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1/15/2002

2001: A LOOK BACK
Bengali conference drew 4,500 for food, friends, family activities
LOWELL, Mass. — With workshops, cultural performances, guest speakers and auditoriums packed with vendor stalls and bustling crowds, Banga Sammelan 2001 injected Lowell with the sights, sounds and flavor of India on the first weekend in July.

Cereva named one of top 100 companies in world for 2001
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — For Cereva Networks, the well-known line from Charles Dickens rang true for 2001: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” On the one hand, the highly touted high-tech company landed $51 million in additional venture capital, bringing its total to $157 million in financing and credit.

Diversified acts drew 5,000 people to Boston’s India Day 2001
BOSTON — In a dramatic development, attendance at the area's India Day 2001 celebration more than doubled from the previous year — with the crowd mushrooming to about 5,000 people.

Groups raised over $300,000
In a groundbreaking effort in the early part of last year, a wide range of Indian organizations pulled together to form a New England coalition whose role is to aid victims of the Gujarat earthquake. All told, member organizations raised over $300,000.

India-Americans stood vigilant in remembrance of Sept. 11
BOSTON — As the sun set on Sept. 14's National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, about 50 members of area Indian-American groups gathered in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse for a candlelight vigil dedicated to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks on the United States.

Indian Cricket Team ex-captain led exhibition match in Mass.
DORCHESTER, Mass. — New England cricket enthusiasts were bowled over in September by the chance to meet and play with international cricket stars Kris Srikkanth and Venakatapathy Raju.

New England Indian population exploded over the past 10 years
Reflecting immigration patterns and the community's growth across the United States, New England's Indian-American population has more than doubled in the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

South Asians fought backlash, fear in wake of Sept. 11 attacks
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., concern has grown in New England's South Asian community that its members may increasingly become targets of harassment — or worse — because of religion and ethnicity.

TiE-Atlantic annual conference boosted spirits during recession
WAKEFIELD, Mass. — The largest business conference this year for the region's Indian community set its sights on finding entrepreneurial opportunities and facing up to challenges as the economic downturn widens.

Business
Businesses donate $115,000 worth of computers to India
BOSTON — A handful of Boston businesses fueled a recent donation of close to 400 computers that will help connect students in India to the Internet.

Chandra runs out of gas, sells SmartEnergy
WOBURN, Mass. — Deregulation of the electric power and natural gas industries may not be the opportunity many entrepreneurs thought it would be just a year or two ago.

Computerworld names Surebridge to top-100
LEXINGTON, Mass. — High-tech company Surebridge, founded in 1997, has been named a Top 100 Emerging Company for 2002 by Computerworld magazine.

Desphande gives $20m to MIT technology center
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is setting up a new center for technological innovation with a $20 million gift from Desh Deshpande and his wife, Jaishree, who runs the couple's charitable trust.

Starent sets pace for high-speed wireless switch
TEWKSBURY, Mass. — Ashraf Dahod is out to push the bounds of wireless communication. Dahod is chief executive officer of Starent Networks, an 18-month-old company trying to get a foothold in the nascent business of high-speed wireless communications.

Community
Kerala group displays spirit of holiday season
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — The Kerala Association of New England exceeded expectations by attracting over 400 people to its recent holiday event.

Project Impact seeks new board members
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Boston chapter of Project Impact is seeking members for its newly established executive board.

Rally seeks peace in South Asia
BOSTON — Peace and harmony in South Asia was the theme as a spirited group of about 80 people rallied in downtown Boston this month as tensions boiled along the border between nuclear powers Pakistan and India. “Let us stand together: Peace, not war, is the solution,” Rajesh Kusturirangan, a founder of the new South Asian Center, told the crowd. Kusturirangan, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is from India. “Emotions are running very high” on the subcontinent, said Shahid Amed Khan, vice president of the Pakistani American Congress. “We are afraid both nations may use nuclear weapons.”[Read more]

Saheli creates advisory board, looks to growth, fund-raising
BOSTON — As the new year begins, leaders of Saheli, the India Association of Greater Boston's women's group, are cementing plans for growth by bringing on new core committee members, adding an advisory board and increasing fund-raising efforts.

