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Roanak Desai

August 10th, 1978 - April 3rd 2010

Roanak Desai was born in Mumbai, India on August 10, 1978 to Rekha and Valmik Desai. For the first ten months of his life Roanak lived at his maternal grandparents place where he was showered with all the love, affection, and attention a baby could get - the foundation of the strong bond between them which had a lasting impact/effect/influence on his life. Roanak with his mother, Rekha, arrived in New York City on June 3rd, 1979 to join Valmik. Roanak and his younger sister Paayal grew up as members of a close-knit extended family despite being dispersed across at least three continents. The family inculcated the values of kindness, empathy, and determination that Roanak’s life exemplified. In the seventh grade, Roanak started at The Trinity School. In his first month at Trinity, he ran for and was elected to student council (“A vote for Roanak is a vote for yourself”).


Roanak attended Harvard University and received his degree in Biology, with a specialty in Neurobiology, in 2000. He distinguished himself with a published senior thesis, on the effects of therapeutic AB Antibodies in mice. He lived in Eliot House for three years and was awarded the Master’s Cup for “extraordinary service and contribution to the House.”


After Harvard, Roanak worked in investment banking at JPMorgan for two years, before moving to corporate development at General Electric.  At GE, he won multiple awards, including the CEO Award for the divestiture of Genpact. He moved to India and became a Vice President at Genpact at the age of 26.  Roanak had primary responsibility for the company’s Initial Public Offering (NYSE: G) and the Global Head of Corporate Development. 


Roanak enrolled in Stanford Graduate School of Business in the Class of 2010. At Stanford Graduate School of Business, Roanak’s remarkable presence and grace impacted everyone around him.  His interpersonal dynamism and world outlook fully blossomed there.  His leadership in View From the Top brought multiple corporate CEOs to Stanford’s campus.  He also led the Global Management Program and 2009 India Study Trip.


The last few months of his life were his happiest. Roanak had his dream job at GenX360 lined up, was in the best physical shape of his life, and was in the most joyful place in his heart He was truly at his peak.