1985/B.Tech/MT Founder & CEO, Vimaan Robotics Inc California, USA
Dr. KG Ganapathi received his Bachelor’s of Technology in Metallurgical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1985. He then joined IIM Ahmedabad to pursue his postgraduate diploma in Management but left the program after a year to attend graduate school at The Ohio State University in Columbus, during which he was the recipient of numerous awards for his research involving material tribology and the generation of ultra-high-strength nano-crystalline materials. He received his Master’s from the university in 1988 and Ph.D. in 1990.
He had a brief stint as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Magnetic Recording Research at the University of California, San Diego. In 1992, he joined Applied Magnetics Corporation in Santa Barbara, California, and went on to develop patented Diamond-like Carbon coatings for magnetic recording disk drives and commercialized it. In 1994, he moved to Silicon Valley based Read-Rite Corporation and led a team to commercialize the “Tripad” head, which was the first “pseudo-contact” recording head in the industry.
He then joined the founding team of DAS devices in 1997 and then became the interim CEO. He founded Fidelica Microsystems in 2000, now a part of Lenovo Corporation, and brought a radical approach to fingerprint sensing that involved the use of MEMS technology. He was also a co-founder and CEO of Verreon Inc., which was acquired by Qualcomm to integrate the technology into its display division. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Vimaan Robotics Inc., a company that is developing robotics-based solutions for warehouse logistics applications.
Dr. KG is a prolific inventor – his patents have formed the underpinning of all of his entrepreneurial ventures. He has nearly 50 issued and pending patents in the fields of magnetic recording and storage, MEMS sensors and actuators, user input devices, thermal imaging, robotics, and supply chain digitization.
He serves on the Founding Advisory Board of the prestigious Management, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MET) Program at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an active investor, mentor, and board member at various startups throughout Silicon Valley.
KG and his wife Nita are active on the philanthropy front as well. They have contributed to numerous causes, including education and literacy, cultural and religious preservation. They were members of the Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE) Leadership Circle or Donors for over a decade until 2017. They are patron members of the Odisha Society of the Americans (OSA). They have also worked to uplift underprivileged and disadvantaged communities.
For his exemplary accomplishments in the field of research, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy, IIT Madras and its Alumni are proud to confer this award upon Dr. SK (“KG”) Ganapathi.