United India blasts way into New Year with party
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — The United India Association of New England rang in 2002 with a New Year's Eve “blast” at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel.

Executive Profile
Tasker takes step forward
WALTHAM, Mass. — Shiv Tasker says what interested him in joining Phase Forward in 1998 was that the software company was both “mainstream” and “revolutionary” — and he got to be a chief executive officer for the first time.

Indus Stars 2002
2001 brings venture capital, more growth for Bains’ Kenetec
NAUGATUCK, Conn. — Last year saw Kuldip Bains move his communications-equipment company, Kenetec, up to a whole new level.

Acharya brings national attention
WAYLAND, Mass. — Under Nishith Acharya's guidance this past year, the Boston chapter of the Network of South Asian Professionals has grown dramatically and was thrust into the spotlight when it was selected to host the national group's 2002 conference.

Agarwal helps make TiE-Atlantic’s 2001 conference a success
BOSTON — In 2001, Ravi Agarwal helped organize the region's premier Indian-American business conference and jumped from the Web-hosting company he founded to set off on his own again.

Ahmed honored by Mass. telecommunications group as top CEO
WESTFORD, Mass. — In difficult economic times, Sonus Networks's Hassan Ahmed has piloted the company to successes that include increased national prominence.

Bopardikar’s Cereva listed in top 100; backed by $157m
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Investors are banking on Cereva Networks and Raj Bopardikar, its chief technology officer, to come through with new equipment that will make a big splash in the ever-growing area of computer-data storage.

Bose’s love of research results in billion-dollar sales numbers
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — For almost 40 years, Amar Bose has continually pushed Bose Corp. to follow his one creed — "Better sound through research." In doing so, he has made the company into a worldwide, billion-dollar corporation.

Chatter pushes Axiowave growth in pursuit of service providers
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — High-tech entrepreneur Mukesh Chatter, who cashed in big during the boom, is again aiming to take the telecommunications market by storm.

Dang named president emeritus of region’s IIT alumni society
LEXINGTON, Mass. — Puran Dang's longtime commitment to serving Indian-American community groups was capped last year when he was made president emeritus of an influential alumni group. But his interests and volunteer activists range from Indian classical music to entrepreneurship.

Dave helps Thinq fight recession by landing government clients
BILLERICA — Serial entrepreneur Hemang Dave has put his thinking cap on in his bid to make his well-heeled Thinq Learning Solutions weather the recession and come out on top.

Desai cares for residents, but also reaps financial gains
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Money isn't everything. But, in the pursuit of it, Indira Desai seeks to do well by the clients at her nursing and retirement homes.

Deshpande donates $20m to MIT for new technology center
CHELMSFORD, Mass. — Desh Deshpande's area of expertise is generally seen as entrepreneurial. After all, Deshpande, co-founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks, previously filled the that role at Cascade Communicaitons, which was sold for billions in the late '90s.

For Pabla, 2001 sees launch of One World’s trendiest restaurant
BOSTON — Last year, Amrik Pabla and his family managed to turn their company's year 2000 nightmare into their hottest restaurant, downtown Boston's Mantra.

Four founders buck economic trend, continue to collect funds
BOXBOROUGH, Mass. If nothing else, Coriolis Networks clearly accomplished one key thing in 2001: It proved that there are millions out there in venture funds just waiting to be invested.

Gupta keeps NeuVis afloat with $10m in additional venture capital
SHELTON, Conn. — Despite the difficult economic climate, e-business software developer NeuVis landed an additional $10 million in venture capital in July 2001.

Jayasankar helps doctors’ group get voice in national association
WESTON, Mass. — In his first year at the helm of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Dr. S. "Jay" Jayasankar has successfully completed the group's quest to become a member of the American Medical Association.

