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News & Press: Jul 2011

Prem Jain : Retires from Cisco as one of the top ranked Indians

Monday, July 11, 2011   (0 Comments)
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Prem Jain (’68, EE, Pilani)

On May 20th, 2011, BITSian Prem Jain (’68, EE, Pilani) retired as Senior Vice President of the Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit from Cisco Systems, Inc. Prem Jain was one of the highest ranking Indians at Cisco and will continue to be. Jain also served as one of the members on Cisco’s Development Council.
He will now become an advisor to the Cisco CEO, John Chambers.

A look at how much Prem Jain – the pride of BITS – means to us:

For BITSAA, Prem Jain has been invaluable working from the Silicon Valley Chapter. He is much more than just an "active member” in the community. Jain, as many would vouch, has been a pioneer at BITSAA. He has been a big force in hallmark BITSAA projects like the BITSConnect and the BITSAA Global Meet and continues to enthusiastically champion other upcoming BITSAA Initiatives.

On the occasion of Jain’s retirement, SP Kothari (’74), Chairman Emeritus, BITSAA International said – "After an on-again, off-again distinguished career with Cisco, Prem Jain is saying good-bye to Cisco, but I doubt we have seen the last of his illustrious career as an entrepreneur. As a fellow BITSian, I want to take a moment to acknowledge and recognize Prem’s achievements, and, perhaps more importantly, share with you my admiration for Prem as a glorious role model for the entire BITS community. Prem has been a tireless supporter of BITS and a great mentor for countless BITSians. He was the architect of BITSConnect, and now, in the tradition of successful sequels, he is spearheading the campaign for BITS Re-Connect! The two projects have been his brainchildren, and in the spirit of parenthood, he has provided generous financial support for the projects and put in extensive fund-raising efforts as well. In my numerous interactions with Prem, I could not help but get away with the feeling that he exemplifies Gandhian principles of selfless community service toward making the community independent. Thank you, Prem, for what you have done for us, and for guiding many toward a better future!”

Fellow BITSian and close friend Raju Reddy (’76), Chairman & Trustee, says, "BITS has a passionate and an increasingly connected alumni network today across the world. From BITSConnect to our first ever BGM, Prem has been instrumental in leading the alumni initiatives and in the process became a great role model for other BITS alumni including me. Prem embodies the best of BITS with his selfless devotion to serving the community and often avoiding any visibility to his role in the great work he does within BITSAA and outside. We wish him well in whatever he decides to pursue in future and he will of course always remain one of the most sought after leaders for BITSAA initiatives.”

Staying out of the limelight is not accidental, as Viggy Mokkarala (’76), Trustee, says, "He is one of our most key and productive alumni, who has demonstrated results while choosing to remain mostly out of the limelight. We hope to see a lot more of his involvement in BITSAA matters at this crucial point in time when the BITS/BITSAA relationship is about to take off.”

Brij Bhushan (’65), Trustee proudly says – "Prem Jain is a passionate BITSian who believes in causes he gets involved in. His leadership in "giving back" through BITSAA International has been instrumental in setting the tone for many of us. He was instrumental in driving the BITSConnect project which has benefited a generation of students and staff at Pilani campus. He played a key role in organizing BGM and we hope that he will continue to stay engaged with BITSAA International. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Chandra Bhople (’74), Ex-President BITSAA SVC and Trustee, who has worked closely with Jain for BITSAA says, "My involvement in BITSAA started with attending weekly BITSConnect project meetings at Cisco's office in San Jose on weekends. Prem often brought fruits or food for us. I learnt a lot by just observing how he coordinated, encouraged, found solutions and kept his cool. His patience was amazing while helping us to keep our focus on the objectives. His presence and involvement in BITSAA projects will continue to provide inspiration to many of us for a long time”.

Deepak Sharma (’91), Trustee, has this to add "I found Prem to be a dynamic leader with razor sharp focus on operations. He was able to provide excellent guidance and pinpoint the key area of focus for the team to be successful. It was a treat to work closely with him for BITSConnect in 2004 and experience his leadership and mentorship in live action. Combine that with his humbleness and you really have a great leader who is readily approachable and able to inspire any team to over achieve. I look forward to be involved again with him on BITS (Re)Connect initiative."

