Rohit Khanna

Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Waters Corporation
BSChE '79

For his 33 years as a highly successful researcher, entrepreneur, and visionary, and as a high-level executive who has led a major company through growth and success in world markets

Being in a family that emigrated from India to the United States, and the son of a scientist at Bell Labs in Indianapolis, Rohit Khanna says he was raised to emphasize science and technology in his academic pursuits.

"Coming from that family background, it was a cultural expectation," he says.

But Khanna also was intrigued by business, so when he enrolled at Purdue, he decided to combine engineering with his interest and aptitude in chemistry.

"I realized engineering would help me in whatever direction I chose," he says.

Success would follow that realization. In 1981, while working toward his PhD, Khanna co-founded Dynamic Solutions, a California-based software-engineering firm that automated the analysis from analytical instrumentation used by the scientific and engineering communities. Its product, Maxima, became the catalyst and leader in transitioning the analytical instrument industry to automated system control and data analysis.

After Waters Corporation acquired Dynamic Solutions in 1986, Khanna remained as president, overseeing all division activities as sales grew from $2.8 million to over $30 million in five years.

Khanna went on to build Waters' data product business to over $50 million from 1991 to 1994; and in the late 90s, he managed the evolution of Waters' service business, doubling the size of the business to over $100 million in less than five years.

Since 2002, he has served as Waters' vice president of worldwide marketing along with assuming responsibility over the Informatics Business Operations in 2012. Waters currently has over 5,000 employees and revenues approaching $2 billion.

Khanna says his undergraduate studies at Purdue were invaluable to what he does today. "I spend very little of my professional life doing chemical engineering, but the technical background and business skills that come out of an engineering degree have really defined my pathway. And that's what has put me in this role."

"One of the reasons I chose chemical engineering was that it was the most difficult of the engineering disciplines. I teach my kids that they can do anything they put their minds to, but whatever you do, always do your best."

Career Highlights

2002-present Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Waters Corporation
1994–2002 Vice President, Customer Assurance, Waters Corporation
1991–2002 Vice President, Data Product Business, Waters Corporation
1986–1991 President, Dynamic Solutions, Waters Corporation
1981 Co-founded Dynamic Solutions
1984 PhD ChE, California Institute of Technology
1979 BSChE, Purdue University