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October 14, 2007

Bupen Shah and the art of building products out of India

There has recently been a lot of discussion whether it is worth bothering to build products offshore in India - especially products targeted at US consumers and especially out of Bangalore.

With the acquisition of Sling Media (the creators of the much publicized Slingbox) for a pretty decent sum of $380 million by EchoStar (an existing investor in the company), Sling co-founder Bhupen Shah seems to have put the debate to rest.

Ryan McIntyre of Mobius Venture Capital, the first external investor in Sling, has this to say (emphasis mine) about Bhupen:
After the Sling Series A closed in October 2004, it was off to the races. They went from a demo prototype to a finished piece of hardware on the shelves at thousands of stores (mainly BestBuy and CompUSA at launch) in less than nine months, launching the product on June 30th, 2005. Much of the credit for this amazing achievement goes to Bhupen Shah, Sling co-founder and CTO, who managed a transoceanic team between San Mateo and Bangalore that churned out hardware, software and firmware in record time.

So, who is Bupen Shah?

Here are snippets of his profile from the Sling and DiTango web sites (emphasis mine).

Bhupen Shah has over 22 years of experience in technology development, product development, and engineering management in embedded digital media and communication solutions at Emuzed, Dazzle, RealChip, Philips Semiconductors, IBM and others. Over his career, Bhupen has on four occasions successfully built cost-effective India-based development organizations.

Bhupen joins Sling Media as a co-founder following the acquisition of DiTango by Sling Media. Prior to founding DiTango, Bhupen co-founded Emuzed Inc. (acquired by Flextronics in 2004), initially serving as COO and EVP of Engineering. Bhupen played a key role in building and managing development team in Bangalore, India. His team delivered PC and embedded digital media products to worldwide tier-1 OEMs. Later as CTO and VP of Marketing, Bhupen focused in technology evangelism, marketing and pre-sales activities resulting in design wins with tier-1 OEMs worldwide.

Bhupen was also a key contributor and VP of Software at Dazzle, the first company to deliver video capture devices for the consumer market at retail. Dazzle was acquired by SCM Microsystems. Bhupen holds a Masters of Science in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.