A couple of messages from BITSAA’s Leaders, to sum up how we all feel on this occasion:

Aalap Tripathy(’04), Chief Executive Officer & Trustee:
"Prem Jain, a living legend. I earned my BITSian colors at the height of BITSConnect. As a just-admitted freshman in '04, I remember watching in awe as scores of Press Releases hit the media about "the old boys” wiring up BITS Pilani. Fast forward 4 years, as an alumnus, I first met the father of the BITSConnect movement, Prem Jain, as he effortlessly guided us into making BITS Alumni's first Global Directory Back then, he shared with some of us a dream - "Let's do a Global Meet. Fast forward 3 years, Prem said: "Yes, I will help", in accepting to be the Global Co-Chair of BITSAA's first Global Meet. With Prem at the helm of the BGM2011 Organizing Team, the almost mountainous Fundraising, Sponsorship, Co-ordination challenges consuming us disappeared overnight. No one can explain the ‘Prem Jain effect.’ BITSAA made it happen in record-time beating detractors and naysayers. Cool, composed, determined, persistent, magnanimous, fatherly, collegial, wise, approachable, humble, inspirational = Prem Jain, a one-man army. "In Prem we trust", as he initiates all BITSians on a new mission: to‘(Re)Connect BITS’ with its campuses, its alumni worldwide with state-of-the-art tele-presence infrastructure. Prem, thank you for being an inspiration to generations of your juniors from BITS. BITSians could not have done this without your steadfastness and leadership. Surely, BITS would not be the same without you."

Prof Rahul Banerjee, Professor, Department of Computer Science, Pilani:
"It is amazing to watch BITSians like Prem Jain (Former Senior VP, Cisco in the Bay area) handle complex alumni-driven initiatives involving alumni, corporate, faculty and university administration with so much ease for the sake of their Alma Mater! First, the BITS-Connect and now, the BITS-Connect 2.0 owe a lot to the alumni like him, who inspire many others leading by example!   He is unassuming and focused and the best thing about him is in spite of him being a person who can make things happen, he is very down to Earth and receptive to what others may have to say.  (Incidentally, Prem is the first one to pledge a significant contribution from his personal resources towards the BITS-Connect 2.0)"

Amit Khetan (’99): "Thank you for your inspiring leadership, drive and dedication towards the benefit of BITSAA community. You have been and continue to be a role model for every BITSian.
Post-retirement, with Cisco off his radar, BITSians around the world hope that the ‘Prem Jain effect’ will percolate to BITSAA – now full-time!"

Here is a timeline of Prem Jain's illustrious career:
  • In November 2005, Jain co-founded Nuova Systems and served as one of the Chief Development Officers as well as the Chief Financial Officer. Nuova was later acquired by Cisco Systems, Inc. in 2008
  • Before Nuova, Jain was the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Router Technology Group at Cisco (all Cisco routers and access products). He also held the position of Vice President of New Business Ventures where he was responsible for exploring new technologies that aligned and positioned Cisco’s business strategies
  • Before working with New Business Ventures, Jain held the position of Vice President and General Manager within the Enterprise LOB (Line of Business) at Cisco where he was responsible for the Voice, Wireless Telephony, WAN Edge, VPN & Security, and Metro Services Business Units. He was instrumental in continuously growing the Enterprise market segments, and maintaining Cisco’s leadership position as it relates to WAN edge backbone routers, ATM switching products, Enterprise voice solutions and firewall equipment Jain joined Cisco in 1993 as Director of Engineering when Cisco acquired Crescendo Communications.
  • At Crescendo, Jain was Vice President of Systems Architecture, and was responsible for the design and development of Crescendo’s FDDI products as well as the first LAN switch, now known as the Cisco Catalyst 1200
  • Prior to Crescendo, Jain was Director of Engineering for David Systems, where he architected and developed third-generation integrated Data and Voice PABX equipment. He also worked at BNR as a member of the Scientific Staff, where he was responsible for the architecture, design and development of small and large integrated PABXs
  • Prem Jain has two patents to his name and is an IEEE member.
  • Apart from the B.E. (Hons.) EE degree from BITS, Pilani, he holds a Masters degree in EECS from U.C. at Davis. In his spare time, Prem Jain enjoys snow skiing, hiking and playing Bridge.
He is actively involved in volunteer work for non-profit organizations, fundraising for the homeless and helping San Francisco Bay Area schools.

Some wonderful memories of BITS, Pilani from Prem Jain’s days......


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