Rajeev Motwani, despite not being a billionaire entrepreneur or a top tech executive, played a pivotal role in shaping the technological landscape we live in today. His influence is most notable in his mentorship of two individuals who went on to create the Google search engine, an indispensable tool for all of us.
Motwani’s journey began in Jammu, and he was raised in New Delhi, attending St Columba’s School alongside notable figures like Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan, politician Rahul Gandhi, and Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. His academic journey led him to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, where he graduated in computer science. He furthered his education in the United States, obtaining a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Motwani’s legacy is primarily tied to his role as an “unofficial mentor” to Google founders Sergei Brin and Larry Page during the early stages of the company. He contributed significantly to building the technology and securing financial support for Google. Brin referred to Motwani as his “friend and teacher,” emphasizing the lasting impact Motwani had on students, projects, and companies.
In addition to his involvement with Google, Motwani served on the boards of various companies, including Kaboodle, Mimosa Systems, Baynote, Adchemy, NeoPath Networks, and Vuclip. He also held the position of a special advisor to Sequoia Capital, showcasing his multifaceted contributions to the tech industry.
Despite his promising career, Motwani’s life was ddcut short in 2009 when he passed away due to accidental drowning at the age of 47. He left behind his wife, Asha Jadeja Motwani, and daughters Naitri and Anya. His impact, however, lives on through the technologies and innovations influenced by his guidance and mentorship.