Karan Girotra

Karan Girotra


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Faculty Area

Interdisciplinary Themes

Faculty Expertise

  • Smart Transportation
  • Urban Living
  • Marketplaces
  • Business Model Innovation
  • Startup Science
  • New Venture Management
  • Ideation


Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
Cornell Directory Entry


Karan Girotra is Professor of Operations, Technology and Innovation at Cornell-Tech and the Johnson College of Business at Cornell University. Karan’s research is focused on identifying and refining business models enabled by new technologies, and on the practices that enable the digital transformation of companies and industries. Karan has collaborated with companies building new business models in the areas of urban living, smart transportation and e-commerce, helping them build rigorous research-based solutions.

As one of the first business faculty at Cornell Tech, Karan is helping build a unique new educational institution that fuses technology with business and creative thinking. He is the academic lead for the flagship studio-based education programs at Cornell Tech and is applying his research on innovation to help build a new model for graduate education.

Karan’s and his collaborators have been recognized with multiple best paper awards and his research contributions were recognized with prestigious Wickham Skinner Early Career Research Award. His research on new business models (at the time) was summarized in the best-selling book, “The Risk Driven Business Model”. He has also won over 20 teaching awards for his teaching on entrepreneurship and new business models and was featured in the Poets and Quant’s Best 40 under 40 business professors lists.

Karan is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and a frequent TV and radio guest having appeared on CNBC, First Business News and many widely syndicated radio shows. His views on business models, innovation, green transportation, retail and global sourcing have been featured extensively in the business press including the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, South China Morning Post, Economic Times, MIT Sloan Management Review, etc. He has given Keynote addresses at the World Knowledge Forum and for corporations such as McKinsey, Johnson and Johnson, Medtronic, ABB, Bayer, amongst others.

In addition to his academic work, Karan was one of the founders of TerraPass Inc., which the New York Times identified as one of the most noteworthy ideas of 2005. Since then, TerraPass has helped businesses and individuals reduce over hundred million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. He continues to actively engage with startups as a technical advisor and mentor.

Prior to joining Cornell Tech, Karan held the Paul Dubrule Chair at INSEAD, earned a doctorate at the Wharton School and a bachelors degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Selected Publications

Recent Courses

  • NBAY 6010 - Designing Disruptive Strategies
  • NCCE 5080 - Managing Operations

Academic Degrees

  • Ph D Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 2007
  • MA Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 2007
  • Btech. Indian Institute of Technology, 2002

In the News

May 15, 2018
How cheap dockless hire bikes are flooding the world

February 20, 2018
Inside the Ivy League's new startup factory — the tech grad school trying to mint the next generation of Mark Zuckerbergs

Karan Girotra