Ranganath Nayak

Founder's Journey

I came from India to study mechanical engineering at MIT in 1963, intending to return to my homeland, but I am here 59 years later. It’s a good country to live in. It gave me a good education, a good job, and a good wife, with whom I raised a wonderful family.

Among the places I worked at were Bolt Beranek and Newman, an Acoustics and Vibration consultancy, then TELCO (which became Tata Motors) in India, then the first consulting firm in the world, Arthur D. Little, founded in 1886, then the Boston Consulting Group, and then Cytel, founded by two friends, and devoted to providing analytic software and services to the biopharmaceutical industry. I was CEO of Cytel for 14 years, before a successful exit.

There are three key ingredients to entrepreneurial success: the entrepreneur, the idea, and the ecosystem, which includes the team, the mentors, and those who provide financial support, from family to professional investors. It has been my role to be mainly part of the third category. I currently serve as a mentor at MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service.

Entrepreneurship is crucial to the modern world because innovation has always held the key to job creation and the expansion of wealth. It is even more important now. The R&D departments of large corporations that once brought new ideas into the market no longer exist. Their place has been taken by the world of entrepreneurs. Without entrepreneurs, the world economy would stagnate. With them, it is filled with opportunity and excitement. This is what creates a sense of purpose for me.

Ranganath Nayak

TiE Boston Presidential Term:

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Lifetime Achievement Award Winner