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10 Things You Didn't Know about Prem Jain

Prem Jain

Are you familiar with Pensando Systems? If not, it is a company that develops cloud computing and edge computing applications for businesses. The company was co-founded by its CEO, Prem Jain, and four other people from Cisco in 2017. Its headquarters are in San Jose, California. To understand what Pensando Systems do, we will need to delve a bit into Prem Jain's journey into entrepreneurship. So, below are ten things you didn't know about this CEO.

1. He Celebrates Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday Annually

He admires Gandhi due to his principle of nonviolence. Prem saw nonviolence as violence that occurs within a person's thoughts. When that happens, it will cause them to interact poorly with society. In a business setting, this would cause clients to disrupt your business by abandoning you for another company. Since he resonates with his principle, he celebrates his birthday every year. By doing that, it helps him practice nonviolence in Pensando Systems.

2. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Inspire Him

Prem would listen to all of Steve's speeches and interviews. He gained some insight into the relationship between technology and business by watching him. He also learned from Steve that you might not accomplish everything due to the unpredictability of life. As for Bill, he admired his transition from his tech roles to humanitarianism, particularly in the healthcare sector.

3. He Considers Mario Mazzola (MPLS) as One of His Mentors

Even though he was often considered the 'brains' of his team, that doesn't mean he had no mentors. According to him, Mario made a significant impact in his life since 1983. As his Vice Chairman at Pensando, he continually guides him on how to run the company. Through working together, he learned from him that technology keeps evolving. As a result, Prem would endlessly develop software to keep up with market trends.

4. They Experienced Hiccups With David Systems

David Systems focused on integrating PBX technology (voice) with LAN technology (data). Once they made the product, they were ready to market it. They were convinced people would purchase the product since it had not been used before. But, to the team's amazement, nobody seemed interested in the product despite being a ground-breaking one. He later learned that a product might not sell because it is too advanced for its time. Also, he learned the importance of researching what clients like before launching a product.

5. The Team Developed Cisco's First Storage Product

After launching Crescendo Communications, the team followed up this project with Andiamo Systems. Prem helped develop the storage network for the company. Cisco acquired the company, and that is how it obtained its storage network technology. Seeing how successful they were, they decided to venture into the server business by launching Nuova Systems. At this time, he did not understand much about how servers work. However, he felt the technology would complement Cisco's storage product.

6. The MPLS Team Quitted Cisco in 2016

At Cisco, the team was mainly in charge of establishing startups that Cisco would later acquire. Their role in the company was disrupted when the new CEO, Chuck Robbins, took over. The CEO decided to reassign them as advisers, much to their chagrin. By being advisers, the team could no longer earn as much money as they did when they were establishing startups. Cisco would buy their startups for billions of dollars, and it is not hard to see why they would be disappointed. The team would try to explain their role, but they could not come to an agreement. As a result, the team decided to resign from the company.

7. Cisco First Acquired His Team's Startup in 1993

In 1993, the team formed a company called Crescendo Communications. When it was launched, it changed the technology of that era by disrupting the hub market. Cisco was impressed with the technology used by Crescendo Communications and decided to acquire the company. Once Cisco acquired the company, she adopted Crescendo Communications' technology. The technology is the reason Cisco has been successful over the years.

8. He Met His Long-Term Partners in David Systems

In David Systems, he met Mario Mazzola and Luca Cafiero. They would later be part of his MPLS team. MPLS represent the initials of the first names of each of the partners. This team was very instrumental in Cisco's success. Before they joined Cisco, the team had already spearheaded multiple tech startups.

9. He Began His First Startup in 1983

Before establishing any startup, he first needed to understand how the telecommunication industry works. Therefore, he first started working for a telecommunication firm in 1977. By 1983, he already had enough information about how telecommunications work. Consequently, it led him to start his first startup called David Systems.

10. He Worked at Cisco Before Starting Pensando Systems

Before he co-founded Pensando Systems, he worked at Cisco with a team of engineers. He had been working at Cisco for 23 years. Cisco was financing this team to come up with innovative startups. The team went on to build successful startups. Once the startups were successful, the company would bankroll them and buy them. Whenever they bought back the startups, Cisco would make a lot of money. Though the team was responsible for the successful startups, Cisco realized that Prem was the backbone of the group. Later on, Cisco would nickname him the "heart, soul and brains" of the company.


Thanks to Prem's previous work experience in telecommunications engineering, he is able to run Pensando Systems, which is a telecommunications firm. Most people today want to start entrepreneurship without prior knowledge. As a result, their enterprise collapses. So, Prem has taught us that being experienced with a subject matter is important before starting a business. Sometimes to be successful, you have to resign from a company. Some companies limit an individual's potential by not assigning them the right roles. Prem experienced this problem in Cisco. By being relegated to an adviser, he felt that would limit him. So he had to make the bold move and resign. Although not an easy thing to do, resigning from a company to start yours can make you successful in the long run.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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