In fond memory of Ranjan Khastgir

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We are deeply saddened by the demise of our much respected and admired alumnus, Shiva Ranjan Khastgir (1957/BTech/ME/AZ). He passed away at home in Kolkata, surrounded by his family, on March 18, 2019.

Lovingly referred as ‘Khasta’ by his friends, many of whom continued to be in close touch with him long after their graduation from college, Ranjan Khastgir was a frontrunner among those who are the life force of the Technology Alumni Association of Kolkata.

He was a former President of TAA, Calcutta Chapter, and strived hard to bring together IITians of all “shape and vintage under a common umbrella for sharing IIT’s heritage with other likeminded people”, as he himself wrote in a 1993 souvenir of the Association.

Ranjan Khastgir graduated from IIT Kharagpur in Mechanical Engineering in 1957 and soon after left for Dusseldorf, Germany, for practical training with Mannesmann Export GmbH. From there he proceeded to the United States of America for his postgraduate studies at the University of Illinois.

After working with several MNCs on his return to India, Khastgir joined Hindustan Zinc Limited as Deputy General Manager (Marketing) in 1978. He was posted at their corporate office in Udaipur, Rajasthan, where he headed the marketing division of the company. He rose to the level of Group General Manager (Commercial). In 1990, he moved to Hindustan Copper Limited as their Executive Director (Commercial) and was posted in Kolkata, where he headed the company’s commercial activities, including negotiating high value international contracts. Khastgir was invited as speaker to several major international seminars and conferences in London, Brussels, Vancouver, Santiago and other cities all over the world.

After retiring from Hindustan Copper, Khastgir was invited to join Mobar India Limited, a global commodity trading company promoted by Mr Russi Mody, former Chairman of Tata Steel. Till as long as his health permitted, he worked as independent senior consultant on International Business on Non-ferrous Minerals, Metals and Projects and represented several foreign MNCs.

His heart and soul he devoted to promoting his alma mater and helping it in whichever capacity possible. He became a force multiplier for the Calcutta Chapter of TAA, bringing young and old IITians to join the alumni association. He was a regular participant at committee meetings, the chapter’s social gatherings, and the Institute’s functions.

For the Alumni Affairs Office of the Institute, he proved to be invaluable with his mine of information on not only his batch mates and IIT KGP alumni, but also other IITians. For anything needed, he held out a helping hand, actively networking with IIT KGP alumni all over the globe and tying thousands of alumni in closer bond with the Institute.

Even when confined to bed by his ill health, he could not stop thinking of how best to serve the interests of his alma mater. He formed close, familial connections with many connected to IIT Kharagpur and inspired them with his zest for life. His enthusiasm for and devotion to his Institute were boundless. Simply Ranjanda to many of us, he will be sorely missed.

Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.

By Chirosree Basu

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