By AUBURN ENGINEERING, Dec 01, 2015
The word infinite can be defined as immeasurably great, unlimited or boundless. Ironically, those words can also describe Sanjay Govil, an ’87 electrical engineering graduate. He is the founder and chairman of Infinite Computer Solutions, an information technology solutions provider focusing on platformization, infrastructure management, intellectual property leveraged solutions and application management solutions.
What started as a dream is now a global leader in IT outsourcing, as Infinite Computer has more than 6,000 employees.
With $1,000 in hand and a clear vision, Govil founded Infinite Computer in 1999.
In 2010 Govil sought to take the company public with a goal of raising $50 million for a primary dilution of approximately 13 percent.
But when the company went public on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India, the initial public offering was about 43 times projections, or more than $1.8 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal, the share offer for 11.5 million shares received more than 422.5 million bids.
“It was something I always wanted to do and I knew if I waited, it was never going to happen,” Govil said. “To be successful at something, you have to be focused and be persistent. I’m a part of the whole thing, but there are a lot of success stories with Infinite.”
As for one day going public with Infinite on an American stock exchange, Govil said the company is “keeping all of our options open.”
Following Infinite Computer’s rousing success, Govil branched out with a new venture — Infinite Convergence, a result of Infinite Computer’s strategic alliance with Nokia Siemens Networks (formerly Motorola). Infinite Convergence leverages communication related intellectual property to develop a range of mobile messaging products. These products are then sold to existing and future clients in markets worldwide.
While his experience with IBM and Verizon early in his career had prepared him for this undertaking, Govil still knew he was taking a risk with this new subsidiary.
“You have to go with your gut,” Govil said. “It was where the world was heading.”
And that instinct paid off.
Infinite Convergence supports more than 130 million subscribers globally, and will deliver more than 900 billion messages this calendar year.
Govil’s international experience began as an infant in Montreal. When he was 4, the family moved to New Delhi, where Govil’s father, Narenda, served as a mathematics professor at the Indian Institute of Technology.
But in 1984, the Govils made a move that would forever change their lives. Upon receiving a job offer in Auburn University’s College of Science and Mathematics, the family moved to the Plains.
Govil attended Auburn High School his senior year, and he cherishes his time there. “I really enjoyed my journey at Auburn High,” Govil said. “It was a wonderful experience.”
Following graduation, it was only natural that he make the journey just a few blocks away to the university campus.
“It was the most natural move,” Govil said. “I didn’t even apply anywhere else.”
In India, Govil studied sciences and always had an interest in technology.
So, he decided to give electrical engineering a try. And a career was born.
“To me, engineering gives you a methodology for learning, how you take a big problem and break it up into smaller pieces and connect those pieces,” Govil said. “Engineering gave me that opportunity.”
While Govil credits much of his Auburn education to his success, it was more than basic concepts that he said he learned at the university.
“Auburn Engineering is a fantastic program that really taught me how to analyze a problem, and also gave me wide experience to numerous aspects of engineering,” Govil said. “In life, by earning college degrees, we are being taught the tools to succeed in the real world. Through all of that, we are really being taught how to approach a solution and analyze a problem.”
During his senior year, Govil got his break with an elite company on sort of a whim. A recruiter from IBM was on campus and Govil went to check it out.
Wearing a T-shirt and shorts, not the usual interview attire, and not knowing the recruiter’s schedule was full, Govil inquired about the company.
He was told to come back that afternoon after all the scheduled interviews were completed, and he did.
And he got the interview.
And he got the job.
Govil was the only Auburn student hired by IBM that day.
“It was destiny,” Govil said.
Govil graduated in just three years, dedicating his time to ensure he got the most out of his education.
“To me, failure was not an option,” Govil said. “I was a very busy person and my primary focus was academics. I wanted to make sure I did the best I could in school.”
Govil was so dedicated to his academics that he didn’t attend one football game as a student.
But, he has made up for it since. Govil is now an avid Auburn football fan and attends games when his schedule allows. His love for Auburn has even spread to his friends, who now cheer along with him, because of the passion they’ve seen from Govil for his Tigers.
Although he loves the Tigers’ football team, it’s his love for the university that brought his family to America that he cherishes most.
“It is great to have a football team and a basketball team, but what matters most in life is having an education,” Govil said. “Our main love for Auburn is for Auburn as a whole.”
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