back to team︁

Dr. Arogyaswami Paulraj

Senior Advisor

Dr. Arogyaswami Paulraj is a Professor Emeritus at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, where he has served since 1993. Paulraj is noted for his invention, advancement and commercialization of MIMO wireless  technology, that is at the core of 4G/5Gmobile and WiFi networks. Apart from his research contributions to MIMO, he also  founded / co-founded three wireless companies in the Silicon Valley  -  Iospan Wireless (1998), Beceem Communications(2004)  and Rasa Networks (2014). He has received over a dozen major awards, notably the Padma Bhushan (National Award in India),IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, Marconi Prize and Fellowship, and USPTO National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Focus Areas

Data Storage
Data Infrastructure


The importance of hiring top talent and building ‘A’ teams is hard to overstate. Competition is ever present and only the best teams win. I also found it useful to build teams with a background drawn from diverse educational and industry backgrounds. Diversity helps build a broader skill base and improves the quality of decision making.

Dr. Arogyaswami Paulraj



Dr. Arogyaswami Paulraj

Startups inevitably face challenges as they pursue growth – what advice do you give to founders?

Perseverance is key. In early days of a new startup, for every little success, one often experiences many setbacks. Building a completely new technology-based business is always very complex and frequent roadblocks should be no surprise. Often, only companies with founders who stick with it – and more importantly also carry their teams though hard times and painful learning – finally succeed. Success has many rewards, but the greatest of them is the value to society from a widely deployed, high-value technology product.

Patience is important as well. Quite often, despite the best planning, the market opportunity pulls away, and the company must sit it out. A great example of this is one of today’s prominent semiconductor companies, that years ago came very close to shutting its doors, but fortunately decided to stay the course, and later transformed their industry. I remember once reading a sign in a restaurant that said, "Good cooking takes time, and if you are made to wait, it is because we want to serve you great food." This is true for startups as well. Success needs patience.

Please share a bit about your training and professional background.

I joined the Navy as a cadet in the National Defense Academy, Pune, India in 1961. After some years of mostly practical training within the Navy, I spent 20 years on R&D assignments. This included building the Indian Navy’s sonar technology, founding three national laboratories – spanning AI and Robotics, High Speed Computing and Military Electronics – as well as sabbaticals at Stanford and Loughborough Universities.

While I was largely involved in technology development, I contributed to fundamental theory as well. From 1968-71, on assignment to the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India, I developed a general theory for signal estimation that significantly impacted and unified that entire field. Later, from 1984-86, on assignment to Stanford University, USA, I developed the ESPRIT algorithm, which attracted worldwide attention and is now used in Radars and radio locations systems.

In 1991, after early retirement from the Indian Navy, I returned to Stanford University to join the faculty at the Electrical Engineering Dept. Soon thereafter, based on some experimental observations, I invented the MIMO wireless concept. MIMO, however, faced widespread skepticism till around 1998, when it finally began to gain traction. I founded a VC-funded company, Iospan Wireless, to build a new generation cellular technology based on MIMO. Iospan started a long journey in MIMO development, and it now underpins a multi trillion-dollar wireless industry, touching many billions of people.


What’s the professional achievement you’re most proud of to date?

In terms of social impact, I would put MIMO at the very top, as it is almost universally impacting since it enables WiFi or 4G / 5G. My role was to invent the concept and develop the early applications of this technology in mobile networks. It has since taken tens of thousands of researchers and engineers to build the technology that we use today for broadband wireless access.  

In terms of innovation, I would rate my work contribution to the Indian Navy’s sonars at the top. That work remains in the classified military domain, but it involved many innovations and breakthroughs.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.