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.

 

A Short Biography

Jayantilal Keshavji Chande was born in Mombasa, Kenya, in 1929. He spent most of his childhood at Bukene in Tanzania's Tabora Region, where he had his primary education.

His secondary education took him to St. Peter’s School in Panchgani, Satara District in Maharashtra State of India. After excelling in his exams and acquiring a new nickname (Andy) by which name he is known now, he went for his higher education to Wadia College, University of Pune also in India.

After studies, he returned to Tanzania where he quickly mastered his father’s grain milling and trading business and became his father’s and his uncle’s right hand man.

However, his interest in economics and politics of the Territory soon led him into the National Assembly and Executive Council (Cabinet) from 1958 until December 1961 when Tanganyika gained its independence. And soon, the ruling party offered him an electoral constituency. However, his father’s death forced him to turn the offer down so that he could concentrate on the family business.

In 1967, in the wake of the Arusha Declaration – Tanzania’s blueprint for socialist development - the family business was, as many other businesses then, nationalized by the Government.

While many company owners moved out of the country to seek for other pastures, Andy’s personality made him stay on. His expertise and knowledge let President Nyerere appointing him as General Manager of National Milling Corporation, which was a merger of Andy’s nationalized company and eight other firms in the same line of business. Andy served for five years as the CEO and later on as a member of its Board of Directors.

Why he stayed on when he had many other options baffles many but in his autobiography, “A Knight in Africa: Journey from Bukene”, he explains why.

“The short apprenticeship back in Bukene had convinced me that my long-term future lay not in Indian history in the motherland, but in commerce, here in Tanganyika (now Tanzania).”

Years later in 2005, when his autobiography was published, Andy had already established himself, not only in Tanzania but the world over, as a shrewd businessman and capable manager.

A past President of the Association of the Chambers of Commerce and Industries of Eastern Africa and of Tanganyika Association of Chambers of Commerce Andy is a former member of the Council of the Federation of Commonwealth Chambers of Commerce, London and of Commonwealth Producers’ Organization.

He was Leader of the Tanganyika businessmen’s delegation to Sir Jeremy Raisman’s Fiscal Commission in 1960 as well as a member of the East African Metric Commission, an appointment jointly made by the Presidents of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

He was a member of the Bureau of East African Affairs in the Office of the President of Tanzania and also served on the Industries and Mining Committees of Tanzania’s Third and Fourth Five Year Development Plans.

Andy has also been an advisor to the Ministerial Committee of the Organization of African Unity dealing with the Arab league on the oil crisis, was the Deputy Leader of Tanzania’s Delegation to the United Nations Preparatory Committee for the Earth Summit, Nairobi, Geneva and New York and was also elected to serve as the Coordinator between the countries in G77 and China and G7 on fiscal environmental facility and was a member of Tanzania’s delegation to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro led by the President Mwinyi in 1992. Andy has served as a member of the Executive Council (cabinet) and of the National Assembly from 1958 to 1961.

Andy is a fellow of International Academy of Management, Institute of Directors and of Chartered Management Institute, England, has an honorary doctorate in Business Administration from International Management Centres, England, is a fellow of the World Business Academy (only one from Africa and the Middle East) and has served on its Board of Directors. He has also been a Consulting Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation (International Multi-disciplinary Research Group), and a member of the Conference Board, New York and of the Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, California and Honorary Representative of the Royal Commonwealth Society from 1963 to 2010. He is now a Vice President of the Society.

In August 2003, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him a Knighthood. In 2004 President of India also honoured him with a prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award which is bestowed to persons of Indian origin.

Charity

A former World President of Round Table and Affiliated Youth Organizations and a Past Governor of Rotary International he is a recipient of Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service and Rotary International’s “Service Above Self” award which is the Organization’s highest honour given to a Rotarian.

Positions Held, Past and Present

It seems that every minute of Andy’s time is spent on developing, implementing and managing one project or another. His dedication has always been a reminder of one of his favourite phrases of all times. “I don’t give or accept half measures.”

With that philosophy embodied in mind, plus his belief, that ‘what could be done today should be done today,’ it’s no wonder he was involved in so many aspects of the country’s development.

He has over the years been involved in many charitable and community service activities. He is a founder of Tanzania’s Deaf Society and School. A founder of International School of Tanganyika and of Shaaban Robert Secondary School. He was associated with the establishing of College of Business Education. He has also helped in bringing to Tanzania International Medical Technological University (IMTU) of which he is currently the Chancellor. He has led several charitable organizations and has received several awards for his endless efforts.

Besides his autobiography – A Knight in Africa – Journey from Bukene Andy has published his speeches/articles on Freemasonry under the title Wither Directing Your Course and his collected works on a variety of subjects such as business, community service and social activities under the title Transitions of a Life.