Kalelkar boosts entrepreneurs with strong year at TiE-Atlantic
BOSTON — For angel investor and venture capitalist Ashok Kalelkar, 2001 was the year he focused on entrepreneurs in a new way — as president of the regional chapter of The IndUS Entrepreneurs, TiE-Atlantic.

Madan’s Achla Designs expands with $4.5m building project
FITCHBURG, Mass. — Over time, Achla Madan has designed apartment buildings and shopping centers and run her own small architectural firm, which focused on restaurants. Now she has turned her attention to designing and marketing the trendy, handmade products her company offers.

Mass. doctor duo celebrates long-running non-profit show
WORCESTER, Mass. — For over a decade Mohan Somasundaran and Rajoo Anant have kept the sounds of Indian music dancing over the airwaves in Central Massachusetts through their non-profit radio show Saptaswar.

N.H. technology council names Nair co-entrepreneur of year
MILFORD, N.H. — For Rajesh Nair, co-founder of Degree Controls, his company's successful expansion drive was capped when the New Hampshire High Technology Council named him and co-founder David Gagnon entrepreneurs of the year for 2001.

Nagral’s NuGenesis gains sales to all top-20 drug companies
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — With close to 20,000 scientists using its software, Ajit Nagral and his company, NuGenesis, had been shooting for revenues of $20 million as the year 2001 closed out.

Narad experiences growth, technological advances under Gupta
WESTFORD, Mass. — Dev Gupta and his hard-charging Narad Networks has reeled in $49 million in financing since he and longtime business partner Andy Chapman started the company in July 2000.

Re-election continues Buttar’s dedication to service, education
VERNON, Conn. — With his election victory this past year, Amarjit Buttar will continue his service to public schools, a dedication begun almost seven years ago when he first became a member of the Vernon Board of Education.

Shanmugham increases efforts with TiE, launches new program
BOSTON — By day, Suresh Shanmugham deals with software and communications companies as a partner at Boston Millennia Partners. In his off hours this past year, he has become an important player in TiE-Atlantic, the regional chapter of the IndUS Entrepreneurs.

Sharma leaves behind media love, builds top investment team
BOSTON — Raj Sharma left behind his first love and a career as a media consultant to enter the world of finance — and successfully built one of the top-10 investment teams at financial giant Merrill Lynch.

Vedula channels his passion into Mass. engineering group
LOWELL, Mass. — Over the last several years, Krishna Vedula has become one of the foremost promoters of engineering as a career.

Letter from Editor
• ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT
“Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years” Through February 2002 at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston.. Tickets: $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, students; and $8 for children ages 13 to 17. The special exhibition, “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years — Selections from the John F.

• COMMUNITY
Marathi Festival Saturday, Jan. 19, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Mindess School, Ashland, Mass. Admission: $5 for members in advance, $6 without RSVP; $8 for non-members in advance, $9 without RSVP. Makar Sankranti festival, to include Haldi-Kunku, is being organized by the New England Marathi Mandal.

• MEETINGS, SPEAKERS
PEN Sponsors Entrepreneurs Conference Sat., Jan. 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Seaport Hotel, World Trade Center, Boston. Cost: Free to OPEN members; $25 to non-members. The Organizations of Pakistani Entrepreneurs to hold conferene featuring its $50,000 Business Plan finalists, high-tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists.

To the readers of INDIA New England News:
We are very pleased to provide you with the second edition of Indus Stars, which looks at our 25 choices for this annual award. This supplement to INDIA New England News recognizes the contribution and leadership that the honorees exemplified in their industries and in New England's Indus community in general.

Letters to Editor
Reader says ‘enough is enough’ on split of women’s group
To the Editor: Your Dec. 1 INDIA New England news report about the Saheli saga, explaining the organization's amoeba-like split into AASRA and Saheli, should serve as a reminder to us, the members of Asian/ Indian community — that something is truly lacking here.

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