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Ajit Shelat, September 1, 2010 | by drona
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Ajit Shelat, September 1, 2010

My dear 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, at IIT-Mumbai. In 2001, Ajit was awarded the IIT Mumbai Distinguisted Alumnus Award.


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 $400M+.


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.


Photo by Alok Bhandarkar.




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Taken on December 25, 2008