Dr Ram Dhurjaty-Of Patents, Pilot(ing) and Physics

Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam* Interview Series

(Global Leaders who have Enlarged, Excelled and Evolved into Global Personal Brands)

Dr Ram Dhurjaty is a man of 4 Ps viz Passion, Patents, Pilot(ing) and Physics. He has 14 patents issued in his name and is working for more. He holds an MS from Yale University and a PhD from IIT Bombay. He is currently President, Dhurjaty Electronics Consulting, LLC, (Medical Device System Architecture, Analog and Power Electronics). He is an innovator-thought leader and a Global Personal Brand. 

For more visit http://www.dhurjaty.net/

Please explain your concept of 3Cs of leadership.
3 Cs stand for Credibility, Competence and Compassion. Credibility has to do with integrity. Say what you do and do what you say. If your life is an open book, you should not be ashamed of it. Once credibility is established a leader needs to be competent. I will explain.

A leader should understand his domain and, more importantly understand his or her limitations. He or she should know sources to get other information and be humble.

In order for a leader to be successful, it is important to be in the other person’s shoes (or chappals). In other words be kind to yourself and be kind to other people. Without that competence and credibility by themselves become irrelevant.

Are these 3Cs sufficient for leadership or something else is also required?
Courage and Commitment are also needed.

Please share what do you mean by courage and commitment?
Courage is the ability to make hard decisions when necessary or in other words to be able to lead from the front lines, if necessary. A leader will be unsuccessful otherwise. This is also loosely related to credibility, over time. Commitment is the ability to stand by the decisions that a leader makes.

Is courage similar to tough love?
Courage is being able to take the arrows that will be thrown at a leader and to protect the followers and I guess tough love may fall into that category. But then followership also encompasses leadership and a leader needs to know how to be a follower.

Besides Dhurjaty Electronics what are the other professional activities you are into?
I am a pilot. I volunteer with local charities and mentor young engineers. I am also a mentor to older engineers who see a transition in their careers, since we have had many layoffs from Kodak. I am helping my former colleagues transition to other opportunities. I like to, in MK Gandhi’s words, to be the change that I want people to be.

Your organisation offers consultancy in the area of technology transfer. Developed world has avoided technology transfer but will economic problems force them to make money through more and more technology transfers in future.
 Yes indeed.

What do you teach?
I teach Physics and Engineering as a mentor. I have a visiting appointment in the Physics department of the University of Rochester where I can interact with students. I learn a lot from young people as they have the enthusiasm and creativity.

Any of your prominent speaking and writing work you would like to share?
I have spoken at IIT Bombay on areas on medical imaging which is now part of an E-Learning course.

What exactly is biomedical engineering?
It is a vast field. I concentrate on designing medical devices for Hospitals and Industry. My Doctorate work was on modeling blood flow.

In your Linkedin profile, you have mentioned ‘soup to nuts’ as one of your interests. What is the meaning of soup to nuts?
From start to finish. In other words, from the concept to implementation.

What about your personal interests?
Flying of course, Comparative religion and the study of various religious philosophies and understanding common threads.

Have you any of your stuff got patented?
I have 14 patents including one for a hand-cranked defibrillator that I am developing for underdeveloped countries.

You travel extensively. Is it mainly for professional or personal purposes. Please share a little more detail.
Often my travel is to clients of mine, both in the US as well as overseas. I also travel to conferences and am involved in writing standards for medical devices.

How come you developed interest in renewable energy systems?
This is something that is necessary for a sustainable future and my engineering training in Electronics and Fluid mechanics is a natural fit. I like to work on decentralized systems.

Your website uses a term ‘issued patents’. What does it mean?
I have 14 patents. Issued patents mean that they are patents that have been granted, unlike pending patents.

Anything else you would like to share. Your future plans?
I have been fortunate to have great teachers during all facets of life and I continue to learn. My future plans are to be helpful to people and be compassionate to all. Life has been very good and I have been blessed.

You plan to write or speak on 3Cs or plan to focus more on consulting in future?
I continue to consult as it gives me the opportunity to meet new people. I should be writing more.

You are in your 60s now. Any plans to slow down or retire.
I will slow down only when I stop breathing.

I would say “Tum Jiyo Hazaron Saal, saal ke din hon Pachaas hazaar” (May you live a thousand years and each year may have 50,000 days.) Thanks for your views and sharing your precious time.

(BTW Prof Dhurjaty’s simplicity and his website’s plainness impressed me the most. Sometime back I had met an entrepreneur, a pass out of IIM-Ahmedabad, who had a equally plain website. It makes me think, “Greater the content, simpler the packaging.”)

* "World is one family" in Sanskrit


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