Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda, better known as Dr Sam Pitroda, born in Titlagarh, Orissa,in 1942. He is an inventor, entrepreneur and policymaker. Currently chairman of India's National Knowledge Commission.


He is also widely considered to have been responsible for India's communications revolution [1]. He is the Chairman and CEO of World-Tel Limited, an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) initiative. He holds many key technology patents, has been involved in several startups, and lectures extensively around the world on the implications of communications and information technology.

He is also the founder and CEO of C-SAM, Inc, and serves as a director on the board of Jet Airways. C-SAM has developed an m-Commerce application by the name OneWallet. The company has offices in London, Tokyo, and offshore development centres in India in Mumbai and Vadodara. He has served as an advisor to the United Nations and in 1992.

His family details

Sam Pitroda was born in 1942 in India in the village of Titilagarh, Orissa.His parents hailed from Gujarat and had migrated to Orissa. They were deeply attached to Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy. Sam Pitroda and his brother were sent to Gujarat to imbibe Gandhian philosophy. Sam completed his schooling from Vallabh Vidyanagar in Gujarat and completed his Masters in Physics and Electronics from Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara.After completing a Masters in Physics from Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara he went to the US and did his Masters in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

Mr. Pitroda has lived mainly in Chicago, Illinois since 1964, with his wife and two children.

Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s he was involved in the cutting edge technology research work in telecommunications and handheld computing. His invention of the Electronic Diary in 1975 is now regarded as one of the earliest examples of hand-held computing. With over 100 patents to his credit Pitroda has been a leading name in telecommunications and information technology for over three decades.

He went on and found Wescom Switching. When Wescom was acquired by Rockwell International, where Mr. Pitroda became a Vice President.

Government service

In 1984, Mr. Pitroda was invited to return to India by the then Prime Minister Mrs. Gandhi; on his return he founded the Center for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) under the Indian government. In 1987, he became advisor to Mrs. Gandhi's successor, Rajiv Gandhi and was responsible for shaping India's foreign and domestic telecommunications policies. He is largely considered responsible for the telecommunications revolution in India and specifically, the ubiquitous, yellow-signed Public Call Offices (PCO) that quickly brought cheap and easy domestic and international public telephones all over the country.

An unpleasant and public disagreement with ministers over some policies of Government led to his exit from public service and return to Chicago.

For the subsequent decade, Pitroda continued his business interests in computer manufacturing and software.

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