Ask-Me-Anything on "How to Build a Company with Your PhD Thesis”, 23 March 2021

March 11, 2021

"How to Build a Company with Your PhD Thesis" with Anand Deshpande, Founder, Chairman, and Managing Director, Persistent Systems. Below are some questions/topics (only indicative, not complete) that Anand would cover in the discussion on 23 March 2021 at 1500 IST:

  • Why are PhD folks well suited to entrepreneurship?
  • Your PhD problem may be good but may not be good enough to build a business. How do you iterate to find the right problem to work on?
  • How to build a team of founders? Are PhD folks destined to be CTOs? What can they do to become good CEOs?
  • How to work on finding product market fit—and build something people want?
  • How to build a business plan that will make money?
  • What are the investors looking for?
  • How do you stay excited and enjoy the ride?
  • Even if I (Anand) cannot convince you to be an entrepreneur, why is this knowledge still useful?

The #AMA is scheduled with Dr. Anand Deshpande. Anand is the Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Persistent Systems since its inception and is responsible for the overall leadership, strategy and management of the company. Anand holds a BTech (Hons.) in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA. He was recognized by his alma mater, IIT Kharagpur, as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2012 and by the School of Informatics of Indiana University with the Career Achievement Award in 2007. Prior to founding Persistent Systems, Anand began his professional career at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California, where he worked as Member of Technical Staff from May 1989 to October 1990.

Anand has served numerous positions at various professional and nonprofit organizations viz. NASSCOM's Executive Council, ACM India, where he was the first President, Software Exporters' Association of Pune (SEAP) and Pune Chapter of Computer Society of India, CII's Pune Zonal Council and as a Trustee in the Computer History Museum. Currently, he serves as a Trustee of Persistent Foundation, Member of the Dean's Advisory Council in the School of Informatics of Indiana University, and Member of the Executive Committee of MCCIA.

Anand is a founding member of iSPIRT, India's first product think tank, started with the vision of creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in India. Anand is also a founder member of Inter Institutional Inclusive Innovations Center (i4C), an independent, nonprofit entity which acts as a platform to proactively scout, showcase and handhold technology innovations, especially aimed at the base of the pyramid. With members of his family, he has established DeAsra Foundation (, a nonprofit entity which focuses on creating self-employment at scale.

This is an open-to-all session (ACM membership not required). To attend, please register here:

Please help us spread the word among others who may be interested.

For any questions/clarifications, please write to [email protected].

Prof. Ponnurangam Kumaraguru "PK", IIIT-Delhi
For Research Facilitation Committee, ACM India