In 1985, Excelan was in big trouble. The board had fired my co-founder and the CEO. I was just made interim CEO and the board was looking for a permanent CEO.

There was only $800K in the bank, enough to last 8 months. We were an OEM player and sales were very slow. I decided to sell to end users against all of the advice. I packaged end user packages with everything a user would need to put his PC, VAX or miniVX, or UNIX machine in TCP/Ethernet LAN.

I priced them at $2500 for PC; $15,000 for Vaxes and $5000 for UNIX boxes. Opened up the ad campaign spending to almost $50,000/ month.

I was going to go down fighting.

Sales took off and we turned profitable.

The board eventually brought in a new CEO from HP, as now we were going to go public and the board was not sure that Wall Street was ready for an Indian CEO.

We had a great IPO on Feb 27, 1987. Our CEO turned out to be a dud. He was fired and I finally was made the permanent CEO.

The rest, like they say, is history.

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