A trailblazing high-tech entrepreneur, Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande has made a lasting mark on the global telecommunications industry through exemplary leadership, creativity, and vision. Dr. Deshpande’s ingenuity has provided the innovations that have built our communications infrastructure. He founded three of the most successful networking equipment start-ups in history, with a knack for spotting unserved customer needs considerably ahead of his industry peers to positively change the industry landscape. Dr. Deshpande’s Cascade Communications (founded in 1990) developed packet-switching technology critical to handling growing Internet traffic. His Sycamore Networks (founded in 1998) pioneered intelligent optical networking methods that met the Internet’s need for increased bandwidth. Dr. Deshpande also founded Tejas Networks in 2000, which was India’s first telecommunications company devoted to building networks. Dr. Deshpande co-founded the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MA, USA, in 2002. Through the Center, Dr. Deshpande has provided funding and has shared his expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation to help MIT researchers bring leading-edge technologies to market. Grants have been provided to over 90 research projects, 27 of which have evolved into independent start-ups providing ground-breaking technologies. As a mentor, Dr. Deshpande has inspired countless engineers to take their ideas to the next level.
Dr. Deshpande is a life member of the MIT Corporation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Board of Trustees. He was appointed to co-chair President Obama’s National Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2010. Dr. Deshpande is Chairman of Tejas Networks in Bangalore, India.