CSR ICON: Aravind Sitaraman, President – Inclusive Growth, Cisco Systems

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Aravind Sitaraman is a Computer Scientist with over 27 years of work experience. After pioneering work in several startup & high-tech companies, he became one of the leading inventors in Cisco Systems with 57 patents. He served on the Board of Studies of Anna University and has led & been part of several international standards bodies.

As the Managing Director in India of the Cisco Development Organization, Aravind managed all R&D activities. He sponsored The Innovation Hub to incubate new technologies & create solutions for developing countries. In 2008, he created Cisco ASR 901. He led Cisco India’s CSR efforts and launched several successful programs including ‘Feed-a-Child’ and ‘Adopt-a-School.’

Leveraging his experience rehabilitating tsunami victims in South India, he championed flood relief efforts in Karnataka in 2009. Aravind created Project Samudaya, a volunteer-led program, to enable villages through technology & build 3323 homes, 1 hospital, & 2 schools. Aravind morphed this project into a vehicle to deliver inclusive growth worldwide. In October 2010, he was appointed President, Inclusive Growth. Recognizing his social contribution, the state of Karnataka in 2012, conferred on him its highest civilian decoration, the Rajyotsava Award.

In 1995, Aravind co-founded ‘Prakash’ an organization to influence India policy. He published several papers on strategic and social issues in several Indian & foreign journals. In 1996, he was invited to visit the National Human Rights Commission of India. Relocating to India in 2000, Aravind reestablished ‘Prakash’ as whatisindia.com in Bangalore. Through this initiative, he organized strategy papers & digitized ancient inscriptions. He is a member of the Asia Center, a policy think-tank in Bangalore.

Aravind co-founded Sivagami Ammal Memorial Trust to assist artists & promote Indian culture. In 2010, he wrote & produced an opera on the first woman freedom fighter of India called “Abbakka Rani: Queen of Spices.” 

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