CAMBRIDGE, MA—(Editor’s note: TiE-Boston, the second oldest and largest chapter of TiE-Global, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. On this occasion, INDIA New England News posed five questions to a few early charter members and some past presidents TiE-Boston. Below is the second question. Their answers have been shortened and edited for clarity.)
Question: Is the organization today what you had envisioned for TiE?
Sushil Bhatia, Founding Charter Member
We thought it will be one of the other ENT and Innovation organization considering the competition from other entities at that time
Ashok Boghani, Founding Charter Member
Like any successful start-up, the model has evolved as the time has gone by. So, no, this is not exactly what we had envisioned. However, it has remained a vibrant and financially sustainable organization because it has adapted to the changing needs of the stakeholders and the external environment.
Puran Dang, Early Charter Member
When TIE-Atlantic took birth, there was a strange euphoria about Entrepreneurship in the East and West coasts. TIE- Boston was a big hit in that direction. I vividly remember that in our events we used to draw hundreds of young aspiring men and women who were dreaming to touch the sky. We have seen that vision coming true and I as the early charter member makes me very proud. TIE Boston has become a permanent Institution for producing entrepreneurs of great substance.
Samir Desai, Founding Charter Member and Past President
We were a small group of immigrants that were looking to get together to encourage entrepreneurship and business activities in the community and learn from each other. We knew that we would be stronger together and hoped that TIE Atlantic will act as a platform to build, share, and learn new ideas. Most of us were fairly far along in our careers, but were looking to take that next step and grow, and contribute to society. And I think TiE was amazing for that.
We certainly had hoped that the organization would grow, but I don’t think we can say we had ever imagined how big this organization has become. It has been wonderful to watch! We are so proud that it has exceeded our expectations – and has fulfilled our initial mission – which was to create a space for innovators to come together help help each other grow.
Desh Deshpande, Founding President
Yes, TiE has more than exceeded the expectations of all of us who came together to start TiE-Boston.
Radha Jalan, Founding Charter Member
In my opinion, In 1997, TiE-Boston was an experiment , a new kind of vision for our community. I am delighted with its success and can foresee even more growth in future.
In 1997 it was an attempt to show, that given a right kind of network, people of S. Asian origin could be equally successful in enterprenuership as they were in Medicine, and engineering. As a community, beside our risk taking attitude, we brought the discipline, and critical analytic thinking to any discipline that we embraced.
Ramesh Kapoor, Founding Charter Member
No. It has scaled up bigger than envisioned in 1997.
Santhana Krishnan, Early Charter Member
I do not think anyone would have envisioned that there would be12,000 members in 61 chapters from 18 countries in 20 years. It is a testament to staying relevant by continuing to provide value to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
TiE-Boston has always known to be an innovative chapter and have successfully launched various initiatives like TYE, TiE Startup which have been adopted by chapters globally. It is a challenge for any organization to stay relevant for this long but we have because of the strong commitment of charter members to continue to give back and share their experiences.
Dinesh Patel, Founding Charter Member
We all knew the inherent entrepreneurial spirit flowing in the genes of Indian Americans and USA being the key to that wonderful door it is moving on. Sky is no limit and so is that human spirit.
Gautam Prakash, Past President
I certainly did not think that TiE-Boston would become as large and multi-faceted as it has become over the years. I am most proud of the fact that the chapter has broadened beyond technology into other spheres of activity, such as healthcare and the non-profit sector. The Special Interest Groups that we started back in 2002-2003 were a great hook to getting many non-traditional entrepreneurs to come to our events and to network with our charter members and the broader TiE ecosystem.