Pittsburgh, United States ; Panaji, Goa, India

Carnegie Mellon University announced recently that eminent Indian-origin scholar, teacher, researcher and consultant, Sunder Kekre would be the first recipient of the Vasantrao Shrinivas Dempo Reflective Chair professorship made possible by a US $ 3 Million gift endowed by Shrinivas V. Dempo, Chairman of the Dempo Group of Companies in Goa, India, in the university’s Tepper School of Business.

The naming of Prof. Kekre follows the understanding that the Vasantrao Shrinivas Dempo Reflective Chair would be occupied by a Tepper School of Business professor, who would support teaching and research on societal scale phenomena that is relevant to India. Vasantrao S. Dempo was the founder of the Dempo Group, a Padma Shri Awardee for contributions to trade and industry and was Shrinivas Dempo’s grandfather. Prof. Kekre will partner with a distinguished scholar from a university in India, another aspect of the understanding.

Chairman Shrinivas V. Dempo speaking at the naming of the Professorship

Chairman Shrinivas V. Dempo speaking at the naming of the Professorship

“…we cannot have a more fitting scholar, academic and researcher than Dr. Sunder Kekre as the inaugural recipient of the Vasantrao Shrinivas Dempo Reflective Chair at the Tepper School of Business. Dr. Kekre it is who had a hand in making me what I am today in his former avatar as my professor during my Master’s Programme at Carnegie Mellon University’s GSIA. Dr. Kekre it is who as an academic of high repute has immersed himself in the CMU ethos for long years now. And Dr. Kekre it is who has made the study of Indian society his own unchallenged domain”, said Dempo Group Chairman, Shrinivas V. Dempo. “The professorship would continue my relationship with my alma mater in a way that is to me both meaningful and fulfilling, enable a worthy homage to the memory of my much-loved grandfather, Vasantrao Dempo, and help create the framework of distinguished collaborative American scholarship in India – related studies that would hopefully lead to more inclusive growth for the people of my country, a dream that my grandfather saw in his lifetime and strove for”, added Mr. Dempo.

The “reflective” chair is a concept intended to link formally faculty at Carnegie Mellon and at leading universities in India. Thus, there will be two Vasantrao Shrinivas Dempo Professors at every point in time – Dr. Kekre at Carnegie Mellon and one in India. The Indian scholar who partners with the chair will be a senior, tenured faculty member of an Indian university.

The partnership continues Carnegie Mellon’s important connections to India. More than 30 percent of Carnegie Mellon students are from outside the U.S. and the majority of those students are from India. In addition, the largest concentration of CMU alumni outside of the U.S. lives in India.

Dr. Sunder Kekre, Vasantrao Shrinivas Dempo Reflective Chair Professor seated; standing, left to right, Tepper School of Business Dean Robert Dammon, Dempo Group of Companies Chairman Shrinivas V. Dempo, Dempo Group of Companies, Executive Director Pallavi S. Dempo and Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh

Dr. Sunder Kekre, Vasantrao Shrinivas Dempo Reflective Chair Professor seated; standing, left to right, Tepper School of Business Dean Robert Dammon, Dempo Group of Companies Chairman Shrinivas V. Dempo, Dempo Group of Companies, Executive Director Pallavi S. Dempo and Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh

Addressing Mr. Dempo at the ceremony, Robert Dammon said, “Dr. Kekre is an esteemed scholar and teacher, with several important research projects of societal scale phenomena of relevance to India. On behalf of the leadership of Carnegie Mellon University and the Tepper School we congratulate Sunder and thank you, Shrinivas, for your generosity endowing this important chair.”

The recipient naming ceremony took place on the Tepper Campus on the evening of the 17th November at which were present, besides Dr. Kekre, Indian-origin president of Carnegie Mellon, Subra Suresh, Tepper School of Business Dean and Master of Ceremony, Robert Dammon, Pallavi S. Dempo, Executive Director, Dempo Industries Pvt. Ltd and Shrinivas V. Dempo’s wife and a host of academics and dignitaries.

About Sunder Kekre
Sunder Kekre holds the Vasantrao Shrinivas Dempo Reflective Chair Professorship and is the director of the PNC Centre for Financial Services Innovation. Since joining the Tepper School faculty in 1984, he has served on several school committees. Kekre’s research and expertise focuses on manufacturing and operations systems, with a specific emphasis on new product development, leading innovation, strategic management of product and process designs, emerging global supply chains, management of productivity and customer satisfaction, and the integration of technology, process and people issues in net-centric enterprises. His research has appeared in many respected journals including Accounting Review, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Management Science, Management Information Systems Quarterly, Operations Research and Marketing Science. Kekre has completed consulting projects for several leading companies, including Chrysler, General Motors, Equitable Resources, Caterpillar, General Chemicals, The H. J. Heinz Company, A. T. Kearney and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Kekre holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and a Post-graduate Diploma in Management from Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur. He earned a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.

About Shrinivas V. Dempo
Born in 1969, Shrinivas V. Dempo is chairman of the Goa-based Dempo Corporate Group, which has diversified interests in industries such as shipbuilding, food processing, real estate and newspaper publishing. He has also served as director of many subsidiaries and/or affiliates of the Dempo Group and as a member of advisory committees of financial institutions such as the Industrial Development Bank of India and the Life Insurance Corporation of India. He has been Chairman of the western region of the largest industry lobby in India, the Confederation of Indian Industry. In 2013, Mr. Dempo was named honorary vice consul of Italy in Goa, India. Earlier this year, he was appointed non-executive chairman of Automobile Corporation of Goa Ltd, a company co-promoted by the Tata Group. Mr. Dempo together with other members of his family devotes himself to their businesses and their extensive social responsibility initiatives into higher education, sporting excellence, environmental conservation, and Goan cultural enrichment. Mr. Dempo has a long association with football, having patronized a premier club and is the Vice President of the All India Football Federation. Mr. Dempo is also on the Executive Council of Goa University. Mr. Dempo earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Mumbai in 1990 and 1992, respectively. He later took a Master of Science degree in Industrial Administration & Finance from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. in 1995.

About Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, Internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 11,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon’s main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar and programs in Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico. The university is in the midst of a $1 billion fundraising campaign, titled “Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University,” which aims to build its endowment, support faculty, students and innovative research and enhance the physical campus with equipment and facility improvements.