Alumni Reign Supreme in SEP Executive Leadership

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Jeff Gilbert gestures to others in a conference room

Jeff Gilbert (right) is retiring March 31 as chief executive officer of SEP, a Carmel, Ind., company he helped co-found with other alumni in 1988. He has received the Alumni Association’s career achievement award.

The names may be changing, but senior leadership of one of the Indianapolis area’s oldest and largest software companies will still have a Rose-Hulman alumni connection.

Jeffrey S. Gilbert is retiring March 31 as chief executive officer of SEP, a firm the 1985 mechanical engineering graduate helped co-found with three Rose-Hulman colleagues in 1988.

Replacing Gilbert in leading SEP will be current company president Raman Ohri, a 1993 computer engineering alumnus.

Gilbert served as president of the company from 1988 to 1990, director of marketing and business development from 1990 to 1994, and president and CEO from 1994 to 2014. He transferred ownership of the company to its more than 130 employees in 2010 through an employee stock ownership plan, or an ESOP.

“I’m most proud of the fact that we together stuck to our principles and vision,” he says. “We weren’t swayed to cut corners and take shortcuts. Even through the good and bad times, we did not forget who we are.”

SEP is software product design and development company that collaborates with clients to build high cost of failure software products. Its clients include companies in aerospace, manufacturing, health care and financial services. It ranked as central Indiana’s 11th largest software company in 2017, with 91 software engineers and programmers – many of them Rose-Hulman graduates.

Gilbert says, “We started the company a couple years after the first IBM personal computer hit the market. At that time, software was a relatively unknown entity. Now, software is in everything. We went from an unknown fledgling function in some products, to a geeky bunch of people that do things most people don't get, to a growing and thriving industry that dare I say, ‘Is Cool’ now. Progammers rule, right?”

During his leadership tenure Gilbert returned to Rose-Hulman to earn a master’s degree in engineering management in 2006. The Rose-Hulman Alumni Association honored him with a career achievement award in 2005.

Meanwhile, Ohri started at SEP as a software engineer in 1993 and rose through the ranks as project manager, vice president of engineering and currently president. He received a career achievement award from Rose-Hulman in 2018.

“We definitely picked the right person to lead SEP,” Gilbert states about Ohri. “Not only does he have an excellent skill set, but he has a deep understanding of SEP at the core.”