Samir Desai on Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy and The Desai Foundation on Chai With Manju

Manju Sheth and Samir Desai
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BURLINGTON, MA—When Indian Americans had just started to emerge on the technology scene in the United States, Samir Desai was on its forefront. “I never had a chance to fail. My grandfather would not allow me to fail,” says Mr. Desai in an exclusive interview on Chai With Manju.

In 1985, Mr. Desai founded System Resources Corporation, serving the US federal government, and guided the firm through 15 years of rapid, steady and profitable growth and then sold it to NYSE Company in 1999.

During this period, he earned many awards and recognitions, including SBA Prime Contractor of the Year (Region I), Entrepreneurial Success Award from Commonwealth of Massachusetts, six-time finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (New England), and twice ranked in Inc. Magazine List of Fastest Growing Companies.

In 1999, Mr. Desai founded The Desai Foundation for his charitable activities in both the United States and India. On Oct. 26, he will be honored with Philanthropist of the Year Award at New England Choice Awards gala at Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA. The awards gala will be attended by about 400 community leaders, businessmen, professionals, academics and philanthropists.

In the Chai With Manju interview, Mr. Desai talks about his journey—from growing up in his village in Gujrat and his grandfather, to entrepreneurship and giving back to society. He says he believes in Murphy’s laws and that everything will go wrong and thus be prepared.

“Don’t live beyond your means in your personal life as well as in professional life,” he says.

To watch the full interview, please click here.

Mr. Desai is also one of the original founders of TiE-Boston and is known in the Massachusetts high-technology community as a visionary leader, organizer, contributor, and advisor. He is currently the CEO of Aditi, Inc. where he advises corporations on how to succeed and grow. He actively invests in new ventures across a broad set of industries and devotes most of his time to entrepreneurship and community service.

The Desai Foundation empowers women and children to elevate health and livelihood in India & U.S  its highly impactful programming leveraging strong partners on the ground in the US and India. The Desai Foundation focuses on sustainable development with programs spanning from vocational classes, health camps, community volunteer outreach, and sanitary napkin programs all for women in need. The organization, to date, has impacted 380,000 womens lives in Gujarat, India, Metro-Boston, and Harlem, New York.

New England Choice Awards gala is organized by INE MultiMedia in collaboration with INDIA New England News, and is supported by a number of businesses: Platinum Sponsor: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; Gold Sponsor: Masala Art; Silver Sponsor: BMW of Sudbury and Lahey Health. Supporting sponsors are: Alankar Event Planners & Decorators, Boston Sound and Light Co. and Art of Memories. Community sponsors are: Ameriprise/Mahadev Group; Shah, Dixit & Associates PC, among others.


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