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Gururaj 'Desh' Deshpande, co-founder and chairman, Sycamore Networks, Inc, is an influential technology enterpreneur whose companies and ideas often reshape entire industries. Deshpande became the world's richest Indian with a net worth of an estimated $3.7 billion when Sycamore had a blockbuster deput on NASDAQ a few years ago. Sycamore's success and Deshpande's vision of a new optical-based worldwide network made him a technology visionary of the new economy. Sycamore has been affected by the slowdown in the industry, but it has managed to keep cash-burn at an absolute minimum, and exited its fiscal year 2002 with more than $one billion in cash. Though it halted development on stand-alone transport systems, it is increasing investment in the R&D related to its switching portfolio by approximately 20 percent.

How do you keep a company motivated in the face of recession?

I believe you have to look at this as if it were a game, and you have to keep in mind that the game has only just started. The competition might be tough, and things may not always go exactly the way we wish, but the game is still fun and challenging. We entered the game to win, and that hasn't changed.


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