Born On: 4th May, 1942
Born In: Titlagarh, Orissa
Career: Entrepreneur, Advisor to the Prime Minister
Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda is a famous Indian and a renowned inventor, entrepreneur and policymaker who currently serves as an advisor to the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Manmohan Singh. His work revolves around Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations. He is respected for being a technological intellect who is responsible for India's latest revolution in communications and the IT field. He plays a pivotal role in creating IT infra-structure thereby enhancing services to the common man. Sam Pitroda has extended his services to many areas of IT. He was appointed the Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission during the year 2005-2008, which is a high level advisory board to the Prime Minister of India. The Board works for improving knowledge related institutions as well as infrastructure in the country. Mr. Pitroda holds around 100 key technology patents, has been involved in several start-ups, and has given lectures extensively around the world. He is a proven entrepreneur as well who had founded C-SAM, Inc. with its headquarters in Chicago. With his unparalleled technological and administration skills he redefined the role of technology in a developing country like India and also managed to deliver better services to the under privileged people of the country.
Sam Pitroda was born into a Gujarati family on 4th May, 1942 in Titlagarh, Orissa. His parents, who migrated from Gujarat to Orissa were staunch followers of Mahatma Gandhi, and deeply influenced by his philosophies. They sent Sam Pitroda and his brother to Gujarat to learn more about Gandhian philosophy. Sam Patroda did his schooling in Vallabh Vidyanagar in Gujarat and finished a Master's degree in Physics and Electronics from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara. He then went to the United States of America to pursue a Masters in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He was religiously involved in technology research work during the 1960s and 1970s, stressing on telecommunication.
Sam Pitroda founded a digital switching company called Wescom Switching in 1974 and that was one of the first in that category. He invented many revolutionary systems and electrical accessories and has many patents too his credit. His invention, the 580 DSS switch became a hit across the world in 1978. However, his company Wescom was later acquired by Rockwell International and Pitroda became its President. He developed a new computer theme card game called Compucards in 1983, which functioned by making use of binary codes. He is a good orator and has been invited to many international events.
In 1984, the erstwhile Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi invited Mr. Petrodato the country. Thus, he started the Center for Development of Telematics C-DOT in India, which is an autonomous telecom R&D organization. He surrendered his US citizenship and acquired an Indian citizenship to work in the government and thus took the post of advisor to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and contributed much to shape foreign and domestic telecommunications policies. Sam Pitroda headed six major technology missions in Rajiv Gandhi's term and also founded India's Telecom Commission and served as its first Chairman. Though he returned to Chicago in 1990s, Pitroda returned to India upon receiving a call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2004 and thus became the head of the National Knowledge Commission of India. Sam Pitroda became the head of an expert committee of the railways in July 2009. He was asked to take up the position of advisor to the Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations in 2009 and was also given the rank of Cabinet Minister. He played an important role in the formation of the National Innovation Council, aimed for the development of micro, small and medium enterprises. This was a notable achievement of Sam Pitroda.
Sam Pitroda has against his name many notable achievements in the field of telecommunication as well as the technological sector of India. He established the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Tradition (FRLHT) near Bangalore in India in 1993. He played a pivotal role in changing the face of Indian telecommunication and the information technology sector. As Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission, he guided the body and submitted around 300 recommendations over 27 focus areas. He has been appointed as an advisor to the UN as well.
Introduction of microprocessors in the telephone took Sam Pitroda name to the peaks of fame. He invented the Electronic Diary in the year 1975 and it is an example of hand-held computing. He has 100 patents to his credit and thus has become the leading name in telecommunications and IT. His latest invention covers a major spectrum of transactions, both financial and non-financial, and works by using the cell-phone to advantage.
Awards And Accolades
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 2011
D.Sc. from Sambalpur University, 2010.
Rajiv Gandhi "Global Indian" award, 2009.
Padma BhushanPuraskar, 2009
Skoch Challenger Lifetime Achievement Award,2009
D.Sc. from Andhra University, 2008
Dataquest IT Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002
1947: Born at Titlagarh, Orissa.
1974: Founded Wescom Switching.
1978: Invented 580 DSS switches.
1983: Developed games called Compucards.
1984: Returned to India on receiving an invitation from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
2004: Returned to India on receiving a call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
2005: Appointed as Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission.
2009: Appointed as advisor to Indian Prime Minister.