Sam Pitroda

Technocrat, Inventor, entrepreneur, development thinker and policymaker

“Today, our mindsets are locked up in the past. We need to use technology and redesign everything around us”, is Sam Pitroda’s ask from the world. India’s foremost technocrat and architect of India’s telecommunication revolution of the 1980s, Sam Pitroda has been a leading campaigner to bridge the global digital divides. The Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 2009 for his contribution to Science and Engineering During his tenure as Advisor to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Sam Pitroda led six technology missions related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunization, dairy production, and oil seeds. He was he founder and first Chairman of India’s Telecom Commission. In 2005 he headed India’s National Knowledge Commission (2005-2009), to provide a blueprint of reform for future knowledge-related institutions. Recently, he served as Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation, with the rank of Cabinet Minister. He served as the Chairman of the Smart Grid Task Force, as well as in various reform committees to for e-governance and efficiency. Sam Pitroda is a founding Commissioner of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development and Chairman of the International Telecommunication Union’s m-Powering Development Board that looks to empower developing countries with the use of mobile technology. A serial entrepreneur, he holds over 15 honorary PhD’s, close to 100 worldwide patents, and has published and lectured widely in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. He lives in Chicago with his wife.