People of OST: Kevin Parulekar, Business Development Director, Americas
Kevin Parulekar is the Director of Business Development for OST in the Americas. He brings over 15 years of experience leading global teams in strategy consulting, fintech, and social impact. As a former tech founder and development banker, Kevin is fascinated by the potential for blockchain technologies to transform humanity.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?
I grew up and attended college on the East Coast of the United States. Then I lived in East Asia and Europe, where I ran a small tech startup that was funded in Norway and then Hong Kong. Then I took a pivot in my career and got two graduate degrees in Economics and Finance, then I applied that while working at the World Bank in Washington DC. My background is a mixup of tech and economics in a dozen different countries.
What led your interest in blockchain technology?
Token economics! As a trained economist, I have been fascinated by how blockchain technology can be used to incentivize and disincentivize human behavior. It interests me how we can use the tools that blockchain offers us including decentralized data, immutable contracts, micro-transactions, cross-border, low-friction transactions, and so on. It’s fascinating how we align different stakeholder interests towards a common goal.
While I was at the World Bank, I started immersing myself into it — reading white papers, attending expert talks, and following thought leaders on social media. This eventually brought me to OST, where I am able to apply my training and my experiences towards helping build micro economies and align stakeholder incentives that can ultimately scale to internet proportions.
What does your role as Business Development Director AMER at OST entail?
I consider myself quite fortunate to be in this exciting role and to be working with such a great team. At this early stage in our journey, there is a significant educational component to what I do. I spend a lot of time showing people what is possible with OST tech — fleshing out their economy, sketching out use cases, talking about how we can help achieve their company goals, and the KPIs they want to hit. I do that with people like VCs, investors, startup founders, and thought leaders across multiple verticals, including hospitality, gaming, digital assets like art, music. It’s exciting work, it’s also a lot of work, and I’ve got a great team supporting me.
What projects are you currently working on at OST?
My projects involve forming partnerships with companies that have traction. There are some really exciting ones in the pipeline. I’m particularly excited about the Rainforest Foundation. Through tokenization we aim to improve fundraising, accountability, and transparency, while quantifying real impact. Be sure stay tuned on OST’s social channels for our latest news.
What’s something about you that people don’t usually know?
Lets see. I was always in sports all my life, but when I lived in Hong Kong, I got really into Muay Thai kickboxing. I was winning a few fights, and my coaches were suggesting that I go pro. But then, I chose to go to grad school for economics instead .. and I’m glad I did, because I’m probably a better economist than a fighter.
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OST blockchain infrastructure empowers new economies for mainstream businesses and emerging DApps. OST leads development of the OpenST Protocol, a framework for tokenizing businesses. In September 2018 OST introduced the OpenST Mosaic Protocol for running meta-blockchains to scale Ethereum applications to billions of users. OST KIT is a full-stack suite of developer tools, APIs and SDKs for managing blockchain economies. OST Partners reach more than 200 million end-users. OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune. OST is backed by leading institutional equity investors including Tencent, Greycroft, Vectr Ventures, 500 Startups.