The Textiles Explorer- Entrepreneurship through passion for Learning...

Ajit Gopal Jamkhandikar is a well-known International Business leader in the Textile Industry. Ajit, originally from Mumbai has had a remarkable Experience of over 43 years out of which he has spent 13 years in India and 30 odd years in Indonesia. Like everyone else, he had a never-ending hunger to dream big and his dreams varied at every new phase of his life. From dreaming to be a stage actor, a singer, an Engineer, then to join the Navy, gain global experience through higher education and work abroad; Ajit has always surprised himself and the people around him with his constant fight to achieve his dreams and never compromise on dreaming big and constantly keep learning new things in life.

Since childhood he has given highest priority to attaining education of the highest quality and as a student, he was very studious, earned many accolades, scholarships, medals and actively participated in sports. He always and always respected his teachers. His childhood days and experiences have groomed him in such a way that he has excelled in his professional and private life. He attended reputed schools in Mumbai, like King George English School, Elphinstone Technical High School and Colleges like St. Xavier's for Science, VJTI college for Textile Engineering. During his early learning days, he developed a liking towards music and learnt Instrumental and Vocal Indian classical Music and became a connoisseur of Classical music. He is also an excellent Harmonica player and has won many prizes. Music has given rhythm and tone in his life.

Ajit believes that life is a book, and one must never stop learning and grab every opportunity that life throws at an individual. Even after completing his graduation and while working in various companies till the age of 30, he pursued another major in Industrial Engineering from IIIE, industrial Business Management from We Business School. At the age of 48 he further completed a course in Globalized Strategic Management from ICFAI. The real motivation for Ajit has always been in acquiring knowledge from various fields and keeping himself updated. Even recently at the age of 65, he has worked hard and studied the Indian Company regulatory environment and passed various exams for Independent Directorship. He is a true example that there is no age bar for learning.

In his endeavors to learn new things, he decided to pursue and grow his career in Indonesia and complete his dream of working abroad while grabbing the opportunity to learn Indonesian culture. while representing an UK based international company, he often heard a quote from the British marketing manager, “Go East or West, Indonesia is the Best”. Hence when he had a job offer to work as an Ex Patriate it took no time to accept and be a part of Growing Indonesian Textile Industry.

Although the entry was smooth, there were many ups and downs in the initial days in Indonesian settlement. It took almost 3 years of struggle to get the equilibrium and then he mixed well with the Indonesian working style. With the advent of time, it was easy to settle down in Indonesia with a higher standard of living. Indonesia taught Ajit to adjust the pace of life, he became more inclined towards healthy and better living. He started exploring the mesmerizing flora and fauna, various hill stations, volcanoes, Islands, Animal parks and beautiful overnight cruises and so many other adventures in Indonesia. Additionally, with the influence of the culture of East, all added into the kitty of human values and happiness. What he feels as an individual is that in life, you are constantly learning not only from books and literatures, but from the daily experiences one witnesses throughout his life journey.

Usage of uniforms in the factories, Banks, Government offices, social get together and particularly usage of traditional Batik on every Friday were some of the factors for growth and demand for the Textile Industry in Indonesia. In turn AJIT too became an informal Ambassador of Batik. Even after experiencing regular uncertainties like fury of nature - flooding’s, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tsunami, economic turmoil, business slowdowns, it was worth learning from Indonesians, how to live in the present and keep one’s spirits high. Indonesia soon became his second home, and he imbibed a lot of qualities from the Indonesian traditions and culture.

Entrepreneurship and professional experience:

His professional journey was from being a Technical trainee - Management Trainee – Sales and Service Engineer –Export Manager – Executive Assistant to the Chairman – Marketing Director - to a successful CEO. He had opportunities to Work with reputed companies in India such as Bombay Dyeing, Mettur Beardsell, Star Textiles Group, K. T. Group Export house, Sai Lakshmi Group & in Indonesia- Texmaco Group, Yasinta Poly.

