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"A Company Cannot Be Run Like A Club!

Karthik Sundaram
Monday, April 8, 2019
Karthik Sundaram
Dr. Santanu Das is the current president and CEO of TranSwitch Corporation in Shelton, Connecticut. He held several positions prior to Transwitch Corporation including, President of Spectrum Digital Corporation, a telecommunications equipment company. Before that, he held various executive positions, including Director, Applied Technology Division of ITT Corporation's Advanced Technology Center in Shelton, Connecticut. He did his B.E and M.E degrees in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from Jadavpur University, Calcutta and his Doctor of Science (D.Sc) in electrical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. He has also authored more than 25 papers in different journals, magazines, and conference proceedings. For his outstanding achievement, Dr. Das received 'Alumni Achievement Award' and 'Distinguished Alumni Award' from Washington University School of Engineering & Applied Science and Alumni Board of Governors of Washington University on 2000 and 2001 respectively.

Dr. Santanu Das (who describes himself as "only a mere mortal"), has been at the helm of TranSwitch Corporation (NASDAQ:TXCC) since he and two other associates founded it in December 1988. It might not be the best of times to be the CEO of a semiconductor company, yet despite current business conditions, Dr. Das has the confidence in his Company and his team that TranSwitch will emerge as an industry leader after this unprecedented telecommunications downturn. His views on leadership:

Managing Risks:
In the early years of TranSwitch it was a bit different to run a company with very little money. The day we went public we still had close to $3 million in the bank. Two years after our IPO, the Company still did not have a stick of new furniture. We spent money on a very conservative level and our offices were remodeled only to meet expansion needs. Mike McCoy, the Chief Financial Officer at that time, and other senior team members would become unpaid contractors on the weekends to do the maintenance and expansion projects. While the business itself was a risk, we did not choose to add to that by being lavish. TranSwitch was always very successful in raising money. Our strategy was to raise money when we didn't need it and also to raise more money than we thought we needed. This strategy proved to be very successful for us. We grew the business by conserving our resources but expanding our sources. Where is frugality these days?

If you look at the way we have developed our business model, we like to work with leading edge but not bleeding technologies. It reduces our business risks far more than if we were to work at the front end of the technology spectrum. For instance, the use of standard C-MOS processes we have adopted has helped us in developing very cost-effective products; we stayed away from very exotic processes.

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