Alumni Profile: Gururaj Deshpande

Created by Kiran A, Modified on Tue, 11 Jul 2023 at 10:24 AM by Kiran A

Dr. Gururaj Deshpande graduated from IIT-Madras in 1973 with a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering; he obtained his Master’s degree from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and then taught for sometime at the Queens University in Kingston, Canada, which also awarded him a Ph.D for his seminal work in the area of Data Communications. Before relocating to the United States in 1984, Deshpande began his career at Codex Corporation, a Motorola affiliate in Ontario, Canada, that produced modems. Later, he helped start the router developer Coral Networks. Before it was sold to SynOptics in 1993, he departed the business. He received $15 million for the business.

In 1988, Dr Deshpande co-founded the Coral Network Corporation, and left it in 1990 to start his own Cascade Communications Corporation. Dr. Deshpande had to replace the wide area network with a new public global access system. The Corporation began with no revenue and only one employee in 1991, but, driven by the ambition of Dr Deshpande, grew into a corporation of 900 employees and annual sales of $500 million. In 1997, within six years, Cascade became attractive enough to be taken over for more than three and a half billion US dollars. In 1995, Dr. Deshpande was judged to be the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, and, in 1996, Communication Week listed him as one of the “Visionaries of the Industry” for his contribution to the growth and development of digital communication. The same year he was also named among the top 25 “Technology Drivers shaping the business style of the future”.

The Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (GDC), established in 2017, offers the networking energy and thought leadership needed to support the development of systems and procedures that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship at all levels. By giving concrete form to ground-breaking solutions that emerge from the Institute's labs, faculty, research scholars, as well as young minds, GDC seeks to foster innovation so that it permeates a broad segment of activities in the Institute, ranging from teaching to research to product development and policy making, in order to create significant economic and social impact. By bridging the gaps between the Institute and the market, the Centre aims to strengthen the ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship. GDC wants to make innovation a natural part of daily life and become a global leader in innovation research.

GDC helps academics from STEM universities, incubators, research institutes, and corporations develop the skills they need to create scalable start-ups that will maximize the impact of their deep-tech research. The GDC assists academics and researchers in STEM universities around India in making their discoveries and breakthroughs commercially viable.

Dr. Gururaj Deshpande’s achievements are a true-blue impression of his alma-mater’s motto “siddhir bhawati karmaja” meaning “success is solicited through hard work”.

This content on this page is provided by a current student or an alumnus of IIT Madras. While we follow best practices, it is possible that there are errors, or the content is incomplete. When in doubt, always verify with an official source.

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