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President & Chairman
@Sparta Group LLC
Mr. Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is a Trustee of the Deshpande Foundation along with his wife Jaishree. He is also the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office and is also the Chairman of Tejas Networks.
Dr. Deshpande has pursued an entrepreneurial career for the last three decades. He is involved either as the founder, a founding investor, or chairman of several companies including Cascade Communications, Sycamore Networks, Coral Networks, Tejas Networks, Cimaron, Webdialogs, Airvana, Sandstone Capital, A123 Systems and Curata. Dr. Deshpande lives in Boston and serves as a life member of the MIT Corporation, and his support has made possible MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation.
The Deshpande Foundation strengthens ecosystems that create significant social and economic impact through entrepreneurship and innovation. Leveraging the experience gained at the MIT Center, the Deshpande Foundation has facilitated the setup of five other centers; Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in India, EforAll (formerly known as the Merrimack Valley Sandbox) in Lowell/Lawrence Massachusetts, the PondDeshpande Center at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, the Dunin Deshpande Queens Innovation Center at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario and the Gopalakrishnan Deshpande Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India. Deshpande Foundation also provided the founding grant for MassChallenge in Boston, National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps™), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), and the UPOP program at MIT.
Dr. Deshpande holds a B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, an M.E. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D. from Queens University in Canada. Deshpande co-chaired the National Council to support President Obama’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy from 2010 to 2015.
Principal Secretary & Commissioner,
@Government of India (Gujarat)
Ms. JAYANTI S. RAVI is a scientist, civil servant, writer, speaker, educator, performing vocalist and thinker. With a master’s degree in nuclear physics from the University of Madras, an MPA from Harvard University and a PhD in e-governance, she has authored books, published in international journals, guided doctoral students and also been a visiting faculty at Harvard University. Her professional experience includes serving as DDO in Sabarkantha, as collector in Panchmahals and as director of the National Advisory Council with the Prime Minister’s Office.
As principal secretary and commissioner, rural development, Gujarat, she has championed the Swachh Bharat Mission for rural sanitation in the state. Her innovative and creative multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving has led to major transformational outcomes across various sectors. Presently, she serves in Gujarat as the principal secretary and commissioner, health and family welfare.
@WHEELS Global Foundation
Mr. Rajat Gupta is Chairman of WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) and serves on its board as a key strategist in defining direction and focus of the non-profit organization. Mr. Gupta brings his considerable skills to WGF, along with his leadership associations and advisory roles to many other non-profits such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Mr. Rajat Gupta is a leading Indian-American businessman and Philanthropist who has co-founded successful world-class institutions including Indian School of Business(ISB), American India Foundation(AIF), New Silk Route, and Scandent Solutions. He was ranked 15th in the nation in the entrance exam for the Indian Institutes of Technology, IIT JEE. He received a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-Delhi) in 1971 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1973.
Mr. Gupta joined McKinsey & Company in 1973 as one of the earliest Indian-Americans at the eminent consulting company. In 1994, he was elected the firm’s first managing director (chief executive) born outside of the US, and then was re-elected twice in 1997 and 2000. Mr. Gupta is widely regarded as one of the first Indians to successfully break through the glass ceiling, as the first Indian-born CEO of a multinational corporation (not just a consultancy). During Mr. Gupta’s tenure as head of McKinsey, the firm opened offices in 23 new countries and doubled its consultant base to 891 partners, increasing revenue by 280 percent to $3.4 billion.