Rajesh Nair is Senior Lecturer and Director of ASB Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at the Asia School of Business. He is also a Visiting Scholar at MIT-Tata Center for Technology and Design, with a focus on helping students in commercializing technologies developed at the center. Prior to this work, Rajesh has been a product designer and serial entrepreneur for 25 years designing and developing consumer and industrial products.
The last company he founded, Degree Controls, Inc. (www.degreec.com), provides solutions in thermal design of high reliability electronic products in various markets such as medical, IT, military and consumer. He holds 13 US patents. He was the recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year award from New Hampshire High Tech Council and was a finalist at Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year-New England program.
Rajesh is an engineer by education and holds Master’s degrees in Engineering & Management (MIT), Manufacturing Engineering (UMass, Amherst), Electronic Product Design (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore), and Bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communication (IISc). His research at MIT on developing methods to catalyze innovators and entrepreneurs from the ‘ground up’ to build entrepreneurship ecosystems was segue to his current work.
His unique experiments in remote colleges in India have created entrepreneurs and startups from groups of students. His work is largely motivated by his conviction that entrepreneurs can be made, and average individuals, with the right kind of exposure and training, can be transformed into entrepreneurs, thus empowering them and enriching their communities.
In 2006 Rajesh founded the annual TechTop National Innovation Competition in India. He started TechTop Centre in India, a ‘live-in’ program that exposes undergrad students to an experiential process on Innovation, Fabrication and Entrepreneurship to change their entrepreneurship attitude.
His current personal mission is to create a thousand entrepreneurs in the next three years through the method he developed at MIT. His experiments with undergraduate students in India have generated several startups (see ‘Teaching Entrepreneurship in India’ and TEDx-BeaconStreet talk on ‘Starting Up Entrepreneurs’.)