IIT Madras Notable Alumni
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) is one of the most prestigious institutes in India for technological education and research. Established in 1959, the Institute is located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. IIT Madras was the third Indian Institute of Technology to be established after IIT Kharagpur and IIT Bombay. The Institute offers Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and Research programs in more than 16 disciplines. The QS World University Rankings of 2018 has ranked IIT Madras at 264 in the world, 48 in Asia, and 18 among the BRICS nations. In 2018, the Institute was ranked first among the engineering colleges and second overall by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). IIT Madras has a reputation for shaping some of the best minds in the country who have gone on to become very successful in their respective fields.
Today, we’re focusing on the IIT Madras notable alumni and their achievements and success stories.
IIT Madras Notable Alumni
Senapathy Gopalakrishnan, popularly known as Kris Gopalakrishnan, is the executive vice- chairman (former co-chairman) of Infosys and also one of its seven founders. Kris got his M. Sc. degree (Physics, in 1977) and an M. Tech. (Computer-Science, in 1979) from IIT Madras. He started his career as a software engineer with Patni Computers in Mumbai. In 1981, Kris co-founded Infosys with his six other business partners and later in 2007, went on to become the CEO and Managing Director of Infosys Technologies Limited. He was later appointed the Executive Vice-Chairman of Infosys Board and served as the Non-executive Vice Chairman of Infosys Board from June 14 till October 10, 2014. He co-founded Axilor Ventures in 2014, which is a venture capital platform for young entrepreneurs.
Kris has contributed Rs. 225 Crore (40 Million USD) to the Pure Sciences for the development of a Centre for Brain Research at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. He is also one of the single-largest donors to the 105-year-old institute. In 2011, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, which is India’s third highest civilian award.
Also called the Canadian ‘Warren Buffet’, Prem Watsa is the founder, chairman, and Chief Executive of Fairfax Financial Holdings, based in Toronto. Watsa is a distinguished alumnus of IIT Madras from where he obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering. He later moved to London, Ontario and went to the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario where he obtained an MBA degree. After graduating, he started working for an insurance company and in 1985, took over Markel Financial, a small Canadian trucking insurance company that was on the verge of bankruptcy. Watsa renamed the company as Fairfax Financial Holdings.
Watsa is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children, the Advisory Board for the Richard Ivey School of Business, the Board of Directors of the Royal Ontario Museum Foundation, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of St. Paul’s Anglican Church. In June 2009, he was appointed as the ninth chancellor of the University of Waterloo. In 2015, he was named a member of the Order of Canada and in 2017, and he was elected as the first chancellor of Huron University College.
Ramanathan Guha obtained his graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras and later went on to acquire a Master of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph. D. from the Stanford University. Ramanathan Guha is the creator of the widely used web standards such as RSS, RDF, and Schema.org. He was the co-founder of Epinions and Alpiri and is also credited with being behind products like Google Custom Search. He was a Google Fellow and a vice president in research at Google till recently.
Guha was named as a Distinguished Alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2013. In 2015, he was named as an ACM Fellow in view of his contributions to structured data representation and specification and their impact on the Web.
Marti G. Subrahmanyam
Marti G. Subrahmanyam acquired his B. Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras. He later went on to procure an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and a PH. D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He’s the Charles E. Merrill Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business at the New York University. He also teaches for the Master of Science in Global Finance (MSGF), a joint program between Stern and the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. He has also been a visiting faculty at a number of very prestigious academic institutions around the world like IIM, Ahmedabad, the University of Melbourne in Australia, LUISS in Italy, and the Singapore Management University.
Professor Subrahmanyam has carved a niche for himself with his research in the areas of corporate finance, capital markets, and international finance.
Currently, Professor Subrahmanyam serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals. He is the co-editor of the Review of Derivatives Research and has served as an associate editor of European Financial Management, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Journal of Derivatives, Journal of Finance, Journal of International Finance and Accounting, Management Science. He has been the recipient of many teaching awards including New York University’s Distinguished Teaching Medal.
Anand Rajaraman obtained a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from IIT Madras in 1989. He also has an MS and a Ph. D. in computer science from the Stanford University. Anand Rajaraman is an entrepreneur in the web and technology space and is the co-founder of Cambrian Ventures and Kosmix. He also played a key role at Amazon in the late 1990s. Rajaraman, along with four other engineers, founded Junglee Corp. in 1996 and pioneered the internet comparison shopping experience. Junglee Corp. was later acquired by Amazon in August 1998 for 1.6 million shares of stock valued at $250 million. He went on to become the Director of Technology at Amazon.com, where he was responsible for technology strategy. He played a critical role in the transformation of Amazon.com from a retailer into a retail platform, enabling third-party retailers to sell on Amazon.com’s website. The third-party transactions now account for almost 25% of all US transactions and represent Amazon’s fastest-growing and most profitable business segment. Rajaraman is also credited with the invention of the concept behind Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
In 2000, Rajaraman along with his business partner Venky Harinarayan co-founded Cambrian Ventures, a Venture Capital Fund. Cambrian later backed many companies which were later acquired by Google. Cambrian has funded companies like Mobissimo, Aster Data Systems, and the Find.com. In 2005, both the business partners co-founded Kosmix, a website which organizes the internet by topic. In 2011, Walmart acquired Kosmix. Mr. Rajaraman is a consulting assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at the Stanford University. He is also a special partner Neo Tribe Ventures and is the author of a blog called Datawocky, where he discusses data-mining techniques in search, social media, and advertising.