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Lokvani Talks To Kedar Murthy

Ranjani Saigal

Kedar Murthy, who is chairing the TIECON East conference  is currently Executive Vice President and General Manager for Lehigh Technologies; a Kleiner Perkins and Index Ventures "Greentech" technology startup manufacturing nanoparticles from recycled polymeric materials.

Kedar has extensive experience in international marketing in an industrial manufacturing setting, though has also worked in strategic planning, operations, finance and six sigma roles. He has worked for large multinational corporations including Cabot Corporation and General Electric where he held senior leadership positions. He was Marketing Person of the Year at GE.

Kedar has led several startups within large corporations and established joint ventures in India and Russia, built global sales teams and service organizations and also worked in information technology leading a team to develop Cabot's corporate website expanding their global reach. He is an original investor in the "My One Dollar Store" retail store in Bangalore India and served as the Chairman of the Board. He is also on the board of directors of Symphony Corporation a healthcare administration company in Madison, Wisconsin.

He talked to Lokvani about the upcoming TIECON East conference.

What motivated you to take on the role of TIECON East Chair?

The mission of TiE Boston is to “foster entrepreneurship” and I believe in giving back more than I receive.  Last year I made a personal decision to get much more involved with TiE and volunteered to lead the conference’s marketing team.  This year I decided to take on the challenge of the whole event.  We have an exceedingly dedicated organizing team and group of volunteers and  with support from the whole TiE Community I know  TIECON East will be a great success.

Why did you decide to choose Sustainable Innovation as the theme?

“SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION” –Creating Opportunity in Today’s Economy
was selected as this is most relevant to what enterprises and people have to do in respect to today’s current economic situation.
 “Sustainable” for the relevance to the times and “Innovation” for what entrepreneurs do each and every day.  Creators of great companies innovate, develop new ideas and business models to steer their companies through rough and challenging business environments to generate growth. 

This TIECON is happening during one of the most difficult financial crisis of our times. How have you retooled the event to make it relevant to the times?

We expanded the conference from three to four tracks to include Energy/Cleantech and Social Enterprise which expands our reach.  The keynotes for the conference are some of our best and brightest local entrepreneurs, whom will interact with you about their personal journey.

We aim to foster a learning environment that enables creation of sustainable economic, technical and social value through innovative solutions to real-world business challenges.

Can you give an overview of each of the tracks?

This year in addition to IT and Life Sciences, TiECON East expands its focus into Energy/Clean Tech and Social Enterprise. In IT we will probe “hot” topics like Cloud Computing and Green IT-“Knowledge Saves Power” and Life Sciences we look at innovative ideas for “digitizing healthcare” In Energy we will debate how entrepreneurs can best take advantage of this new business environment, and will also take a look at the types of sustainable solutions that may be in the vanguard of this broad social initiative.  In Social Enterprise you will meet entrepreneurs that have successfully launched socially-conscious enterprises using innovative business models. Their experiences and insights will provide invaluable guidance to entrepreneurs interested in launching similar ventures.

What can entrepreneurs at the early stage of startups hope to gain from this conference?

If you are a budding or aspiring entrepreneur-intrepreneur, TiECON East is the platform where you will meet and interact with successful fellow entrepreneurs/intrepreneurs, senior executives, founders of companies, service providers and VC’s to LEARN the right tools, gather insights, CONNECT and BE INSPIRED!

Many people have been laid off in the recent past. Would they gain from attending this event?

This is the only conference in the Boston area which brings together the convergence of over 50 speakers in 12 areas of Technology, Life Sciences, Energy/Cleantech and Social Enterprise with six keynote speakers. A truly unique networking opportunity for people to interact with leading entrepreneurs, founders of companies, VC’s, service providers, medical professionals and senior executives.

Any special message for  our readers?
Regardless of the industry in which you work, the key to successful sustainable technical innovation, and its transformation to business value, remains the same – people. 

On behalf of TiE Boston, the TiECON East Organizing Committee and a group of dedicated Volunteers, we look forward to seeing you at TiECON East 2009 at the Westin Waltham, MA. Thursday-Friday 21st -22nd May, 2009.  Please check out our website at http://www.tieconeast.org

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