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Abhijit Dandekar
Abhijit Dandekar

Abhijit Dandekar

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Sentio Technologies Private Limited

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Important lesson learned
The most important lessons learnt in my life (which imbibed some good habits and inculcated great values in me) include:
a. Hard work has no alternative. Luck favours the hard working.
b. Academic achievements can only give you a good head start – Life’s race of is won by being effective with people.
c. Always explore the world around you – you will always find something to learn.
d. Stick to your core values (no matter what the gain or loss is if you compromise on them). That is what you exist for.
e. Respect every individual for the abilities he or she possesses irrespective of his or her social/ financial status.
f. Care for relationships developed and nurtured – it can take a moment to break them.
g. Give back to the society in whatever measures you can. What you give will come back to you in volumes.
h. Change is the only constant – adapt to the change or perish.
Thoughts on Education system of our country
Present Indian education system puts a student in a rat race very early on and results in burn outs. It cripples one’s ability to think independently and readiness to explore new career options. It does not nurture one’s natural talent as it is based on a ‘caste system’ of careers – some enjoy more respect while others are looked at with disdain.
This is why India has produced handful of Nobel laureates or world renowned scientists. This is why we have very few patents to our credit. This is why most of us become good workers but bad leaders.
To change this, we must put together the most brilliant educationists to work on the reforms. This team must be given sufficient budget outlay and the authority to implement these reforms without any political interference. This think tank should study the system in developed countries and keeping in mind our cultural, financial, educational constraints come up with recommendations for a radically new system which must only be purely meritocratic.
My role model
I have had several role models for their varied qualities which attract me:
1. Warren Buffet – for his exceptional acumen for good investments
2. Bill Gates – for being the most successful college dropout who went on to become the world’s richest person
3. Steve Jobbs – for being a visionary technocrat businessman who forever changed the way the world uses computers and mobile phone
4. Ratan Tata – who proved that world class business empire can be built without compromising on ethics and values.
5. Mark Zuckerberg – for showing the world how simple ideas can be converted into big businesses.
My family background
Both my parents had very modest background.
My father left his home early in his life for pursuing education in Pune. He was a double graduate in those days. He struggled a lot in his entire life to raise the family and live a decent life. He changed many jobs and tried his hand at a few entrepreneurial ventures too. Despite lifelong struggles he was not able to please the goddess of wealth.
My mother was always a home maker, but in the difficult times she rose to the challenge and helped my father by working and earning enough to support the family. My elder brother too took the responsibilities early and helped my mother with financial support. Their selfless efforts only allowed me to complete my expensive education at IIT.
I am proud that despite the financial problems both my parents held very high morality and values which they imbibed in both children and moulded us into good human beings. Moreover, they never let their tensions affect my academics or my childhood.
Ensuring success
I believe that learning is a continuous process how much ever one may be formally educated. If learning ceases, the self development ceases. So I like to read whatever I find interesting irrespective of whether the topic is work related or not. This helps me gain understanding of everything around and the confidence to interact with anyone from any diverse field.
I always set goals and strive to achieve them. It motivates me to achieve more. It does not mean if I do not achieve the set goals, I lose the motivation to chase them – I make more efforts to achieve them. This may be because I have experienced too many failures.
I closely observe the mannerisms, etiquettes, cultural differences and behaviour acceptable to people of different nationalities. I find that largely Indians are shunned for their dirty habits, dishonesty, loud behaviour and indiscipline. In a small way I try to change that impression by practising cleanliness, fairness, politeness and observing rules.
Brief description about me
Being born to and brought up by middle class parents with limited means but high values, I always wondered at how people build businesses and be successful.

Since my childhood I always had a strong willpower to succeed in whatever I did. It was bolstered by a good mix of self confidence and ability to work hard. I stayed at the top in studies as well as extra-curricular activities and demonstrated leadership skills in most activities.

Yet I have had a number of failures - some at the very crucial junctures in life which had shaken my self confidence. After debacles in the 12th and in my first attempt at the IIT Entrance Test, I entered IIT Mumbai which really changed my life.

In a career spanning 25 years so far, I had the opportunity to travel many countries and exposure to various cultures. I was lucky to have worked with start-ups to MNCs and learnt a lot in the process.

Since last three years I run my own company Sentio Technologies which is into IT Solutions and Services.
Initiative to develop a country
To begin with the professionals must stop spending their lifetime overseas for enjoying ‘creature comforts’ or amassing wealth for oneself and create wealth for the other societies. It is good to live in a developed country for a limited time to learn the secrets of its success and to explore how the same can be emulated for India’s sustained development.
Besides, there is no point in only cribbing about the state of affairs in India today. It is required that professionals contribute by being a part of the system and improving it from within. I quote the dialogue in the movie ‘Rang De Basanti’ here: “no country is good or bad by itself; it is the people who make it what it is. Get into politics, enter the army, be a teacher...” – in short be the change agent if you want to improve things.
In last few years many qualified youngsters are following this. A welcome change is seen in the judicial and political activism, new entrepreneurial ventures and so on.
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
The successful leaders are always seen to possess the following qualities:
1. Empathy and Sensitivity: A good leader understands that he is working with human beings who have views, feelings and emotions and not machines. They will perform at their best if they are treated so.
2. Listening Skills: A good leader must get accepted by the team – to get this support the leader must have the ability to listen to the others and evaluate their views and suggestions before arriving at conclusion.
3. Ability to take decisions: After evaluating and analysing all options, a good leader must be able to take decisions.
4. Persuasion skills: A good leader is able to persuade his team when he has the conviction about something. He is able to get the team’s consensus on his decision without the team feeling that it is his decision and not the consensus decision.
5. Grooming skills: A good leader grooms his team towards the growth path in their careers. The team’s success will lead to his success.
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