tells grads that a degree is not a ticket to security, a degree
means you have the knowledge and skill to get through adversity
Kanwal Rekhi and ECE Chair Tim Schulz
the Grads a good pep talk.
Updare: See Hard times can actually be the best of times for would-be entrepreneurs, says Kanwal Rekhi
a '69 Michigan Tech master's in electrical engineering graduate,
is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He tells how his family had left
Pakistan when he was two years old, during Pakistan's separation
from India. In a sense, the upheaval was good practice. "I've
always considered myself a refugee," Rekhi said. Early in his
career, he was faced with negotiating a quick series of jobs, moves
and layoffs, which taught him a valuable lesson.
not in business to take care of you, he realized. "So I made
sure I wouldn't be laid off again."
to be where I am," Rekhi concluded. "And I'm very happy
to be able to give back to society."
in the technology industry, Kanwal has been active in the Silicon
Valley community of entrepreneurs. He is head of Ensim Corporation,
a global leader in hosting automation software.
Early in his
career, he faced recurrent layoffs. After the third, he intended
to become “self-sufficient.” In 1982, he founded Excelan,
a pioneering computer networking company and one of the first to
commercially develop the TCP/IP protocol.
with Novell, Inc., in 1989. Kanwal became executive vice president
and led the firm’s product development and technology strategies,
including Novell’s UNIX systems group. After leaving Novell,
he went to work at Intellimatch, an Internet database service, and
Kanwal now invests
in companies that concentrate on software and networking systems.
He has been recognized for his commitment to technology and business
startups and was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by
Venture magazine in1987.
In 1994 he co-founded a nonprofit association that promotes wealth
creation through entrepreneurship. The organization, based in California,
has spread worldwide from its start with helping immigrants from
Kanwal and Ann
have long supported Michigan Tech. Kanwal has received the Board
of Control Silver Medal and an honorary Doctorate in Business and
Engineering. He is a member of the Electrical Engineering Academy.