Caltech alumnus Narendra (Naren) K. Gupta (MS '70), founder and managing director of Nexus Venture Partners in Menlo Park, California, and a senior member of the Caltech Board of Trustees, passed away on December 25, 2021. He was 73 years old.
Gupta was named to the Caltech Board of Trustees in 2011. At the time of his death, Gupta was a member of the Nominating Committee and the Technology Transfer Committee.
In 2021, Gupta and his wife, Vinita, established the Naren and Vinita Gupta Fellows Program, which provides fellowship support for graduate students at Caltech with a preference for scholars studying within the Division of Engineering and Applied Science. Within the Institute's Sensing to Intelligence initiative, Gupta Fellows focus their efforts on research and the development of smart devices and mathematical modeling, leveraging artificial intelligence to propel transformative innovations in scientific discovery, sustainability, and human health.
"Naren's modesty belied his fearlessness in staking out new paths in the world of technology," says Caltech president Thomas Rosenbaum, the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and professor of physics. "He believed fiercely in the power of fundamental research and the contributions that our students could make. The Caltech community will miss his leadership and friendship."
"Naren was an extraordinarily creative and energetic trustee, and a truly wonderful gentleman," says Dave Thompson (MS '78), chair of the Caltech Board of Trustees. "His keen understanding of the power of technology to propel global harmony and economic growth challenged all of us to consider new ways the Institute can expand its beneficial impact at home and around the world. On behalf of the entire Caltech community, the Board extends its heartfelt condolences to Naren's family during this difficult time."
Gupta was born on September 30, 1948. He received a BTech in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi in 1969, an MS in aeronautics from Caltech in 1970, and a PhD in applied mechanics from Stanford University in 1974.
In 1980, Gupta co-founded Integrated Systems Inc. (ISI), an embedded software company that he took public in 1990. He served as the company's president and chief executive officer (CEO) until 1994 and as its chairman until 2000. After ISI merged with Wind River Systems in 2000, Gupta served as Wind River's vice chairman as well as the company's interim president/CEO. In 2006, Gupta founded and launched Nexus Venture Partners, a firm based in Menlo Park, California, with offices in Mumbai and Bangalore, India.
As an active adviser to entrepreneurs as well as large-company CEOs worldwide, he served as chairman of the board of Red Hat Inc. and as board member for several privately held companies. He was elected a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in 1991 and named a distinguished alumnus of IIT in 1997. In 2004, he was named as a Distinguished Alumnus by the Caltech Alumni Association.
He is survived by his wife, Vinita, and daughters Anneka and Serena.