Tarun Kapoor

My Work
Co-founder & CTO
My Education
Columbia University
MS | Computer Science, Networking & Telecommunications
Cambridge University
MBA | Energy & Environment
BS | Computer Science
New York City

Tarun Kapoor is a highly experienced telecommunications, energy and IT professional with entrepreneurship experience and mentality. He has co-founded two startup companies, one in telecoms at the start of the VoIP revolution and another one in energy technology at the start of the energy technology revolution. Throughout his career, Tarun has helped develop business models suited for applying innovative technologies in a rapidly changing global business environment. He has an energy & environment focused MBA from Cambridge University and a M.S. in computer science, with a specialization in networking from Columbia University. He enjoys running, tennis, cooking, wine tasting and traveling to any place willing to let him enter. 

Q: What is your most motivating factor when selecting a new position and new company to work for?
A: I always look for positions which use technology to revolutionize and transform an existing industry. While technology can be "cool", it has to have a practical purpose and use case. Companies utilizing technology in innovative and novel ways to solve a business or society problem are the ones I seek out and I look for positions which enable me to bridge my technical and business acumen and engage with external actors. Thus, understanding how the technology solves a needed problem is what excites me everyday when I get into the office.
Q: Why did you choose to study Computer Science?
A: I originally wanted to study Physics, but then thought I should choose something more practical. Since I always liked to play around with computers since the age of 10, it was an easy choice. Just as importantly, it interfaces with everyday users much more than other engineering disciplines and I always enjoyed talking to everyone about technology and how they interact with it.
Q: Why did you feel you needed an MBA?
A: For me, an MBA helped me to understand the full perspective of how a company makes decisions, from financing to which customers to target. I was always disillusioned when decisions were being made that seemed illogical to me, because my work (and team) was only one aspect of the decision making progress. The MBA really taught me all the multiple inputs that go into making many decisions and broadened my view of what makes a company (or any organization) successful. 
Q: What did you learn from your biggest failure?
A: With the failure of my telecoms startup, I gained insight into three areas. First, how important it is to clearly articulate your product or service to both the industry and the customers. You cannot rely on the technology to sell itself. Second, understand when you should change the company's focus and when you should stick to what you are doing. Most successful entrepreneurs have pivoted at the right time. Third, recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Nobody is good at everything. Learn to bring in the right people who can do certain tasks much better than you can. 
Q: What is the motto you live by?
A: Life is uncertain, with its challenges and its opportunities, no matter who you are or where you come from. Live each day with vigor, curiosity and a sense of humour!