WALTHAM, MA—MIT Professor and Boston tech entrepreneur Rama Ramakrishnan will be the Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker at the annual 20 Under 20 stars award ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA.
Organized by INDIA New England News, one of the nation’s largest news and video magazines, 20 Under 20 honors area’s shining stars under the age of 20.
“We are delighted that Prof. Ramakrishnan, who has been a successful high tech entrepreneur and senior executive, has agreed to be our Chief Guest and Keynote speaker,” said Upendra Mishra, publisher of INDIA New England News. “Many of this year’s winners are not only super achievers in arts, sports and academics but also budding entrepreneurs. We’re looking forward to listening to Prof. Ramakrishnan.”
Prof. Ramakrishnan was recently appointed Professor of the Practice at the MIT Sloan School of Management. This prestigious professorship is awarded to individuals who are world-class experts in an area and have spent many years in industry. There are only 36 Professors of Practice in all of MIT while there are 663 Professors.
Prior to joining MIT Sloan, Prof. Ramakrishnan was a data science entrepreneur and tech executive for over 20 years. He has founded or been a senior executive in four software companies that have exited to technology titans Oracle, Salesforce, and Demandware. He is active in the startup ecosystem as an advisor, angel investor, and board member.
Most recently, Prof. Ramakrishnan was senior vice president at Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) and chief data scientist for Salesforce Commerce Cloud. In this role, he led Salesforce Einstein for Commerce–the analytics/machine-learning platform that powers Salesforce Commerce Cloud–and was responsible for product management, engineering, data science, and cloud production operations. The Einstein platform uses analytics techniques to predict and influence the shopping behavior of hundreds of millions of unique shoppers monthly.
The path that led Prof. Ramakrishnan to Salesforce started in July 2010 when he founded a startup, CQuotient, to build a data-science-based personalization platform for retail and e-commerce, according to his official bio. Backed by funding from Bain Capital Ventures, he built and grew the company to a successful exit to Demandware (NYSE: DWRE) in October 2014. As a member of the Demandware executive team, he was involved in the successful sale of Demandware to Salesforce in July 2016 for $2.8 billion. CQuotient technology now forms the core of the Salesforce Einstein for Commerce platform.
Prior to founding CQuotient, Prof. Ramakrishnan taught analytics at MIT Sloan, was Chief Scientist and VP of R&D at ProfitLogic, was Chief Analytics Officer and VP of R&D for the retail business of Oracle, founded two analytics companies, and was a consultant at McKinsey & Company.
He has a BTech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai and MS and PhD degrees from MIT.