Ashok Rao
Ashok Rao
Chairman and CEO, Whodini Inc.

• Serial Entrepreneur with five successful high technology start ups. Took one of them public (IPO) with a market cap in excess of $400mm . Currently on his 5th start up. Chairman & CEO of Whodini Inc. – developing cutting edge software for enterprises, utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Computer linguistics.
• Chairman of the TIE Global Board of Trustees. TiE is the world’s largest organization of entrepreneurs.
• Was one of the first Indian-American to take a company public on NASDAQ.
• In 2007, was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Entrepreneurial achievement from his alma mater Marquette University.
• Was selected as one of the top 100 South Asians in America in the book “Lights of South Asia” by the publication “Roshni”.
• Received the 2008 APAHA George H. W. Bush award for Arts Achievement.
• Received the 2007 Literacy Advancement Award for his contributions to the advancement of Math and Science in the Houston School District.
• As CEO of Excalibur Pictures, produced four award winning feature films, released in 2008/09. “My Faraway Bride”, “Before the Rains” and “The Lost Tribe” had successful runs in theaters worldwide – now available on DVD.
• Angel Investor in 6 high-tech startups. On the Boards of several private & public companies.
• From 2004 to 2007, was Chairman of Opelin Inc., an online data backup system and software. Sold to HP in 2007.
• From 2000 to 2003, was CEO of Prime Wave Communications, a broadband wireless access technology start-up. Revenues of $50 million. Sold his stake in and retired.
• Founder & CEO Trex Communications Corporation. Founded in Dec 1997 and in the Satellite Communications business, TrexCom’s revenues reached $60 million in 2 years. Sold TrexCom to L3 in March 2000.
• President of the North-American operations of Houston-based Enron Corp. 1996/1997. Grew revenues from $300 mm in 96, to $2 bb in 1997.
• Founded Midcom Communications in 1990. As CEO and founder, grew the company into one of the 10 largest long distance carriers with $250 million in annual revenues, culminating in a successful IPO in July 1995. One of the first Indians to take a company public in the US on NASDAQ.
• Professional speaker: Keynote speaker at numerous Global Conferences, TIE Retreats and Chapters, as well as to the student bodies of Rice University and Franklin Pierce University. Also a motivational speaker at private sessions for Fortune 500 companies and various trade organizations.
• On the Board of the Jones Business School of Rice University. On the Board of Mentors of the University of Houston’s Bauer School of Business.
• Guest lecturer at Rice University, U of H, Franklin Pierce University and USC. From 98-02 was a Trustee & Board Member of Franklin Pierce University.
• Founded ASCENT, the largest trade association for the long distance & wireless industry with over 1,000 member companies. Was Chairman for its first 2 years.
• BS in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi. MS from Marquette University. Diploma in Financial Management from the London School of Economics.
• Married to Sheela, 2 children; hobbies include golf, guitar, photography, poetry and various charitable organizations.