Rajendra Singh Lunayach
Rajendra Singh Lunayach (born 1955) is an Indian Industrialist in Alexandria Virginia city in USA, ranking sixth wealthiest person in Virginia along with his wife Neera Singh in 2006. Their Net worth being $1 billion. The couple, pioneers in the wireless industry, turned their investments into a billion-dollar fortune.
Rajendra Singh comes from village Kairoo in Jhunjhunu district in Rajasthan, India. As a young boy Rajendra Singh used to draw water by hand for his family from a well in the village Kairoo. The remote village had no electricity, telephones or newspapers. Education was scarce. Rajendra Singh's father had been the first person in the 400-year-old history of the village to attend a High School. Rajendra Singh finished his Pre-University from Maharaja College, Jaipur in 1970 and subsequently came to IIT/K where he obtained B.Tech in Electrical Engineering in 1975. He received M S degree from the University of Maine at Orono, Maine in 1977 and Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University at Dallas, Texas in 1979.
Married with Neera Singh
Neera Singh (born 1959) is the daughter of an upper-middle-class college administrator. She did her education from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, where she met Rajendra Singh. Neera stepped back from the business in the 1990s to raise the couple's two sons. One will attend the University of Pennsylvania in September. Neera manages the family's personal investment portfolio. With two teenage boys in high school, the couple doesn't want to travel and leave them home alone.
In United States
Rajendra Singh and Neera Singh came to the United States on scholarships as Indian immigrants. They started their work in Dallas in 1979 where Rajendra Singh was learning to squeeze bandwidth out of radio spectrum while working at Southern Methodist University. The couple continued their work when they moved to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., where Rajendra Singh landed a $14,000-a-year teaching job in early 1981.
They parlayed $42 paid to a computer lab in Manhattan, Kan., in 1982 into a $1 billion fortune.
In US, they made up their minds in understanding of physics, electro-magnetics and software. The couple, who live nearby in Mount Vernon, were among the earliest innovators of the wireless industry. The young graduate students spent hours trying to figure how to make the airwaves work. Working initially with paper and pencil, Rajendra Singh helped design some of the earliest cellular network applications for 12 of the top 30 U.S. markets. Rajendra Singh served as expert in AirTouch and PacTel Companies.
Lunayach Communications Consultants (LCC)
Using all of the money they had at the time — $1,000 — the Singhs in 1983 formed Lunayach Communications Consultants (LCC) International Inc., a wireless consulting firm.
They realized how crazy it was to do calculations by hand. The approach worked for one or two transmitter towers but was impractical for large, sophisticated systems. Neera developed a system of calculations to crunch numbers using an algorithm and sent the results to Wayne Schelle, an entrepreneur working to launch a cellular network in the Washington-Baltimore area, one of two approved licenses at the time. Schelle called the couple immediately, saying their calculations had saved the company at least $80,000 and months of work in deciding where to place cell towers. To entice them to Washington, Schelle offered a furnished apartment and a place to work.
Neera's algorithms and Raj's ideas revolutionized the fledgling industry and quickly led to more work for their firm. Rajendra Singh became one of the pioneers in the industry in network design and coverage and planning and system engineering, which made it possible for the industry to roll out more coverage and systems. The Singhs helped AirTouch design systems in 13 U.S. markets and 30 countries.
They purchased a computer and worked day and night six days a week. Neera crunched numbers; and because they couldn't afford larger disks, Raj changed the disks that filled quickly.
For some time they worked for other people who owned the networks or licenses necessary to build a system. Finally, they decided to branch out. With $25,000, a princely sum for them at the time, they launched APEX, a company that connected cell circuits to prevent mobile fraud. Four years later in 1990, they sold the business to Electronic Data Systems Corp. for $50 million. The Singhs began investing in other systems and were early partners in Nextel Communications. In 1990, they hired someone else to run day-to-day operations at LCC. Though no longer involved in the management of the company, they still own 18 percent of its shares. The couple also launched Telcom Ventures, the family's vehicle for investments. Almost 90 percent of their investments remain in cellular ventures, with the Singhs instrumental in starting cellular systems in many South American countries and in India. Other investments included co-founding Teligent, a high-speed Internet and telecom services business later sold to First Avenue Networks of Charlottesville, and Aether Technologies, a wireless technologies provider.
Rajendra Singh and Neera Singh support pet projects, primarily in spread of education. They help fund programs for women in India as well as provide scholarships at the University of Maine, where Rajendra Singh studied, and Johns Hopkins University, where Rajendra Singh serves on the Board of Trustees. They have also given money to start the telecommunications program at Marymount College in Arlington.
- Brett Lieberman, Virginia Business, June 2006