Lifetime achievement honour for Anand Khandekar at Rajiv Gandhi IT Excellence Awards in Pune
Commodore Anand Khandekar (retd) was awarded the lifetime achievement award at the 2nd Rajiv Gandhi IT Excellence Awards programme held at Sumant Moolgaokar auditorium, MCCIA, SB road, on Tuesday.
Khandekar contributed to preparing a strategic plan to make Pune a major information technology (IT) destination. He was the head of software design centres -Motorola and Nvidia Graphic. He was also the first chairman of the IT committee of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Pune in 1996.
“I started my career in the IT sector at the age of 49 and decided to do IT services export way back in 1989 from Pune. At that time Pune didn’t have so many facilities to develop the IT industry, though we had all the ingredients for it. We got strong support from all the political parties at that time and started ‘Pune Vyaspith’ forum, which had people from all political parties, the civic commissioner and district collector. This forum helped take decisions quicker,” said Khandekar.
The event was organised on the occasion of the 75th birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi. Anu Aga, a Padma Shri awardee and former member of Rajya Sabha; Vandana Chavan, member of Rajya Sabha and Deepak Shikarpur, director Kinetic Communications Limited, were the guests of honour.
Anu Aga in her address said, “The IT professionals have brought a different culture to the Indian society. As IT has shown the way of life to the country, I hope that all of you continue to work for the society and be socially aware while working professionally.”
Deepak Shikarpur, said, “Pune has always been a role model for the IT industry, but now we have over-grown and there is need to grow beyond this city. So, I appeal to the youth to start their activities in other cities. We need to upgrade our skills daily because our competitors are now virtual players. So, we need to find new ways to survive.”
Other awardees included Avnish Gupta, CEO of Trimasys Control, an Enemtech group company; Deepali Sawai, director of Audyogik Tantra Shikshan Sanstha in Pimpri-Chinchwad; Yogesh Pandit, founder and chief executive officer, Hexanika and Rohan More, first swimmer from Asia to complete the ‘Ocean Seven’ challenge and 3rd Indian swimmer to receive Hall of Fame Award. Since Rohan was in the US preparing for Olympics, his mother Vijaya More received the award on behalf of him.
Vandana Chavan said, “All the awardees today are brining about a change in the society.”
This award function was organised by Abhay Chhajed, general secretary of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee and Girish Rao, president of All India Professional Congress.