He was invited to deliver the 2014 commencement address at New York University Stern School of Business's convocation ceremony where he underscored the importance of diversity.
Banga said even though he has felt different from others, he realised early in life that being comfortable with his identity and working hard is critical to succeed in life.
"My passion for diversity comes from the fact that I am diverse. To state the obvious, I tend to stand out in a room turbans and beards will do that to you. You stand out in a room," 54-year-old Banga told a large audience of students, faculty and parents.
Shaking his head, he however said, "My part-time hobby is being 'randomly' searched by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) at airports. It is true. And I run a global company. That's not exactly common for someone who looks like me. And I can tell you there have been a hundred times when Ive felt different from everybody else in the room."
Banga told the graduating MBAs that he had realised very early in his career that if he was not comfortable with himself, he could not succeed.
"It's critical that you figure out who you are and be comfortable with it. What is important is what you do and how you do it, not where you come from or whatyou look like. Thats going to be very important for your future," he said.
Stressing on the importance of diversity in life and work place, Banga said diversity drives better insights, better decisions and better products.
"It's the backbone of innovation. It's what defines a great leadership culture... So, a sense of urgency, a sense of balance, deep courage, and competitiveparanoia all of these are tremendously facilitated if you surround yourself with people who don't look like you, don't walk like you, don't talk like you, and donthave the same experiences as you.
"And why is that so important Because a group of similar people tends to think in similar ways, reach similar conclusions, and have similar blind spots," Banga said.
Reminiscing his days at business school, Banga said he enjoyed his time, "perhaps a little too much" at IIM-Ahmedabad from where he has many great experiences and has beeninspired by its faculty and friends.