(Pune based serial entrepreneur, Ajit Shelat, passed away yesterday. This article and photo are by flickr user drona and are taken from this page. They’re reproduced here under the terms of the Creative Commons (BY-NC) license under which that page is published.)
My friend Ajit Shelat passed away today. He was driving on the Mumbai-Pune Highway, and had an accident at about 530pm September 1, 2010.
He was a fellow alumnus and contemporary of IIT-Mumbai.
Trained entirely in India, he was perhaps the first Indian engineer who designed and developed a very complex LAN security chipset at Nevis Networks, entirely based out of Pune, India.
He was a co-founder of RIMO technologies, Switch-on Networks(with Moti Jiandani), and Nevis Networks. Switch-On Networks was sold to PMC-Sierra for $300M+.
He supported a wide variety of environmental causes and an avid hiker and naturalist. A prolific entrepreneur himself, he generously gave his time and money to his favorite causes: The environment, education and entrepreneurs.
Said Yatin Mundkur, a venture capitalist at Artiman Ventures, who used to work for Ajit at Godrej Industries, in the mid-eighties: “I am who I am today, because of Ajit. And a lot of us who reported to him at Godrej would gladly say that.”
I will fondly remember the many hikes I took with him, and particularly the many discussions I had with him during the early X Window System days.
He is survived by his wife Radha Shelat and daughter Arundhati, and mother and sister.
(Ajit Shelat was most recently the President and CEO of Nevis Networks, a company that he was trying to turn around after he and his partners had acquired the assets of the company from the previous investors. PuneTech had interviewed Ajit just before this. He is survived by his wife, Radha Shelat, (VP Engineering, and India MD of Librato, previously CTO of Symantec Pune & Veritas Pune), and daughter.)