By age 38, Vivek Paul had already seen his American Dream come true. He arrived in the U.S. from India as an M.B.A. student in 1980, worked hard, married, started a family and rose to a top job at GE, having been recruited by Jack Welch himself. Then, in 1999, Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro, an Indian conglomerate, called him back to India. He asked Paul, a former water-polo captain, to take over his software unit, Wipro Technologies. "He said, 'You can build another skyscraper in New York,'" Paul says, "'or you can build a completely new thing in India.'" Paul took the challenge. He transformed Wipro...

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