In capacity as Advisor in Indonesia, he helped Gherzi Textile Consulting - AG, Indonesian Companies such as Insansandang, Behaestex, Jabar Mulia Textile Machinery Marketing, Peraga Exhibition Organizers, Indian Companies such as Lakshmi Machine Works, ATE group and helped Japanese, Taiwanese, Italian, Indian Manufacturers for Market surveys in Indonesia.

Ajit handled the entire value chain from Textile Fibers- fabrics, textile machinery & accessories, to utilities like humidification, Air conditioning, Effluent treatment plants, sustainability, power generation sets to recycling. He worked in almost all the management verticals related to purchase, production, quality control, after sales service and marketing and effectively coordinated shifting of running plants from USA and Europe and restating in Indonesia. He helped to resurrect the business in Indonesia.

Besides Textiles Industry, he is also well versed with Metallurgy, Plastics and now associated with Pharmaceutical Industry Independent Director of 2 Pharmaceutical companies in India.

The passion for learning yearned tremendous success and accolades. He went on to become a Marketing Director for a 400 Million Dollars a year Textile Company in Indonesia (Fiber to Fabrics) and as a CEO of a Textile factory in India.

For keeping up to date with latest technology, he invested regularly in planning visits to top international Textile exhibitions such as ITMA Europe, OTEMAS Japan, CITME China, ITME India and attended world Textile conferences by ITMF, Cotton World etc. His initiatives included scaling Indonesian Textile Machinery Exhibition to a global presence and making exhibitions on Pharmaceutical Industry in Indonesia and attending Indonesian delegations to Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and China. All these helped him to develop high level international contacts with Ministers-, Ambassadors, Diplomats, Industrialists, Businessmen, and Consultants. When any principals, customers or even competitors had any queries or someone to look up for consultation, looked forward to Ajit’s opinion and solutions.


The leading Indonesian businessman started investing heavily in the Indonesian Textile industry, leading to a boom in the Textile Industries in Indonesia. There was a major demand for modernisation of these industries that contributed to the Industrial revolution. Seeing this as an opportunity, along with his versatile knowledge and experience of textile industry, Ajit dared to offer independent services in the capacity as an Advisor, for various supply chains in the Textile Industry.

It was a great challenge for him to establish in a foreign country with limited resources at his disposal against the well settled competitors. In some cases, his patience was put to test as he had to wait for a considerable number of years for the business making profitability and making cash flows. There were such times when a single dollar wasn’t flowing in, in a year but at times he also could make profits in a single month that could cover the entire yearly expenses.

However, with his magnetic personality, charming aura, creative attitude, grit, and determination he gradually established win-win business relationships with various Organizations. Ajit always used ethical means and was clean in his dealings by considering all stakeholder’s interest.

Ajit’s story is all about adapting to various changes in life and win people.

For promotion of Indian Products in Indonesia, the Indian Ambassador to Indonesia remarked "I am the Ambassador of India, but Ajit is our Textile Ambassador. Indonesian businessmen fondly used to remark that they are known along with their company’s name, but for Ajit his own name is enough.

“Never dying spirit and hard work beyond one’s limit” is Ajit’s Mantra in life. He feels thankful to the almighty god for giving him the required health and wealth. For his achievements he is grateful to his parents and everyone from his family, his friends, his Teachers for their never-ending support and imparting a sense of liking towards education and continuous learning. He is forever indebted to Indonesia, his customers, and its lovely people for the 30 years of support.

He also got great opportunity to travel round the world and visit 28 major Countries covering North America, Europe, UAE, Saarc Countries, ASEAN Countries, Indo China, Australia, Japan etc.

He never thought that the vertical and horizontal threads of Textiles would become a reason for his travels across the latitudes and longitudes of the Globe.

Ajit is happy that he could also contribute for Indonesia where he worked the most and to India - his Birth country, in promoting their products and image in the World.

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