Meet The Indian Born Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai: The Man Who Invented Email Is Now Revolutionizing Medicine
We know Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, the Inventor of Email, is a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, social activist from India, now living in USA. He left to U.S. from India in 1970 with his parents. In 1978, as a 14-year old, he invented the world’s first email system when he wrote 50,000 lines of code to create the electronic version of the interoffice mail system (Inbox, Outbox, Folders, Address Book, etc.), which he named “EMAIL.” On August 30, 1982, the U.S. Government officially recognized him as the Inventor of Email by awarding him the first U.S. copyright for “Email,” at a time when Copyright was the only way to protect software inventions.
Beyond the invention of email, he went on to receive four degrees from MIT, started 7 companies and continued innovating with new inventions and initiatives such as CytoSolve®, EchoMail®, Systems Health®, Innovation Corps, ChefCare, International Center for Integrative Systems and Certified C.L.E.A.N™/Certified R.A.W.™ while receiving multiple U.S. patents and publications in major journals such as Nature, IEEE, CELL, etc. that demonstrate his brilliant credentials. His life experiences are an inspiration for any budding entrepreneur, student and human being. We are grateful to Dr. V.A. Shiva for sharing his views to inspire the entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow.
Q: Today you are one of the renowned innovators; what is your backbone for success?
A: My success is because I love what I do and I enjoy what I do. I get happiness from my work, this is because I don’t really care or worry about what others or the world thinks about me. I don’t try to please anyone and don’t change my opinions. That might be the reason for my success, which is actually my strength, novelty or uniqueness.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I enjoy refining the physical body because according to me, body is the temple and we cannot do anything in this world without the body, hence I spend a reasonable amount of time on work outs and yoga.
Q: As an innovator or scientist what are the areas of your interest?
A: Everything I do has a deep interest on human health, innovation and revolution. That interest originates from my upbringing in India – from my grandparents who were poor village farmers but also dedicated yogis/gurus practicing Siddha.
Q: Man who invented email is now revolutionizing medicine with CytoSolve! Could you share more insights on this innovation?
A: Email is the electronic version of the inter-office mail system and CytoSolve is the electronic version of the plant, animal and human molecular system. What email did for communications, CytoSolve is going to do for medicine. CytoSolve is revolutionizing healthcare industry by accelerating development, discovery and delivery of therapeutics, nutraceuticals and functional foods, through technology that avoids the need for animal testing, and reduces discovery time (especially preclinical to clinical stage) and resources.
Today, the biggest pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Alnylam, and research universities such as Harvard and USC, as well as medical institutions such as MD Anderson are using CytoSolve. In another 5 to 10 years all pharmaceutical companies will be using CytoSolve for drug repurposing, toxicity analysis, target identification, herbal product testing, functional food formulation, biological system modelling, disease modelling, efficacy or predictive analysis for functional food, single/multi combination therapeutics, biomarker discovery and validation, etc.
Q: How can CytoSolve revolutionize Indian healthcare industry?
A: CytoSolve can put Indian medicine on the global map. CytoSolve can validate traditional Indian medicine, especially Siddha, Ayurveda, etc. that are still undiscovered even in India. Moreover, CytoSolve can predict the efficacy, molecular mechanism, toxicity of Siddha, Ayurveda, Nutraceuticals, Functional foods, etc.
Q: Can you give a brief about certified C.L.E.A.N?
A: We ventured into Certified C.L.E.A.N because there is lot of confusion about good food. We always hear about don’t eat this; don’t eat that, pesticides here, illegal dyes there, etc. so an average person gets confused about what is good food. Out of my interest and love for food, the International Center for Integrative Systems, our own research foundation in Cambridge brought international standards for C.L.E.A.N food. C.L.E.A.N means Conscious (safe), Live (organic), Ethical (no GMO), Active (high bioavailability), Nourishing food (Nutrient density). Based on the indigenously developed scientific system, we give a score for each food and as of now around 200 foods in US are certified C.L.E.A.N Food. Today we are the international body for C.L.E.A.N food certification; the products that get a score above 80% only will get the certificate, that too product specific.
Q: What was your inspiration for Certified C.L.E.A.N?
A: Basically the traditional diet in India is clean, the food is generally minimally processed, not over cooked, and historically our food is healthy. What I did with Certified C.L.E.A.N was the integration of Indian tradition with latest technology for validation and quantification. Also companies can get a clear differentiation among the customers by getting the certificate of C.L.E.A.N that is available for both processed and raw foods.
Q: Can you please give a small brief about ChefCare?
A: We gather feedback or comments on restaurants from Yelp, TripAdvisor, Opentable, Google, Email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to analyse the messages and generate reports that will save lot of time and energy for the restaurant owners/managers. This platform helps the key decision makers of the restaurants to focus on their customer needs and requirements; help them to adapt proactively and effectively. ChefCare is powered by EchoMail, an enterprise level relationship management platform coupled with data analytics and business intelligence that help a restaurant owner to think like a big corporate.
Q: Do you have any plans to launch product similar to ChefCare in other segments?
A: We are focussed on food and hence we don’t have any immediate plans at this moment.
Q: What about VA Shiva Systems Health?
A: VA Shiva Systems Health is an educational institution that provides a unique educational program on the molecular systems science of traditional and eastern systems of medicine. During my stay in India I was able to understand the foundation of Indian medicine which I correlated with western theory of medicine and created series of courses that became part of an MIT lecture series on Systems Biology and Traditional Medicine. Through VA Shiva Systems Health we train thousands of people all over the world on new science that integrates eastern and western medicine.
Q: What was your inspiration to start Innovation Corps?
A: I invented email when I was 14 years and I believe there are a lot many young innovators across the globe. Also traditionally Indians are warriors, healers, spiritual people and innovators hence I want to stand-up for every young innovator across the globe including India. Innovation Corps was set up to identify and recognize young innovators of age 14-18 years. In 2015 we recognized 10 students and this year also we will be continuing the same.
Q: You have developed many successful products overcoming many odds; but today many aspiring entrepreneurs just reach half way to success or rather they experience failure? Your thoughts please
A: According to me there is no real failure unless and until you give up or accept the failure. My life experience tells me that failures are unexpected when we move forward with adaptability; refining our strategies or activities as per the market requirement will help anyone to reach success.
Q: What is your advice to aspiring Indian entrepreneurs?
A: Don’t look blindly at the innovations in western countries and simply try to replicate them. India has unique problems and unique needs. Innovation emerges from solving those unique problems, not simply and mindlessly retrofitting a solution that worked for someone else.
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