of the day, I’m American, and I’m trying to create jobs for Americans.”
It is time for our companies and nation to benefit from immigration rather than debating it any longer.
“I’m the son of immigrants, so globalization doesn’t scare me,” he says. “I’ve been exposed to different cultures, so I don’t hesitate when it comes to trying to break into markets in Africa or India or Colombia.” Unfortunately, Naik says, the U.S. immigration system isn’t designed for companies doing business in a globalized and interconnected marketplace. The visas that companies must secure to bring skilled workers from abroad or hire foreign-born graduates of American STEM programs, are especially complicated. “It’s such a difficult process that we stay away from it,” he says. “If you need top talent, you can’t wait that long.”
Naik says, “I am confident and supportive of President Trump and his immigration policy and respect the will of the American people and the electoral system we have in place. I candidly believe he has the right people and policies in place to clean this mess up. President Trump knows immigration is important and speaks openly of how much he welcomes the contribution of highly skilled legal immigrants to fill America’s economic gaps. I appreciate that President Trump is finally providing the leadership and definitive direction to move the debate along and bring resolution so we can bring more legal immigrants to our country to fill the STEM jobs in the same way my Dad did many years ago. There is never a perfect road ahead but the only thing worse is standing still and having uncertainty. It is time for our companies and nation to benefit from immigration rather than debating it any longer.”