Ajay Shah & Lata Krishnan

Date:   Friday , November 21, 2008

Age 40 years
Place of Birth Uganda

Residence Silicon Valley

Family - Wife Lata Krishnan

Came to the U.S. 1980

Education B.E., M.S. University, Baroda; M.S. in engineering management, Stanford University.

First job and career Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

Company started 1989, aquired in 1999 by selectron

Year did an IPO 1995

Year became millionaire -

Favorite charity Children oriented and education

Lifetime goals Be successful

Net worth -

Philosophy of life -

Most inspired by Business and family

Most excited by New things

Most expensive thing ever bought The house

SmartModular started out in Fremont, California with an initial investment of $11,000, or “petty cash,” according to Lata Krishnan, a company founder. Nine years later, the company has changed shape slightly to merge with another company and form a stronger, more successful corporation.

This phenomenal success is a result of keen strategy and, according to Krishnan, calculated risks. From the outset, Mukesh Patel, Ajay Shah and Lata Krishnan had one thing in common: the itch for risk. It very well could be the secret of success and wealth especially in the Silicon Valley. Krishnan says, “We had no idea we would manage the figures we have. It’s far beyond our dreams.”

Ever since Shah can remember, he always knew what he wanted to do with his life. Some people are fascinated by music or art, but he was always mesmerized by how business was conducted. One of Shah’s earliest obstacles was financial. However, lack of cash isn’t necessarily a bad thing: Shah comments that he wasn’t always worried about losing much money . . . because there wasn’t initially much money to begin with. “The challenge,” he says, “was to get larger customers to invest in us and work with us.”

Smart Modular operated as a manufacturer of standard and specialty flash memory cards, standard memory modules and high-quality computer boards. the company produces more than 500 products in the computer, networking and telecommunications industry.

The operations abroad are important for expansion and opportunity, especially in India. This in turn made Shah’s connection to India dynamic and unique. As much as half the sales of SmartModular came from international markets like Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Scotland and India.

The merger of SmartModular and Solectron in the fall of 1999 has the distinction of being the largest transaction in electronic manufacturing services in history. It was valued at least $2 billion, according to the closing stock of Solectron. Shah, Patel and Krishnan hold a combined 35 percent of the newly formed company.

SmartModular was earlier named to the Forbes ASAP dynamic 100, an annual listing of the hottest tech companies based on revenue and stock performance. Shah stated, “We are honored to be included with such accomplished companies. Being listed in the Dynamic 100 is really a reflection of the talent and dedication demonstrated by the team here at Smart. To be included for the past two years in a row says a lot about the tremendous effort that each and every Smart employee delivers on a daily basis.”

Krishnan is associated with the organization Indian Business and Professional Women, as co-founder and vice president. The organization promotes education, leadership and self-development with the use of seminars and workshops, which are open to women and men of Indian and non-Indian origin.

Krishnan has also served as the CFO of Smart from September 1996. She assumed the role of vice president of human resources and administration. Previously, Krishnan has held corporate accounting and finance positions at investment bank Montgomery Securities, accounting firm of Arthur Andersen and Company and Hill Vellacott & Company.

Krishnan and Shah are married to one another. In his spare time, Shah enjoys traveling, hiking and reading.