Board of Directors
Dr. Sam Pitroda, Founder & Chairman
Dr. Sam Pitroda is an internationally respected development thinker, telecom inventor and entrepreneur who has spent 44 years in Information and Communications Technology and related human and national developments.
Credited with having laid the foundation for and ushered India’s technology and telecommunications revolution in the 1980s, Dr. Pitroda has been a leading campaigner to help bridge the global digital divide.
During his tenure as Advisor to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s Dr. Pitroda headed six technology missions related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunization Dairy and oil seeds. He was also the founder and first chairman of India’s Telecom Commission.
Dr. Pitroda was Chairman of India’s National Knowledge Commission (2005-2009), an advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, set up to provide a blueprint of reform of the knowledge related institutions and infrastructure in the country. The Commission has offered a series of recommendations on various aspects of the knowledge paradigm to help India meet the challenges of the 21st century.
He is currently Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations.
He holds close to 100 worldwide patents and has published and lectured widely in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Mehul Desai, Co-Founder & Vice-Chairman
Mehul Desai has spent over 17 years in the areas of intellectual property, product development, business development, strategy and international operations, focusing on ICT and related applications across developed as well as emerging markets. Mr. Desai has done pioneering work in the field of secure personalized transactions, with focus on finance, retail, healthcare, and government services for mobile phone users worldwide.
As Vice Chairman, Mr. Desai supports the management team from the Board, focusing on strategic initiatives related to enhancing the Company’s intellectual property, product, business development, and new areas of growth. As co-founder of C-SAM, Mr. Desai has held several positions in the Company, serving as its Chief Executive Officer up to June 2011.
Prior to joining C-SAM, Mr. Desai headed up operations for MTI Software Services, managing the company’s software services groups in the US and India, and has held various Engineering/R&D positions working primarily in the areas of telecommunication, distributed systems and power electronics.
Mr. Desai is the co-inventor of issued patents and pending applications across several markets including the US and EU. Mr. Desai has been involved with several industry forums since 2001, focused on developing standards for secure mobile transactions. Mr. Desai often speaks at industry conferences on topics related to mobile commerce and mobile payments.
Mr. Desai has co-authored a book – March of Mobile Money – that chronicles the advent of the digital wallet and the potential socio-economic impact of billions of cell phone users securely transacting electronically – for services related to finance, health, education and governance.
Mr. Desai is involved in non-profit initiatives, including the Global Foodbanking Network’s project in India. Mr. Desai’s other areas of interest include knowledge methodologies and knowledge-cities, new education models, use of ICT in delivery of public services, and food security.
Mr. Desai holds a B.S. in Telecommunication Engineering and a M.S. in Engineering Management.
Felix Marx, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Marx has spent more than 25 years in the communications, semiconductor and services Industry. His field of expertise covers specifically Mobile Transactions, the Semiconductors Industry (Identification and Smart Cards), NFC and RFID eco-systems, mobile- and fixed network communications, Identity Management, Trusted Service Management, the creation of new eco-systems as well as the field of human-centric knowledge management and leadership development. Mr. Marx developed, through his numerous international assignments in different industries, a truly global network covering all geographic areas from APAC, EMEA, the USA and Latin America.
Previously Mr. Marx served as the Executive Vice President of Identive Group Inc. and as CEO Transponders and Semiconductors Group. He also served as Executive Director of the Board of Identive Group as well as on the board of Directors of some of Identive Group’s portfolio companies. In addition, he served as CEO of the ACiG Technology business. Mr. Marx joined Identive Group in October 2007 as CEO of SCM Microsystems, Inc., Identive’s predecessor, and served in this role until March 2010, when he took the role of Chief Operating Officer of Identive Group.
During his time as SCM Microsystems CEO he acquired Hirsch Electronics and Bluehill ID, a group of companies in the Identity Management and RFID space transforming the entire group into Identive Group.
From 2003 to October 2007 Mr. Marx held a variety of management positions with NXP Semiconductors and Philips Semiconductors, amongst other’s as General Manager of the Near Field Communication (NFC) business, which focuses on the use of existing contactless smart card standards, and as General Manager of the Contactless & Embedded Security business, where he was responsible for the smart card business (mobile communications, banking, e-government), NFC (Near Field Communication) and reader IC businesses of the company.
Mr. Marx also has several years’ experience in the data and voice-networking sector, where he held various sales, marketing, product management, business line management and general management positions with companies including Global One Telecommunications and Ericsson Telecommunications.
During his assignments in different corporations Mr. Marx spend a significant amount of time overseas (Asia Pacific) as well as in Sweden and other countries.
Mr. Marx holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Technical Academy in Vienna, a postgraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Commerce in Vienna and a Master of Advanced Studies in Knowledge Management from Danube University Krems in Austria.
Salil Pitroda, Member
Salil Pitroda is a Principal at Symphony Technology Group where he leads due diligence and transaction execution and helps to build STG’s portfolio companies. Pitroda works across Internet, software and services and has played an active role in Shopzilla, MSC Software, Poplicus, Symphony Advanced Media and SUMMUS Software.
Prior to STG, from 2006 through 2009, Pitroda was a Principal with Old Lane, LP, a $4 billion public / private investment firm, which was acquired by Citigroup. Pitroda primarily focused on private equity and long-term public equity investments in business services, software, Internet and financial services. Earlier, Pitroda was a Vice President with Thomas H. Lee Putnam, a $1.1 billion middle market buyout and growth equity firm focused on technology-enabled businesses. Pitroda also has held investment and management positions with General Atlantic LLC and The Boston Consulting Group. He has an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School and Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).