Sir Andy Chande
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- Published: Wednesday, 04 January 2012 04:27
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Jayantilal Keshavji Chande (known as Sir Andy) by his friends and associates, a prominent entrepreneur, public servant and a tireless worker in humanitarian organizations both in Tanzania and internationally, was born in Mombasa, Kenya in 1929.
His story began in India 8 years before his birth when his father, Keshavji Chande, immigrated to the then British Colony and Protectorate of Kenya. After a year in Kenya his father moved to Bukene in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Years later, Andy quickly mastered his father’s Tanzania-based grain milling business from the bottom up and effectively shouldered greater responsibilities.
During the time of his apprenticeship, Andy developed a talent more important and challenging than his entrepreneurial genius: a capacity to deal on equal terms with people of all cultures and races. This attribute was particularly useful in view of the social, racial and political divisions that existed before Tanganyika’s independence on December 9th 1961.
Whilst working in line with his father’s principle that a strict distinction must be maintained between business and partisan politics, Andy has held executive positions in a vast array of disparate national, regional and international businesses. He later on persuaded his family to allow him to take up the offer he received for the second time from the Secretary of State for Colonies for appointment as a member of the Legislative Council and concurrently to serve on the Executive Council (Cabinet) which he did until Tanganyika became fully independent in December 1961. During his term in the Government, he concentrated on agricultural aspect of the economy and served as a member of Capital Sentence Remission Committee chaired by the Governor and also served as a Visiting Justice to all Prisons.
In 1960, having declined the offer to take up a parliamentary ticket for a constituency, Andy accepted an offer from the founder President Julius Nyerere to serve as a member of the committee dealing with first three year development plan to continue as Chairman of King George V Memorial Museum and later as Chairman of the National Museum as well as memberships of various economic and social organs.
The advent of nationalization in 1967, which deprived him of ownership of the family milling business, was unsettling, but proved to be a temporary setback. For it soon became clear to President Nyerere and his successors that the country could do a lot better with the dedication and expertise that men such as Andy could offer.
Between 1967 and 2003, Andy took over the responsibility to create a homogenous grain milling unit out of 12 nationalized companies establishing the National Milling Corporation, which he managed for five years and on whose Board he served for ten years. During this period, he also served as Chairman of Tanzania Tourist Corporation, which owned and managed all Hotels, Beach resorts and Game Park Lodges, Tanganyika Standard Newspapers Ltd, East African Harbours Corporation, East African Railways Corporation and Cargo Handling Company of East Africa Ltd. and on Bureau of East African Affairs in the President’s Office.
Following the break-up of the East African Community, he become founder chairman of Air Tanzania Corporation and later served as chairman of Tanzania Harbours Authority and of Tanzania Railways Corporation.
In 2003, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and two years later he was decorated with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the President Abdul Kalam of India.
A founder of International School of Tanganyika, Shaaban Robert Secondary School, College of Business Education and of Tanzania Society for the Deaf and Buguruni School for the Deaf, Andy assisted in the formation of a medical university in Tanzania of which he served as the first Chancellor.
A fellow of the World Business Academy in Ohai, California, Chairman Emeritus of the Institute for Environmental Innovation, Tulsa, Oklahoma and a former Director of World Innovation Foundation of Switzerland of which he was a consulting fellow Andy was also a member of the Conference Board of New York, of Stanford Research Institute Menlo Park, California and is presently a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, England.
A Fellow of International Academy of Management and of the Institute of Directors Andy has an honorary doctorate in Business Administration from International Management Centres, Buckingham, England. He has previously served on the Council of the Federation of Commonwealth Chambers of Commerce in London and is the Past President of the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industries of Eastern Africa. Andy is presently Vice President of the Royal Commonwealth Society and of Britain Tanzania Society.
Andy was advisor to the Ministerial Committee of the Organisation of African Unity dealing with the Arab league on oil crisis and was the deputy leader of Tanzania’s delegation to the United Nations Preparatory Committee for the Rio Conference on Environment and Development. He was elected to serve as the co-ordinator between the countries in G77 (and China) and G7 on fiscal environmental facility and was a member of the delegation to the Summit in Rio de Janeiro led by the President of Tanzania.
Besides speaking at various conferences, seminars, etc. Andy has presented papers on a number of issues such as environment, infrastructure, tourism, trade, commerce and industry. As the Head of the English Freemasonry in East Africa and the Seychelles from 1986 to 2005 he has published a book titled “Whither Directing Your Course” in 1995. He has also published his autobiography – A Knight in Africa – Journey from Bukene which has also been translated in Swahili language and a collection of some of his speeches/writings under the title Transitions of a Life.
Andy is married to Jayalaxmi Madhvani born in Uganda. They have three sons and three grand children.