Sam Pitroda – Keynote Speaker

Internationally respected telecom inventor, entrepreneur and development thinker

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Specialist Subjects

  • Telecom
  • ICT - Information and Communications Technology
  • Entrepreneurship



  • Hindi


Sam Pitroda is an internationally respected telecom inventor, entrepreneur, development thinker and policy maker who has spent 50 years in information and communications technology (ICT) and related global and national developments.


Credited with having laid the foundation for India’s telecommunications and technology revolution of the 1980s, Sam Pitroda has been a leading campaigner to help bridge the global digital divide. During his tenure as Advisor to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Sam Pitroda led six technology missions related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunisation, dairy production and oil seeds. He was also the founder and the first Chairman of India’s Telecom Commission. These roles have helped Pitroda to revolutionise India’s development philosophies and policies with a focus on access to technology as the key to social change.


Between 2005-09 Pitroda headed India’s National Knowledge Commission. The idea was to provide a blueprint of reform for the Knowledge-related institutions and infrastructure for the 21st Century in the country.


More recently, Pitroda served as Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation, with the rank of a Cabinet Minister. He served as the Chairman of the Smart Grid Task Force, as well as the committees to reform public broadcasting, modernise railways, deliver e-governance and other developmental activities.


Sam Pitroda is Founding Chairman of five non-profit organizations, including the India Food Bank, the Global Knowledge Initiative and the Institute of Transdisciplinary Health. He is also a founding Commissioner for Digital Development and Chairman of the International Telecommunication Union’s m-Powering Development Board. A Board that looks to empower developing countries with the use of mobile technology.


In addition, Sam Pitroda is a serial entrepreneur, having started several companies in the US. He holds around 20 honorary PhDs, close to 100 worldwide patents and has published five books and numerous papers and lectured widely all over the world. Pitroda lives in Chicago.

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