Achievement in Business
Recognizes alumni who have demonstrated exceptional and sustained success in the field of business, outstanding character and loyalty to Drew, and personified the basic ideals of the university.
Sanjay Mirchandani C’86
Sanjay Mirchandani, who studied math and computer science at Drew University, started his career developing new technology—but he quickly realized that wasn’t exactly where he wanted to be. “I found I got more satisfaction in helping customers use technology than I did from creating it,” he says. Armed with graduate degrees in both business and engineering, he headed off down a new path.
“The best opportunities in life are not always defined. Go with it and see where it takes you,” says Mirchandani. He went with it—and today he is the chief information officer and chief operating officer with the Global Centers of Excellence of EMC Corporation, the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure and technology.
Mirchandani thinks understanding how the customer interacts with technology is key. That’s why he launched the EMC IT Proven program to chronicle the company’s experiences testing, deploying and managing EMC’s industry-leading technologies.
Before EMC, Mirchandani spent 11 years with Microsoft, working throughout Asia and holding multiple management positions, including president, Asia Pacific Region; president, South Asia; and managing director, India.
When Mirchandani came to the States from his home in India to attend Drew University, it was his first overseas experience. “I immediately felt like I belonged,” he says, “There were only a handful of us from other countries, and the school really embraced us. I felt like I had a new home.” He felt that Drew brought out the very best in him—and that’s what he’s encouraging his teenagers daughters to think about as they choose which colleges to attend.
That positive experience of being brought together at Drew left a lasting impact on him. In his career, Mirchandani takes great pride in his ability to build teams. “I’ve always had a global role,” he remarks. “Being able to bring really diverse people from all over the globe together as a team and really accomplish things has been the most fulfilling part of my career.”
Mirchandani says his Drew education has been paramount to his success, and it has encouraged him to never stop learning. A self-proclaimed “technology geek,” he loves experimenting with new “toys,” and he’s passionate about the impact technology can make. “If something makes you more productive, I’m interested in it,” he says. In an effort to keep up with the day-to-day changes in the IT world, he challenges himself to write new computer programs from time to time—using new programming languages and building new skills.
With an already successful technology career under his belt, Mirchandani won’t speculate what his future holds. But he does know that it’s all about learning. “With everything I do,” he says, “I ask myself, ‘What can I learn from this?’ It’s all about gaining competencies and experiences.”