Alumnus Arjun Malhotra has been conferred with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Dataquest Digital Leadership Conclave 2018. Arjun who graduated from the Dept. of Electronics & Electrical Communications Engineering at IIT Kharagpur with B.Tech. (Hons.) in 1970, is considered to be one of the pioneers of the Indian IT industry with his leadership role and entrepreneurial zeal of over three decades. At the Dataquest ICT Conference & Awards 2018, Arjun was felicitated with this award for his outstanding contribution in organizing and building the Indian IT industry from where it was over 40 years ago to today.
Arjun’s journey as an IT leader started with co-founding HCL in the 70s’. He played a pivotal role in putting Indian IT giant on the global map. And it was only the beginning. Arjun has guided several ventures across the IT sector globally, partnered with several global majors like Hewlett-Packard and Dr. James Martin and launched joint ventures to create new products and solutions addressing markets untapped before. Arjun took charge of Headstrong after the merger of his venture Techspan with the former and led it to one of the fastest-growing IT-based Financial Services companies till 2011 when Genpact acquired Headstrong. He is at present the Chairman of SolMark and Magic Software Inc.
Arjun has been a father figure for the entire tech startup community in India through the various initiatives including TiE and PAN IIT. He has encouraged and cultivated the spirit was entrepreneurship, that played a big role in shaping, perhaps, the most number of tech entrepreneurs who went on to start their own ventures in hardware, software, and services; and thereby contributed to building the Indian IT industry. He also serves on the board of corporations and supports several start-ups.
But IT is not all. Arjun’s vision for giving direction to the Indian telecom industry led to the foundation of the G S Sanyal School of Telecommunication at IIT Kharagpur. The School is now an R&D leader in 5G Communications, Biomedical Signal Processing, Cellular Networks, Chemical and Material Science and Cloud RAN. He further envisioned encouraging students right from their undergraduate studies to explore innovative ideas which could later become their entrepreneurial ventures. With this in mind, he seed-funded the M N Faruqui Innovation Centre at IIT Kharagpur. These were not only giving back initiatives to his alma mater but pillars of building the tech ecosystem and human resource development for India and the world.
With this award Arjun joined the ranks of Prof. R Narasimhan, considered as the father of computer science research in India, F C Kohli, referred as the father of the Indian software industry, Dr. N. Seshagiri, Founding Director General, National Informatics Centre, Govt. of India, Dr. Vijay P. Bhatkar, best known as the architect of India’s national initiative in supercomputing, Nandan Nilekani and many more.
“To become a true leader, you must never be shy of venturing into the unknown and let your confidence and the team back you up to achieve the impossible,” says Arjun.
Arjun is now championing the Centre for Classical Arts at IIT Kharagpur which would introduce in collaborative interventions in Indian classical music and other classical arts with science and technology.