Mr. Sam Pitroda is an internationally respected development thinker,policy maker,telecom inventor and entrepreneur who has spent over 50 years in Information and Communication Technology and related developments.
He came to the USA in 1964 after receiving an MS in Physics from India. He studied Electrical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago,worked at GTE and founded Wescom Switching Inc. in 1974. The company was acquired by Rockwell in 1980 where Mr. Pitroda became Vice President. Later he founded MTI Electronics in Milwaukee,Martek,Ionics and Emnet in Chicago and then returned to India.
Credited with having laid the foundation of India’s Technology and Telecommunications revolution in the 1980s Mr. Pitroda has been a leading campaigner to help bridge the global digital divide. During his tenure as Advisor to Prim Minister Rajiv Gandhi Mr. Pitroda headed six technology missions related to Telecom, Water, Immunization, Literacy, Oil seeds and Dairy developments. He was also the founder and the first Chairman of India’s Telecom Commission.
In mid 1990s He founded Worldtelin London with International Telecom Union (ITU) to help finance privatization of Telecom in Emerging markets. He also invented mobile wallet in 1996 and set up C-SAM Inc. which was acquired by Master Card in 2013.
From 2005 -2009 Mr. Pitroda was chairman of India’s National Knowledge Commission and provided a blue print for reforms of the Knowledge institutions and infrastructure. From 2009 he was Advisor to the Prime minister of India with the rank of a cabinet minister on Public Information Infrastructures and Innovations. He was also Chairman of the National Innovation Council, Smart grid task force, Railway modernization and Public broadcast reforms.
At present he is founder, investor and chairman of six start ups and several non profit foundations including Trans disciplinary University, People for Global Transformation, Global Knowledge Initiative and India food bank. He is also a founding member of the UN Broad Band commission and Chairman of the m-powering initiative at the ITU.
Mr. Pitroda holds over 100 patents and has published and lectured extensively in US, Europe, India and Latin America. His biography was published in 1992 and his autobiography “ Dreaming Big” was published by Penguin in 2015.
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