The Man in the Pink Turban: DIANA ROHINI LAVIGNE
Navroop Singh Mitter, CEO, Gryphn Corp
Recognized by Time Magazine early in his life -- when he was a mere 17 years old! -- as an up-and coming scholar, Navroop Singh Mitter is living up to that promise as the CEO of Gryphn Corporation, which was co-founded with two others.
You'll remember him from the image which was heavily circulating on Twitter and other social media not too long ago, after he attended a press conference at the White House where he stood between President Obama and Vice President Biden.
Known around the world since then as “The Man in the Pink Turban”, he has been written up in feature stories in the worldwide media.
Prior to founding Gryphn, Navroop Singh worked at Accenture where he focused on building information security practices in emerging markets and led senior staff on international engagements. He and his team helped expand the company’s security practice in both the United States and abroad.
In this role, Navroop set the direction of the Scandinavian Security Practice, identifying high-value clients and crafting successful win strategies. During his time in Sweden, he worked with a global telecommunications and mobile equipment manufacturer and began to take an interest in security and privacy issues facing both the company and its ultimate users.
He was also responsible for launching the Argentine Security Operations Center where he recruited, hired and engaged over 30 security practitioners in Argentina in less than 30 days. By the end of his tenure at Accenture, he was leading the Security Solutions Architecture group on large-scale deals ($50M – $500M).
Earlier in his career, Navroop served as an advisor to various technology companies while working for three of the largest global consulting firms. He has also worked for start-ups in Southern California and Boston, Massachusetts. He is an active member of DC entrepreneurial community and has been consulted by multiple startups and investors regarding security and privacy implications of various opportunities and products.
In his spare time, Navroop is most likely hopping on a plane with an international destination in mind – or pursuing one of his many hobbies which include: riding cruisers, cooking, kayaking and attending Jazz in the Garden on hot Friday afternoons in Washington, DC.
He holds degrees in Bio-Medical Engineering and Religion from Boston University.
A 31-year-old Sardar, Navroop was born in Canada and raised in Southern California. He says, “Beneath my turban, I am American to the core.”
A motorcycle-riding enthusiast, globe trotter and man who knows his way around the kitchen, this renaissance man says he’s doing it all in hopes that one day he can give back to future entrepreneurs at home and abroad. He reflects on one of his most recent accomplishments which were returning to "my entrepreneurial roots."
“I started my career in my teens working for startups in California and then later in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon graduating from Boston University, I left startups behind for nearly a decade to work at some of the most competitive firms in the world. Last year, I took a leap of faith to return to my roots, and co-founded Gryphn.”
But like many other successful entrepreneurs, he feels a strong appreciation for those that have inspired him.
“My maternal grandfather is an internationally recognized professor of engineering and my paternal grandfather is also an internationally respected professor of theology. They inspired me to pursue degrees in Bio-Medical Engineering and Religion. I took an interest in both the history of religion and the sciences at a young age, and my parents encouraged this,” Navroop noted.
He also cited the Ten Sikh Gurus and their compositions in the Guru Granth Sahib as his inspiration, along with Punjabi poets such as Bulleh Shah and Waris Shah.
“(They have had an) impact on my personal philosophies and how I strive to live my everyday life,” said the entrepreneur.
Although his co-workers might think he is all business, he has a very entertaining side too. He danced competitively as a member of Bhangra teams while attending Boston University.
Caught in an unexpected media blitz for his preference for pink during the now famous President Obama press conference, Navroop has a deeper, more meaningful story to tell when it comes to being a minority wading through an economic climate that has become unfavorable for most start-up companies, especially in Washington.
He describes it as, “a culture of austerity” where local angels’ sights are set on the next bargain hunt rather than paying it forward to cultivate a local Silicon Valley that attracts the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Navroop Singh is attempting to defy these odds, in addition to overcoming the hurdles that lay before him as the CEO and public face of Gryphn.
For more info on Navroop's company, please CLICK here.
[Courtesy: India West. Edited for sikhchic.com]
October 4, 2012
Conversation about this article
1: Manpreet Singh (Hyderabad, India), October 04, 2012, 1:16 PM.
Clearly, this Sardar is a great role model for youngsters who are planning to venture into corporate life.