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Amar Bose: Hi-Fidelity to Higher Education

  • Niharika Acharya

Out of necessity comes innovation. As a young man, entrepreneur Amar Bose bought a new stereo system but was unhappy with the sound quality. His disappointment inspired him to create the Bose Corporation, which, to this day, is among the leading manufacturers of audio equipment. Jim Bertel narrates this profile of the man behind the Bose Corporation.

Bose is a name synonymous with great sound. Bose home theater systems, speakers, and headphones are coveted by many for their life-like reproduction of sound. The man behind that technology is Indian-American Amar Bose, founder and Chairman of the Bose Corporation. At the Bose headquarters in the northeastern state of Massachusetts, the 77-year-old founder continues to innovate.

"It's a great pleasure to push towards the unknown and see if you can go beyond the borders of what we know now," he says.

Amar Bose has much to be proud of: He ranks among Forbes Magazine's 400 richest Americans and he holds more than two dozen patents in the field of acoustics. Even in creating his corporation in 1964, Bose was a trailblazer.

"I set up a few policies that were pretty unusual at that time and they had an effect on the company. One was there would be no retirement age. Only two conditions: If you want to work and if you can work. That was a policy in 1964. That was almost unheard of at that time.

Four decades later, the Bose Corporation continues to be a private company where a sizable percentage of its profits are reinvested in research.

Amar Bose has another passion: teaching. Bose studied electrical engineering at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then taught there until 2000.

"I worked very hard. I had 35 teachers under me and I had chosen the best. I was given the freedom to choose from the entire faculty and did the teaching in a very different way."

That approach was a hit with students. MIT Professor David Perreault says, "He was a marvelous lecturer in, not only that he could cover the entire length of technical detail, but also surround that with anecdotes and stories that really let you see the big picture about engineering and how you should pursue ideas."

The son of an Indian immigrant, Amar Bose was born in Philadelphia in 1929. Eight decades later he continues to develop new products and shows no signs of slowing down.

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