About

My life, in a nutshell ...

Early years

Download my resume

I spent a thoroughly dissolute and wonderfully enjoyable childhood and early manhood in Delhi and Bombay, flying kites, playing cricket and marbles and "hu-tu-tu", spinning tops, playing "kings" with a tennis ball, and going to the Sunday morning cartoons and cowboy movies at the Metro Cinema.  As I waited for the bus to take me home from school, I sometimes threw chewing gum on the street to see what kind of a mess it would make under the tires of a BEST bus.  And from the upper deck of the tramcars that I occasionally took instead, I shot peas through a peashooter at the rickshaw drivers until one of them raced the tram I was on, got on it, and tried to decapitate me.  I was saved by an indulgent policeman.

Education

Meanwhile, I was going through St. Xavier's High School in Dhobi Talao, then Elphinstone College, and then the Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute.  Having survived those, I wanted nothing more to do with education.  Fortunately, my father had a different opinion; he filled out and sent in my application to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which, to its eternal regret, admitted me.  I graduated from there with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 1968 and began working for a research consulting firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts named Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), specializing in acoustics and vibration analysis.

Marriage and family

Two days after I graduated, I married Sandy Tompkins, who had graduated from Radcliffe a year earlier and then spent a year in India on a Fulbright scholarship, teaching English at Allahabad University (in 1967), when the students were on strike against the English language.  She traveled and saw a great deal of India.  We have three children, Lakshmi, Anand, and Maya.  Anand is married to Polly Fiveash, and they have a son, Jack, who was born in August 2006.  Maya is married to George Langford.

Work

After four years with BBN, we moved to Poona, where I worked for TELCO for four years.  My family and I then moved back to the USA in 1976, and I joined Arthur D. Little, Inc. I worked there for twenty-one years, eventually ending up (to my consternation and, eventually, my sorrow) on the Executive Committee.  I left ADL in April 1997 to join BCG, where I worked until March of 2000.  See my resume for details.

Later, I became CEO of a startup, Auripay, which I had helped raise money for.  Auripay developed software that allows consumers to shop on the Internet and use their credit cards to pay, but without giving out their credit card numbers or name or address.  In July of 2001, we sold Auripay to an Israeli company, Cyota.

After that, I consulted for a few years to startups, and did pro bono work, particularly in education, and evaluating startup ideas.

Since 2004, I have been CEO of Cytel Inc., a company founded in 1987 by two friends of mine.  Its focus is on helping the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries to improve the way clinical development is done, largely through the use of statistics and information technology.  See www.cytel.com.

Likes and dislikes

What I don't like... badly cooked food, for starters; pomposity, self-importance, and bragging; people who put themselves first; lack of punctuality; politics inside an organization; people who put down other people; especially those without power; people who do not treat animals kindly; people who trash the environment.  Above all, I can't abide people who are prejudiced.

Penny and Juliet

What I do like... To be in the midst of family and friends. I particularly love to cook for them, and have found a wonderful creative outlet in cooking foods from all over the world (see my recipe page).  I love it even more when they make music after dinner.  I love my wife and three kids, all grown. I loved my dog, Penny, a wonderful female Golden Retriever.  I loved to walk with her on the beaches of Cape Cod. She died in 2002.  See the photo on this page of Penny with my niece, Juliet, taken at my son Anand's wedding on 1 September 2001. I love ideas, about how to manage companies, or how to manage countries.  I love argument and debate about ideas. I love to teach. I love science fiction and detective novels.  I love to sell consulting projects which, to me, means converting strangers into trusting friends.  I love to be in India, where there seems to be a sense of perspective on what life is all about. I love my pro bono work.  And I love the atmosphere of a well-run startup.


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