"We are entering a new exciting era where math is going to trump science"

Vivek Ranadive, Founder and CEO of Tibco

Published 10 years ago on Feb 02, 2013 12 minutes Read
Dawid Bilski

In 1969, when the Indian government was pre-occupied with its self serving activity of nationalising banks, NASA’s obsession was more stratospheric. They wanted to put a man on the moon and they did. Unknown to him, Neil Armstrong’s moon landing had repercussions far beyond the United States. Impressed by NASA’s feat, a 16-year old decided that he wanted to go to America and figure out, “who are these people who are able to take a man, put him in a box and propel him 250,000 miles to a rock and get it right on the first try.” As Vivek Ranadive narrates this during our meeting at the Tibco headquarters in Palo Alto, California, a slight shakiness in his voice gives away the fact that he still gets overwhelmed when he relives the moment. That 16-year old from Bombay is now a billionaire and in a nation obsessed with basketball, part owner of NBA team Golden State Warriors. On being asked as to what it was that he found so fascinating about Armstrong’s moon landing, he feeds us a basketball analogy. He says, “It is like throwing a basketball in California and have it land in New York perfectly through the hoop.” Since that pivotal moment in his life, Ranadive has taken many giant steps and now straddles Silicon Valley with equal ease as he does Wall Street.