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(Photo credit: Bhavin Nicholas Shah)

Mr. Shailendra “Shail” Kumar is the convener of the initiative to build Ekagrid and its Chief Operating Officer.

He has a B.Tech with honors in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington. He was President of the IIT Foundation and co-founder of the Pan IIT alumni movement in the US. He is also a recipient of IIT Kharagpur’s Distinguished Service Award.


Shail spent over fifteen years in Silicon Valley, as co-founder and CEO of two start-ups, and held various roles in corporate strategy, global operations and planning, business development, and finance in several Fortune 500 companies such as Applied Materials, Lam Research, and FMC Corp. 


Shail then switched from industry to academia and was an administrator at two world-class multidisciplinary research universities: UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. At UC San Diego, he led development teams for seven colleges and schools. He co-led the pre-planning for a $1 Billion fundraising campaign and co-led the successful close of the $50 million Invent the Future campaign for fellowships and scholarships. At UC Berkeley, he worked with university leaders and faculty members from across the campus to advance its research, entrepreneurship, and education priorities. Shail served on the management team for the $3 billion “Campaign for Berkeley.”


His experiences drove him on a mission to impact the higher education architecture of India.


He wrote "Building Golden India" (published 2015), the seminal book on the changes required in India's higher education policy. To take these ideas into actions, in 2016 he launched Nalanda 2.0, a non-profit organization. Nobel Laureate Prof. Randy Schekman of UC Berkeley presented this book to India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 2017. Many of the goals, ideas, and policy recommendations in India’s National Education Policy (NEP 2020) are in this book. 


Ekagrid, a multi-disciplinary research university in India that would be in the top 25 universities of the world, is the manifestation of these ideas backed by a phenomenal team.

Son of an Indian Army officer, Shail grew up around India. As a student in Kendriya Vidyalaya, he and fellow students used to periodically sing songs about bringing back the glory days of India's Golden Age and Takshashila and Nalanda. This book is an offshoot of his upbringing and a desire to see a transformed India — a united nation with a healthy and peaceful society, a vibrant and sustainable economy, and a thriving environment.

Shail currently resides in the Silicon Valley with his wife and two children. A Vipassana and Yoga practitioner and an avid reader he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.

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