Dr. Rajiv Desai


Dr. Rajiv Desai is a serial technopreneur who has made significant contributions to the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. He is the founder and CEO of 3Di Inc. and Kahuna Systems. He has worked with some of the world's leading technology companies and managed R&D projects, product development, software services and licensing contracts and strategic business partnerships. He is also the recipient of NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal. In 2007, IIT Kanpur conferred upon him the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his remarkable contributions to science and technology.


Mr. Desai received his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1982. Following it, he joined the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA to pursue dual MS degrees in Mechanical and Computer Engineering. In 1987, he obtained a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the same university. In 1994, he obtained an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, USA.

Dr. Desai has been a serial technopreneur throughout his life. From 1990 to 1997, he was a part of the founding team of iRobot, an advanced technology company that designs robots for space exploration and military defense. He also founded and served as the CTO of Embedio, a company that pioneered the development of next generation embedded operating system for ubiquitous computing (IOT). For close to 19 years, he worked as a scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where his team pioneered the concept of micro robots that led to Mars Pathfinder Mission in 1997. He was honored with the NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal and in 1994 with the Caltech/JPL's Lew Allen Award for contributing to Robotics and AI technology.

In 1997, he founded 3Di. The company has been designing and delivering IT solutions to public and private sector and military clients. It works in the areas of websites & portals, content management, mobile platforms, custom applications, CRM, SOA, Cloud Solution and others. So far, it has executed 200+ projects for public, private and military clients. Kahuna Systems is a subsidiary of 3Di Systems. It provides services in the domain of mobile applications and product engineering. 3Di has received several awards and recognitions from its customers and other agencies for developing innovative solutions and delivering outstanding value.

Dr. Desai has also taught courses in robotics and artificial intelligence at UCLA, International Space University and several educational and research institutions in the USA, Japan and Europe. He has over 30 publications and patents to his name.

Achievements and Honors

  • Oracle Excellence Award, Fusion Middleware Innovation for Java Cloud Services, 2015.
  • City of Los Angeles - Civic Innovation Award for the Online Solar and EV Permitting Applications Development, 2015.
  • Most Valuable Program, Mobilizing Government (for MyLA311), 2014.
  • Workflow Management Coalition (WFMC) Global Business Process Management (BPM) Award, 2014.
  • Oracle Excellence Award for Specialized Partner of the Year-Public Sector, North America, 2013.
  • Oracle Excellence Award, Fusion Middleware Innovation for WebCenter Portal, 2012.
  • Recipient of Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2007 by IIT Kanpur.