Source | AnuPartha
Ajit Nazre has been a notable figure in the tech world of Silicon Valley. A Mechanical Engineer, a student of medicine, and a Harvard MBA, he played a key role, working with CEO Hasso Plattner, in leading and shepherding SAP into the Internet era. Ajit Nazre was then recruited to directly be a Senior Partner of the valley’s most prestigious venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Ajit has an ability to think big and take risks, and he dares to take the forks-in-the-road that most of us mainstream folks don’t!
But that’s probably not what most of us think of when we hear Ajit Nazre’s name. Ajit, as you know, has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. Despite the courts absolving his firm, Kleiner Perkins, and him of all of the allegations and accusations that made the headlines, the intense media circus will, unfortunately, take some time to fade from the valley’s memory.
I have known Ajit Nazre professionally for over 15 years now. Ajit’s career path has been anything but conventional. He started off as a biomechanical engineer in the medical devices industry after a PhD in engineering mechanics and a degree in medicine from university of Hanover in Germany. He then moved into management, selling orthopedic and neurological products. With barely any programming knowledge, he got hand-picked by Hasso Plattner, SAP’s co-founder himself, to be part of his team in Palo Alto. At the height of his success with SAP, he changed tracks to become a venture capitalist with one of the largest and most established firms in Silicon Valley, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). He has worked in Europe, Silicon Valley and India and his degrees – B.E., M.S, PhD, MBA – don’t follow the traditional academic trajectory.
It would seem that Ajit has the habit of making the unconventional appear normal, the out-of-the-box appear ordinary. But that is the man being his authentic self. Bold and confident, he isn’t afraid to ‘reinvent himself’. He loves the excitement that comes with a challenge, thrives because of his brilliance, and is passionate to a fault.
Most of all, it’s impressive how well he has handled himself through crisis, and how he has bounced right back – wiser from the experience no doubt, but all eager and ready to continue to change the world as only he knows best! We, at AnuPartha, set out to speak with him to throw light on Ajit Nazre the Thinker, Innovator, & Leader, and to learn about the exciting roads he has traveled, and where he is headed next…
If You Know What You Want, Decisions Often Become Easier!
If you give Ajit Nazre two options, it wouldn’t be surprising if he went ahead and created a third! Even as a teenager, when faced with a choice of either medicine or engineering, he questioned why it had to be one over the other. The education system being what it was in India, he had to settle. He chose engineering, but that didn’t stop him from looking for an opening to enter the medical field. While doing his masters in Biomechanics in Michigan, he got a chance to participate in an exchange fellowship program with a German university. He jumped at the opportunity that allowed him to study medicine in parallel to working on his PhD!