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.
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.