Rajendra S Pawar,
Chairman & Co-Founder, NIIT Group
& Founder, NIIT University
Mr. Rajendra S Pawar is Chairman and Co-Founder of the NIIT Group, comprising NIIT
Limited- the leading Global Talent Development Corporation, which pioneered the computer
education market in India in the 80’s, and NIIT Technologies Limited- the software and
services arm, catering to clients across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Set up in 1981, NIIT pioneered the computer education market in India, creating a
completely new industry segment and taking it to consolidation and maturity. Mr.
Pawar has played a leadership role in nurturing NIIT and building it into a leading
Global Talent Development Corporation.
By pioneering NIIT’s innovative franchising model, he enabled the company to unleash
a wave of entrepreneurship across the globe, providing young people with the opportunity
to create viable businesses centered on IT learning.
Mr. Pawar led NIIT’s foray into the software and services market, creating NIIT
Technologies, a global IT Solutions organization. Assessed at SEI-CMMi Level 5, NIIT
Technologies serves clients across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Mr. Pawar is a member on the Prime Minister’s National Council on Skill Development
and has served on the PM’s National Taskforce (1998), commissioned to develop India
into an IT Superpower.
Actively involved in India’s key Chambers of Commerce, Mr. Pawar has led several ICT
industry fora, including NASSCOM (National Association of Software & Service Companies)
as its Chairman in 2011-12, giving voice to the sector’s aspirations and goals. He is
also Fellow of the Computer Society of India and the Institution of Electronics &
Telecom Engineers. A member of the International Business Council of the World Economic
Forum, Mr. Pawar has been an advisor to the Hunan province of China and a member of PIAC
(Presidential International Advisory Council) of the Government of South Africa for IT.
In recognition of his entrepreneurial innovation in education, Mr. Pawar was recognized as
‘Edupreneur Par Excellence’ at the Edupreneurs Awards 2013. He has been honored as the
‘IT Gem of India’ at INFOCOM 2013, India’s largest IT & Telecom event, by the ABP Group.
Global Business Intelligence firm, Ernst & Young conferred on Mr. Pawar its prestigious Master
Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1999. He has also been named the IT man of the Year by IT
industry journal, Dataquest. Mr. Pawar has been awarded ‘The Global India Splendor Award’ on
the occasion of 60th year of India’s independence, for his work on developing human resource
potential. Mr Pawar has also been honored with the prestigious Nayudamma Award 2012, for his
continued contribution to the IT industry in India.
Known for promoting industry-academia alliances, Mr. Pawar has been working closely
with the country’s well-known educational institutions. He is on the Board of Governors
of India’s premier institutions- IIT Delhi, Country’s first global business school- the
Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Udaipur and the Scindia School.
Mr. Pawar studied at the Scindia School, Gwalior and graduated from the country’s prestigious
engineering institution, IIT, Delhi in 1972 where he pursued the B. Tech programme in electrical
engineering and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT in 1995. He has also been awarded
an Honorary Doctoral Degree by the Rajiv Gandhi Technical University in 2005.
Having revolutionized the IT Training industry, Mr. Pawar is involved in shaping a new model
in Higher Education, the not-for-profit NIIT University. He is currently chairing the
Committee on Policy Framework for Technology Based Education, Government of India.
In recognition of his contribution towards changing the IT landscape in India, in 2011,
Mr. Pawar was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards given by the Government of India.
Vijay K. Thadani
Chief Executive Officer, NIIT Limited
& Co-Founder, NIIT University
Vijay K. Thadani is the Chief Executive Officer of NIIT Ltd, a leading Global Talent
Development Corporation. As the co-founder of NIIT Group, he has built an organization
that is recognised for its visionary role in bringing the benefits of Information
Technology, both as a professional skill and as a learning tool, to the masses.
Vijay led the Group’s globalization efforts since 1991, taking the NIIT flag to
over 40 countries. He serves on the Board of NIIT Technologies Limited, a leading
SEI-CMMi Level 5 assessed IT Solutions organisation, servicing customers in the
USA, Europe, Japan, Asia Pacific, and India.
Vijay has been actively engaged with many Industry Associations. He served as President
of the Indian IT industry association, MAIT, chaired the Indian Government’s Committee
on National Information Infrastructure and has been a member of the Strategy Council
of Global Alliance for ICT and Development of the United Nations Department of Economic
and Social Affairs (UNDESA-GAID). He served as the Chairman of the IT Committee
of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in USA, as the Chairman of CII National
Committee on Education, India and as the Chairman of CII Northern Region for 2011-
He also served as the Chairman of the National Accreditation Board for Education
and Training (NABET), under the aegis of the Quality Council of India and as the
Chairman of Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT),
Vijay is the co-founder of the not-for-profit, NIIT University established in 2009
with a vision of being the leading centre of innovation and learning in emerging
areas of the Knowledge Society. He is also a member of the India Advisory Board
of the Maastricht University, Netherlands, India Advisory Board of Project Management
Institute (PMI), USA and the Governing Council of All India Management Association
A ‘Distinguished Alumnus’ of the premier Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi,
Vijay was honored with the position of ‘Economic Consultant’ to Chongqing, world’s
largest city in the People’s Republic of China.
P. Rajendran Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder of NIIT Ltd,
is part of the core team that has developed the organisation and brought it to its
present position of international standing, since its inception in 1981. He is an
alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
Today, Rajendran leads the People, Infrastructure & Technology initiatives and the
School Solutions Business at NIIT. A people-person and a believer in leveraging
Information Technology for Human Resources competitiveness, he has helped NIIT emerge
as one of the most exciting places to work. Under his leadership, the Company has
received many awards in recognition of its innovative HR practices, including Aon
Hewitt’s Best Employers in India- 2011, ‘Best Education Company to Work with’ at
Indian Education Awards 2011 and ‘India’s Best Companies to Work for 2011’.
