BOSTON—TiE Boston, one of the region’s largest and oldest organizations supporting the Massachusetts entrepreneurial ecosystem, on Friday elected senior Bank of America executive Anu Chitrapu as its 12 President for a two-year term.
Ms. Chitrapu replaces Nilanjana Bhowmik, Co-Founder and General Partner of Cambridge, MA-based venture capital firm Converge, who just completed her two-year term. Ms. Chitrapu is a Senior Vice President and Global Procurement Executive at Bank of America.
“I am very excited to take over the Presidency of TiE-Boston,” Ms. Chitrapu told INDIA New England News. “Nilanjana is a tough act to follow, but with the support of all Charter Members and past Presidents, I am confident we can take the organization to the next level.”
Ms. Bhowmik said Ms. Chitrapu is an ideal leader to continue building TiE Boston’s mission.
“I could not be more pleased with Anu’s election as the next President of TiE-Boston,” said Ms. Bhowmik. “Charismatic and energetic, her decades long involvement with TiE and her proven track record of giving back make her an ideal leader to continue building upon TiE’s mission “
Sushil Tuli, President and CEO of Leader Bank, and a TiE Boston Charter Member, said Ms. Chitrapu is a perfect choice to lead TiE Boston and take it to the next level.
“TIE Boston needed a leader like Anu, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis when a lot of entrepreneurs are suffering,” said Mr. Tuli. “She is going to be a great president of TiE Boston, and is going to make Boston one of the best TiE chapters.”
TiE Boston is the second oldest and second largest TiE chapter and currently has about 150 charter members
The Indus Entrepreneurs, known as TiE, was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region. With a global reach and a local focus, the heart of TiE efforts lies in its five foundational programs, – Mentoring, Networking, Education, Funding, and Incubation. There are currently 15,000 members (including over 3,000 charter members or mentors) in 61 chapters across 14 countries.
Mr. Tuli said that Ms. Chitrapu understands what it takes to be a senior level executive in a large corporation.
“She is going to be a great leader of TiE Boston,” added Mr. Tuli.
Raj Sharma, Managing Director – Wealth Management and Head of The Sharma Group, a Boston-based high-end boutique within Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group, echoed Mr. Tuli’s sentiments.
“Congratulations to TiE for selecting an exceptional individual as the next President of TiE Boston. Anu has the intelligence, energy and passion to draw new segments to TIE and take it beyond its technology roots,” said Mr. Sharma.
As a banker, Ms. Chitrapu has seen entrepreneurs in fields such as hospitality, real estate, retail and financial services, Mr. Sharma added.
“I think she has the potential to transform TIE into a robust, mainstream entity. Anu is passionate about philanthropy and giving back and I hope she is able to get entrepreneurs excited about giving back to society,” said Mr. Sharma. “I would like wish Anu great success in this challenging assignment.”
Ms. Chitrapu is Senior Vice-President and Global Procurement Executive at Bank of America. She has won awards at the bank for exceptional performance, been named to the high potential women leaders group and serves as the Executive Sponsor for the Asian Leadership Network in Boston. She is a seasoned and dynamic business leader with a track record of motivating teams to step up their performance and a natural evangelist and influencer with the ability to get people excited about an organization and its mission.
Ms. Chitrapu has been involved with TiE Boston since 2004, when along with a group of other TiE Boston women, she helped create the TiE Women’s Initiative (TiEWIN) with the mission of inspiring and empowering women leaders. TiEWIN brought luminaries like Indra Nooyi to speak at TiE Boston. She was also part of the TiECON organizing team for multiple years. She became a charter member of TiE Boston in 2006 and joined the TiE Boston board in Jan 2020.
Praveen Tailam, a member of the Board of Trustees of TiE Global, said the timing of Ms. Chitrapu’s election as the president of TiE Boston is very apt.
“America and the rest of the world are going thru a turbulent but opportune time for organizations like TiE to make a significant impact by engaging with neglected minorities and communities,” said Mr. Tailam. “I believe entrepreneurship is a powerful force to address economic inequity. Anu has always highlighted the importance of women empowerment and gender parity. Wishing Anu and the Boston chapter great success with her positive attitude and hands-on leadership.”
As a current board member of TiE Boston, Ms. Chitrapu is focusing on 3 areas to help grow the organization, according to an announcement sent to TiE Boston charter members.
- Strengthen partnerships with local Universities to create a pipeline of members through increased presence: South Asian student bodies at business schools are the target audience for our pipeline! Past events at MIT and other Universities have proven to be successful at attracting these graduate students. Strategic partnering with Universities will help us reach them in cost effective ways.
- Increase awareness and improve branding of TiE Boston through increased media presence: TiE Boston already has good branding – with a focus on increasing media presence, the branding can be strengthened to highlight the unique relevance of TiE Boston in our local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- Increase the % of women within the charter membership: Offer programs and incentives to attract more women Charter Members to TiE Boston.
Ms. Chitrapu is passionate about women empowerment, eliminating gender based violence, education for girls and protecting the environment. It was this passion that led to the creation of Nyrvaana, a social enterprise founded by Ms. Chitrapu and her two sisters, with a mission of saving fabric from landfill while providing employment to disadvantaged women.
Ms. Chitrapu was President of Vision Aid, a non-profit organization focused on helping the visually challenged. During her 6-year tenure, she pioneered a unique fund raising model that forms the backbone of the organization’s growth. She is currently on the advisory boards of Saheli and Direct Action for Women Now (DAWN) and is an active member of several Boston based non-profit organizations including American India Foundation (AIF) and Ekal Vidyalaya.
Writing has been a longstanding passion for Ms. Chitrapu and she hopes to increase awareness of social issues through her writing. Her short story, “The Legacy”, shone a spotlight on inequity and social injustice and was awarded second place in an international short story competition. She is also a columnist for India New England News.
Ms. Chitrapu is married to serial technology entrepreneur Rama Ramakrishnan (currently Professor at MIT) and played a vital role in supporting his startups through their lifecycle from founding to successful exit. This first-hand experience imbued in her the business acumen and emotional intelligence needed to support entrepreneurs through their sometimes tumultuous journey from concept to success.
She holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.