History of IIScAANA
History fades away unless it is put in writing. Even then in due course of time, history gets distorted from its original form. Keeping these two important points in mind, we try to give as fair as possible a historical perspective of the IISc Alumni activities in the greater Californian Silicon Valley, the birthplace of several breakthrough technologies, science, arts and IIScAANA.
Alumni Activities in the Silicon Valley
We are sure that the IISc alumni have been living here for a very long time. We also can easily envision, given the cadre of IIScians, that there have been activities among the Alumni over that period of time. We request those veteran members to add their historical perspective here.
Early Days: Our history starts at the peak of IT boom and perhaps even towards the “burst of the bubble” that the whole world witnessed in technological “greed” fueled by unprecedented IT success in 1990s. Towards late 90s and early 2000s a group of friends, carrying their friendship from their campus days in Malleswaram, started get-togethers and annual cultural events for the families of the IISc Alumni. The first major informal get-together was in late 1999 or early 2000 at Swagat, Mountain View, and had a total attendance of 60, including alumni family members. This group deserves the credit to be the seeds of the fast-growing alumni in the Silicon Valley (Animesh Mukharjee, Anita Mukharjee, Gopi Mamidipudi, Prabhakar Sundarrajan, Tarun, Kaberi, Meenakshi, Amit, Kim Singh, and Kumar Thiagarajan etc.).
Starbucks Meetings: There were several small IISc Alumni groups in Silicon Valley, such as IISc_Friends (Anita, Animesh, Gopi Mamidipudi etc.,), IISc_Silicon_Valley (Sanjay, Anurag, Dinesh, Kiran, Mohan, etc.,) and 86-87-88 (Jawahar, Raj Srivastava, Atul, etc.,). These groups had their own activities in their own network. Several Starbucks meetings trying to connect all these groups together resulted in a first grand get-together in November 2003, which was attended by over 80 people. It was a pretty good gathering. This get-together nurtured the seed of IISc AANA and credit goes to Sanjay Gupta, Anurag Agarwal, Mohan Goyal, Kiran, Anita and Animesh Mukharjee. Since then, the IISc alumni group has been meeting on and off every month. Somehow, this group lost steam in mid 2004.
2003 to 2005: Starting from the end of 2004 there has been growing interest to unify all the small groups into one and take this IISc Alumni, Silicon Valley Chapter, into the next stage by preparing strong foundation for it to grow. This culminated in the formation of a committee at the Founder’s Day annual get-together on the March 5, 2005. We named this committee “Steering and Action Committee” or SAC. Its members can be active or passive based on their personal and professional needs. Murthy Gudipati has been asked to chair this founding committee to take the IISc Alumni SV Chapter. The other members of this committee are: Prof. A. K. Rao (A), Anurag Aggarwal (A), Sanjay Gupta (A), Mohan Goyal (A), Sadanand Karve (A), Murthy Gudipati (G S Murthy) (A), Gopi Mamidipudi (A), Animesh Mukherjee (A), Anita Mukherjee (P), Ravi Kiron (P), Velu (P), Kailash Joshi (P), Deepak Bangalore (P). (Here A denotes active and P denotes passive.) Soon, more enthusiastic members joined the SAC. They include: Dinesh Thirumurthy (A), Anil Chaudhary (A), Pranay Pogde (A), and Sanjeev Ukhalkar (A).
IISc SAC met for an informal chat and dinner potluck in Sunnyvale in Sept, 2005, attended by six volunteers who discussed future strategy of how to make Alumni Org more active, interactive, attractive and useful. It was decided to have an IISc Alumni Silicon Valley website and to run a membership drive to increase the members of Yahoo! group to 300+. Anil led the website project and Dinesh joined us as an active SAC member and led the membership drive. We achieved both goals at the end of that year.
In Oct, 2005, IISc SAC organized a talk by Prof. Mohan Sangeneni, Chairman, SID, IISc, who was touring US for business partnership between IISc and US industries. We were able to rope in many distinguish alumni in the core team due to Prof Mohan’s keen interest in Alumni activities and active membership drive. Just to name a few of them, Dr. Ashok Sinha, Dr. Ram Akella, Dr. Yash Bhatnagar, Dr. Subba Rao, and Dr. Kaushal Singh.
Year 2006: As many of us have different interests, SAC decided to have a Single Mission but different SIGs (Special Interest Groups) and individual alumni can join these SIGs based on their interests.
- the IISc alumni by helping each other in social networking, and professional networking – job opportunities, entrepreneurship, business contacts.
- to the community in which we live.
- to the rural India towards education and public outreach.
- to IISc.
SIG Communication: Strengthen Alumni Association, increase membership, run membership and data collection drive, monthly meetings.
SIG Cultural and Outdoor: Organise annual get-togethers; out-door recreational meets, hiking camps, dinner socials.
SIG Biz: Jobs, networking, start-ups, ventures, etc.
SIG Education and Philanthropy: Community outreach, Rural Education in India etc.
SIG Cultural and Outdoor organized annual founder’s day get-together on April, 2006, a day-long cultural program followed by formation of new SAC. Dr. Ashok Sinha accepted to lead us and became Chairman, IISc Silicon Valley with Prof. Ram Akella as Co-Chair with SAC members Yash Bhatnagar, Subba Rao, Jitendra Yadav, Mohan Goyal, Murthy Gudipati, Satya Ramchandran, Gopi Mamidipudi, Sanjeev Ukhalkar, Anil Chaudhary, Sanjay Gupta, Sunil Kulkarni, Ramesh Babu, Balaji, and Anita Mukherjee.
Alumni Activities of IISc AANA
The new SAC carefully reviewed the strategy and decided to expend its presence beyond Silicon Valley. With this objective in mind, Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association of North America (IISc AANA) was formed and IISc SV was renamed Silicon Valley Chapter of IISc AANA. By adding new SAC members from other parts, IISc SV SAC was converted to IISc AANA SAC. Dr. Murli Ghantasala from Chicago, Tadanki Sashidhar from East Coast and Dr. Arkal Shenoy from San Diego joined the IISc AANA SAC team whereas Prof. Mohan, Prof. Dattaguru and AVM Krishanan (all from IISc) joined as honorary member of SAC.
In May, 2006 SIG BIZ, IISc AANA arranged a talk in Milpitas, CA, by all three honorary SAC members (Prof Mohan, Prof Dattaguru and AVM Krishanan). It was well received by audience, motivated the alumni and filled them with lots of energy and enthusiasm.
In July-August, 2006, IISc AANA was registered as non-profit organization with the State of California, with headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The original Mission Statement was converted into Bylaws of IISc AANA.
Prof. Mohan has been very helpful and instrumental in connecting us to alumni not only in different parts of North America but all over the globe. With his help IISc AANA created three new chapters with in the States: East Coast Chapter; Midwest Chapter, and Southern California Chapter
IISc AANA is very active in building partnership with other alumni (such as IITs, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and UCs) and like-minded organizations for the novel cause to boost India by roots and build strong alumni network. To increase the visibility of IISc AANA, IISc Alumni decided to have an IISc Global Conference 2007, as pre-centenary celebration of IISc.