Meet Dr. Shamim and Ashraf Dahod: Recipients of New England Choice Award for Philanthropy

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ANDOVER, MA—Husband-wife team of high-tech entrepreneur Ashraf Dahod and physician wife Dr. Shamim Dahod have given tens of millions of dollars to hospitals, medical schools and other charitable causes from Boston to Bombay (now Mumbai).

In addition to practicing medicine and supporting charities and communities, Shamim herself is a breast and thyroid cancer survivor. She is a trustee of Boston University. Husband Ashraf is a serial technology entrepreneur, who produced the first cable modem in 1981, and today serves as CEO of Altiostar Networks.

On Nov. 15, the couple will be honored with Philanthropists of the Year Award at New England Choice Awards gala at Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA. They have quietly supported a number of causes. A few years ago, they gave a $2 million gift for the creation of the Dahod Family Alumni Center in the Boston University Castle. The gift was the couple’s second major contribution to the University. They gave $10.5 million to the BU School of Medicine in 2008, which established the Shamim and Ashraf Dahod Breast Cancer Research Center and endowed assistant professor and international scholar positions there.

The couple also helped fund a six-story, 200,000-square-foot Dahod Building at Lowell General Hospital. They have supported Saifee Hospital in Mumbai.

High school sweethearts from Mumbai, the Dahods moved to the United States in the 1970s. Shamim Dahod is a primary care physician and board-certified internist.

Ashraf Dahod, a computer engineer turned entrepreneur, holds degrees from the University of Mumbai, the University of Michigan, Stanford University, Northeastern, and Harvard Business School. His mobile wireless infrastructure company Starent Networks was acquired by Cisco Systems in December 2009, and he is now president and CEO of another mobile technology company, Altiostar Networks

Here is a Q/A with Dahods:

INDIA New England News: What do you like most about your work?

Ashraf Dahod: I enjoy disrupting the market, finding solutions and technology.

Shamim Dahod: As a doctor, I like helping people, teaching them to take care of themselves.

INE: Who Inspired you the most and why?

AD: My spiritual leader and faith. They teach us to give back to the society. For day-to-day living I was inspired by my parents.

SD: His Holiness my spiritual guru and my parents.

INE: What has been the secret of your success?

AD: Making decisions. Doing the right thing. Being patient.

SD: Being a caring individual. I have found that caring for people has brought success in my practice and my life.

INE:  One advice you will give to the person you love?

AD: Always be fair. Always look at the other person’s problems—even in business. You cannot take advantage. You must always have a fair deal.

SD: Always be humble.

INE:  How do you look at failure?

AD: Failure is nothing but a learning experience. Don’t be afraid of failure.

SD: I taught my children that you will never appreciate success if you have not seen failure.

INE: Your favorite quote?

AD: “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” –John F. Kennedy

SD: “When they go low, we go high.” –Michelle Obama.

INE: Top Three Favorite Movies?

AD: Apollo Moon Landing, Mughal-E-Azam, and Pyasa.

SD: English Vinglish, Suraj and Anari.

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