Over the past two decades, I have enjoyed wearing many hats: inventor, code developer, researcher, consulting engineer, activist, entrepreneur, and angel investor.
I am the founder and CEO of Jodi365.com, which aims to become the preferred matchmaking platform of educated Indians worldwide. My team and I are also rolling out Peepul365.com, an online event-planning marketplace where people discover venues, browse ideas, and find vendors to plan and celebrate weddings, receptions, parties and other special events. Additionally, I am working to expand Signature Breaks, a travel business founded by my wife and serial entrepreneur, Sindhu Shanmugam, into a scalable, online platform.
I was previously the first lead associate at Hyde Park Angels, currently one of the largest angel investment networks in the midwestern United States. Prior to HPA, I spent seven years at a boutique consulting firm in Seattle, providing specialized engineering and consulting services to clients in the marine industry.
I earned an MBA in entrepreneurship and strategic management from the Chicago Booth School of Business. In addition to receiving a KPMG Award for Leadership and Scholarship at Chicago Booth, I was one of two graduating students to receive a Dean's Award of Distinction. I am a graduate and Institute Blue of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and also hold a Master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa and a PhD in computational hydrodynamics from the University of Michigan.
I may have earned four degrees over 13 years, but I almost didn't attend even college. I stayed home for a year after high school, to focus on another shot at the IIT entrance exam.
I filed my first patent application at the age of 16, just months out of high school.
Although I wasn't into bodybuilding (weightlifting and cycling were my thing in college), I was crowned Mr. Inter-IIT in 1993.
I have been a vegetarian all my life and a vegan since 1995. (My body fat percentage and cholesterol level may be amazingly low, but a word of caution to vegan wannabes: Don't neglect to take Vitamin D3 and B12 supplements.)
While in my mid-thirties, I achieved a perfect score of 300 on the US Marine Corps physical-fitness test (3-mile run in 18 minutes + 20 consecutive pull-ups + 100 crunches in 2 minutes).
While at the University of Michigan, I was honored with an MLK Spirit Award.
I did a final walk-through of my custom-built home in Seattle 10 years to the day that I first landed in the US, with two suitcases and a duffel bag. (I sold it a decade later.)
I traveled more than 300,000 km over a 16-month period, flying from Seattle to Chicago and back just about every weekend during the first half of my MBA program. That's 80% of the Moon's distance from Earth. (Guess what my answer would be to: "How far would you go to pursue higher education?")
I set out from Chicago to build a next-generation online matchmaking site out of India and ended up finding a wife for myself in Chennai – offline, at an MBA networking event. (I consider the tennis great, Vijay Amritraj, my patron saint of love. He was wearing a dark-blue shirt as I noticed and walked past him by the elevators in the hotel's lobby. Shortly thereafter, my wife-to-be walked into the hotel's rooftop restaurant wearing a similar, striking blue.)
While many would bemoan the shortfall of female talent in technology, for a few years all the three full-time software engineers at my startup were women.