Indian Institute of Technology names CEO Rajendra distinguished alumnus for 2015

Ajita RajendraMilwaukee, Wisc.—The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has announced A. O. Smith Chairman and CEO, Ajita Rajendra, has received a Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2015.

Rajendra was one of nine alumni to receive the award in 2015.  The awards were presented at the annual Institute Day held at the school.

Rajendra, a 1976 graduate of the institute with a degree in chemical engineering, was honored for his 36-years in business as well as his “contributions to improving the quality of life in India” through the investment and employment associated with the company’s operations in Bangalore.

“Shri Rajendra has been the driving force behind A. O. Smith's implementation of a large-scale manufacturing facility for water heaters in Harohalli, Bengaluru (Bangalore),” the Institute’s citation read. “The investment was greenfield - adding capacity by purchasing land and building a factory, rather than simply purchasing existing assets. The factory, established in 2010, manufactures residential water heaters specially designed for robust use in the Indian subcontinent, and is now adding capability to manufacture water purification products.”

“The company is growing its business while generating employment in India, and providing a technologically advanced product to the Indian consumer. A. O. Smith continues to invest its proceeds from this operation back into the Indian business, benefiting the community greatly. The company exclusively uses national talent in India, and consequently there are no expatriates in Harohalli.  

Distinguished Alumnus Awards are distributed annually by the school, and the IIT has presented 113 alumni awards since the program began in 1996.  Recipients are nominated by their colleagues; nominations are reviewed by a special committee appointed by the director of alumni relations.