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TiE – an organization that charted a new path

The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is a unique organization.  Its roots are in the “Indus” region – or South Asia primarily.  Founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley, it has by now opened up 53 chapters across 12 countries with over 11,000 members and over 2500 Charter members.

TiE was formed by coming together of successful entrepreneurs, executives, professors and professionals in various fields.  Through its networking and mentor outreach programs, TiE has helped spawn many entrepreneurs from the South Asian community.

An organization that was initially helped by the tremendous energy of Kanwal Rekhi, the guy who sold Excelan, to Novell in 1989 for $210 million.  Several of the biggest names in Indian businessmen in Silicon Valley joined him at TiE.  A look at the Global Charter Members for TiE shows why it is such a special place,

Aditya Mittal, Anand Mahindra, Apurv Bagri, Arun Sarin, C K Prahalad, Desh Deshpande, Hussain Dawood, Kanwal Rekhi, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Nandan Nilekani, Narayana Murthy, Sanjiv Ahuja, Shiv Nadar, Syed Babar Ali, Victor Menezes, Vindi Banga and Vinod Khosla

Success in an adopted country is rare and for Indian diaspora, the success came after a lot of struggle.  For years, the red tape and bureacracy of the Indian Government had closed the minds of its people to taking risk.  Profit had become a bad word.  For a generation that grew up on such staple, to then go out and make money… LOTS of it, must have been tough.  It was not just a physical or an intellectual thing, it was a fight with one’s own value system and mental frameworks.

Mentorship from those who had fought such devils on their way, can help budding entrepreneurs tremendously.  It is not someone from “outside” telling the new kid on the block as to what is right or wrong.. but someone who has walked the same path.

That is the importance of TiE.  It defined a new path and helped others walk that path as well.