Alumni Profile: Gururaj Deshpande

Academic Journey and Early Career

Dr. Gururaj Deshpande, an IIT-Madras graduate of 1973 in Electrical Engineering, continued his academic pursuit with a Master’s degree from the University of New Brunswick, Canada. His early career included teaching at Queens University in Kingston, Canada, and notable contributions at Codex Corporation.

Entrepreneurial Ventures and Recognitions

In 1988, Dr. Deshpande co-founded Coral Network Corporation, paving the way for his entrepreneurial journey. This endeavor marked the beginning of a remarkable career. He later established Cascade Communications Corporation in 1990, transforming it from a small startup to a thriving corporation with 900 employees and annual sales of $500 million. In 1995 he received acclaim, earning the title of ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’. Communication Week recognized him in 1996 as one of the “Visionaries of the Industry” for his significant contributions to the growth of digital communication.

Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (GDC)

In 2017, Dr. Deshpande, along with his partner, established the Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (GDC). This center serves as a hub for networking, thought leadership, and energy, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across various facets of the institute. GDC is committed to translating innovative solutions from labs, faculty, and young minds into tangible outcomes. Its goal is to make innovation an integral part of daily activities, becoming a global leader in innovation research. By bridging the gap between the institute and the market, GDC aims to strengthen the ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Supporting Deep-Tech Research

GDC provides support to academics, researchers, and STEM universities, helping them develop skills to create scalable start-ups. It plays a crucial role in making breakthroughs and discoveries in STEM fields commercially viable, contributing to economic and social impact.

Living up to Alma Mater’s Motto

Dr. Gururaj Deshpande’s accomplishments resonate with the motto of his alma mater, 'siddhir bhawati karmaja’, meaning “success is solicited through hard work.” His journey reflects a commitment to hard work and innovation, creating a lasting impact on the entrepreneurial landscape.