Rajendran is actively associated with industry associations like CII and FICCI.
Mr. Rajendran takes keen interest in the area of innovative deployment of ICT for
human development and creation of new jobs.
Chief Executive, Learning Solutions for Enterprise, NIIT Limited
As Chief Executive, Learning Solutions for Enterprise, NIIT Ltd, Sapnesh Lalla is
responsible for continuing the rapid growth and development of every area of NIIT's
Learning Solutions for Enterprise business, throughout the geographies of North
America, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Sapnesh has enjoyed a long and accomplished tenure while at the company. Joining
in 1992, Sapnesh began his career with NIIT in the technical side of the business.
Sapnesh has been a pioneer for NIIT in the US market. Rising through the ranks,
Sapnesh relocated to the United States in 1996 as a Group Consultant and in 1999
was promoted to Business Manager.
President, School Learning Solutions, NIIT Limited and HiWEL
Mr. Hemant Sethi is the President of NIIT’s School Learning Solutions (SLS) and
HiWEL divisions. In this role, he is responsible for driving the growth of schools
business, in private and chain schools, as well as Government schools in India.
NIIT has deployed NGuru school solutions in around 15,000 schools across the country
and trained about 9.8 million students.
Mr. Sethi also looks after the Hole-in-the-wall (HiWEL) initiative which aims to
improve elementary education and life-skills of children across the world, through
Minimally Invasive Education administered through computer kiosks. HiWEL facilitates
computer literacy for the under-served children through unsupervised access to computer
kiosks. Children learn through self-exploration and discovery.
Mr. Sethi joined NIIT in 2011. He has a vast experience spanning 25 years in areas
such as profit centre management, product management, sales and marketing, and strategy
and leadership building. He has worked with various MNCs and Indian corporations
including DCM Ltd, Toyota Motors, Arvind Mills Ltd., Spanco Ltd. and Bharti-Airtel.
His acumen, experience and understanding of diversified markets and his style of
leadership, which blends empowerment with accountability, bring forth fresh ideas
Mr. Sethi’s strengths lie in delivering sustained growth in revenues and profitability
in dynamic markets. He has a proven track record in B2B, B2C and B2G domains, in
industry verticals such as Automotive, Telecom and networking, IT and software applications.
In his last assignment prior to joining NIIT, he was leading the business and P&L
for the Enterprise Division (government business) of Bharti Airtel Ltd., as Vice
Mr. Sethi holds a B.E. (Hons) Degree in Mechanical Engineering from BITS Pilani
and a Post Graduate diploma in management. He is an active participant in panel
discussions related to E-Governance and ICT initiatives in various industry associations
such as CII and FICCI.
President, Skill Building Solutions (SBS) , NIIT Limited
Mr. Sanjay Bahl is the President of NIIT’s Skill Building Solutions (SBS) business,
a new initiative launched by the company that focuses on providing Service sectors’
industry specific training and placements to the unemployed youth of India.
As SBS expands Business Operations, Mr. Bahl will lead the roll out of NIIT’s 10-years’
project to over 1000+ “Yuva Jyoti” centre locations, including Tier 2/3 towns and
villages, in India. Under his leadership, NIIT will enable youngsters from middle/low
income households as well as under employed service sector workers, to get into
the mainstream across leading Service sectors, through Job oriented, High quality
delivery (technology enabled) and extremely affordable Skill Development courses.
Mr. Bahl comes with over 25 years of experience in diverse and cross functional
areas. He has been engaged with several large Organizations and world’s leading
Brands like “Crompton Greaves”, “CASIO” and “Airtel” etc. At Casio India, a leading
global consumer electronics giant, he headed Marketing, Sales and New Product development
for India and SAARC Countries. This was followed by a decade-long stint with the
Bharti Airtel Group, managing business operations, Revenue, Profitability, leading
a large cross-functional team of over 1000+ people, National Rural Business Alliances
and successfully handling the media, Govt. bodies, environmental issues as well
as key strategic partners like Ericsson, IBM, IFFCO & several large business partners.
In his last assignment prior to joining NIIT, he was leading the Business for two
Northern states including the Delhi Metro, for one of the world’s top 10 mobile
business MNCs and a leading Russian Business conglomerate – “Sistema”. As the Chief
Operating Officer (COO), he was in-charge of the company’s mobile services—including
voice and high speed data.
Mr. Bahl’s strengths lie in managing start up projects, where he has shown the highest
commitment and integrity, strong business acumen, target orientation and people
handling skills. Conceptually sound and analytical, Mr. Bahl has enabled several
organisations to embrace a customer-focused approach in both B2C and B2B domains.
Mr. Bahl has several certifications and recognitions to his credit. He is a Certified
Six Sigma champion through the IGE process, a Certified Assessor for “People Development
Centre,” SHL, UK, and a CCL Singapore/USA “Creative Leadership” certificate holder
for top management. He achieved a Top Gallup score of 4.5 plus as a team leader
and is a Certified “COPC Standards” coordinator. His work has also been acknowledged
with a Best Knowledge Leader Award.
Born on July 5, 1963, Mr. Bahl acquired his B.E.(Hons.) degree in Electrical & Electronics
engineering from BITS, Pilani. He is also an MBA, with specialisation in Marketing.
Beyond the workplace, Mr. Bahl pursues interests such as reading, playing billiards,
table tennis, chess and visiting new places and coffee bars. His “key mantra” and
“4 Ps” of success are......... Passion, Performance, People and Processes.