Jaithirth Rao, popularly known as Jerry Rao, is an Indian businessman and entrepreneur. He is the founder and former CEO of the software company MphasiS. He is currently the Executive Chairman of Value and Budget Housing Corporation (VBHC), an affordable housing venture which he founded in 2010. He is also a founder and director of Homefirst Finance Corporation, a Housing Finance company focused on providing housing finance to first time home buyers.
In 1998, Rao started MphasiS Corporation, a software company based in California, which subsequently merged with BFL Software in 2000. MphasiS rapidly rose to be one of the top 10 IT/BPO companies in India. In 2008, EDS acquired a majority stake in MphasiS. Mr. Rao stayed on as non-executive Chairman of MphasiS and for some time as Advisor to EDS.
Rao held several positions in Citibank prior to his founding MphasiS in 1998. In a banking career of over 20 years, he served with Citi and its parent Citicorp in various capacities in Asia, Europe, South America, and North America. He was Head of the Development Division of Citicorp and Chairman and CEO of Transaction Technologies Inc., based in California.
Rao is a recipient of several distinguished business and government recognitions. He has been the Chairman of India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies – NASSCOM. He was named the Ernst & Young 'Entrepreneur of the Year 2004' for the New York region along with MphasiS Vice Chairman Jeroen Tas, which followed his being similarly awarded in India for the year 2001 previously. In 2005, the Government of the Indian state of Karnataka honored him with the Rajyotsava Award.
Early life and education
Rao was born in Bangalore and is an alumnus of Loyola College in Chennai, Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and the University of Chicago. He has also been given a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Loyola College, IIM Ahmedabad and the University of Chicago. His many areas of interest include sustainable construction technology, I.T. strategy, customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce – a subject on which he has testified before the US Congress. He teaches at IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Bombay and at LIBA,Chennai. He has been Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School. Rao is on the boards of various companies. He is on the Board of Trustees of Nasscom Foundation and LIBA,Chennai. He is also a Trustee of the Sujaya Foundation, the Balaji HRD Trust and India Foundation for the Arts.
He takes interest in mentoring and advising technology and social enterprises. Rao is married and lives with his family in Mumbai, India.
Rao is a regular writer and speaker. Rao has published a volume of poetry (Gemini II published by Penguin India) and a book of essays (Notes from an Indian Conservative published by Rupa). He writes a regular opinion column for the Indian Express and occasional columns for Seminar, Economic Times, India International Centre Quarterly and Mint.
- "VBHC charts Rs 300 cr expansion plan". business-standard.com. 2012-07-11.
- "Govt positively discourages affordable housing: Jerry Rao". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 2012-07-20.
- "Carlyle Group Invests $26 Mn In Jerry Rao's Affordable Housing Project". DealCurry.com. 2011-08-26.
- "MphasiS Company History". moneycontrol.com. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "EDS acquires majority stake in MphasiS". business-standard.com. 2006-06-08.
- "Jerry Rao and Jeroen Tas named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year® 2004 Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "EOY 2001 Winners". Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "Rajyotsava Award for Jerry Rao". 2005-11-01. Archived from the original on 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "Launch of Aditya Surdarshan’s novel and a reading by Jaithirth (Jerry) Rao". 2009-03-13.
- "Notes From An Indian Conservative". Rupa Publications. Archived from the original on 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "Columns by Jaithirth Rao". indianexpress.com. Retrieved 2012-10-02.