Nagpur’s very own people’s ambassador

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Jul 2018 10:40:49


By Vijay Phanshikar,

He was raised in Nagpur. He now lives in London. But Chandru Iyer keeps frequenting his own city at every possible opportunity to promote investment, to support development, and to fulfill his commitment to ensuring that Nagpur grows as a hub of newer enterprise -- beyond its old identity as city of oranges.

However, when he passed out of the Ramdeobaba College of Engineering twenty years ago and after he had finished his MBA from a Nashik college, Chandru Iyer did not see much opportunity in the city. Of course, he did get decent jobs and kept moving up, particularly in foreign firms. So good was his performance that even the Australian Government invited him to an exciting opportunity. And then came the time when Chandru Iyer moved to London, to work in the famed Kingston Smith company aiding international business development. Today, as the Head of International Business Development, he keeps visiting Nagpur which, according to him, is a place where one can rise, one can get engaged in enterprising activity.

Today, he helps the British Government in promoting investment opportunities, and returns to his hometown, where his banker parents live. As one of the leading lights of ‘Nagpur First’ activity, he comes to the city for the Global Nagpur Summit as well. To hear him talk about the wide range of opportunities now available in the city, is sheer pleasure. It is heartening for anybody here to hear about Nagpur being a treasure-trove of new opportunities. Talking to Chandru Iyer, one gets that feeling easily.

“MIHAN is a happening place. A new work culture, a new thought, a range of newer opportunities are emerging there. There are companies that are inviting Nagpurians to ‘stay rooted’ here. They are also inviting Nagpurians the world over to return to their city with alluring prospects. Of course, this should have happened earlier. But then ...”, Chandru Iyer says.

A pleasant disposition is Chandru’s speciality. He is smiling all the time. He is spreading cheer with his positive talk, and forward-looking way of thinking. And even after having in London for so many years, he speaks Marathi as anybody, and resorts to Hindi time and again. During the hour-long conversation, a call comes from London. His son is calling. He is off to a sports match, he told his father.
No matter that he is operating in an international arena, Chandru Iyer talks longingly about his parents. His father worked in the Reserve Bank of India here and mother in the Gandhibag branch of Punjab National Bank.

“My parents sacrificed their promotions and opportunities to go up in their careers because they wanted my brother (who is in Sydney) and me to stay focused on our goals. Their sacrifice eggs us on. And we keep returning to our roots every now and then,” Chandru Iyer says with a lot of intense emotion.

“And of course, my mind is all the time in Nagpur. I would like to return to my own city. In fact, Nagpur is a place that grows on you. Every Nagpurian would want to return. Such is the city’s magnetism. And you know, when I bought a house in London, I found my next door neighbour -- Shantanu Chowdhury -- also from Nagpur, a very fine man”, Chandru Iyer adds.

In London, he stays with his wife Sonal, a Haryanvi Agrawal girl whom he met in Bengaluru, and son Eeshan. He enjoys his stay and work in London. But Nagpur’s “magnetism” keeps him rooted to his very own city, a city of opportunities, a city of modern times, a city that would start attracting talent in a short time.
This is Chandru Iyer, Nagpur’s very own people’s ambassador in London.