From Engineer to Philanthropist: Ashok Abhyankar’s Lifelong Legacy of Service and Impact

11 Dec 2023

IITB alumnus, Mr. Ashok (Ash) Abhyankar was recently bestowed with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the illustrious Drishti Group during their 9th annual Gala celebrations in British Columbia. The Drishti Team orchestrated a remarkable event even as Mr. Abhyankar’s exceptional recognition unfolded amidst the presence of over 800 leaders, and encapsulated a splendid tapestry of the community’s diverse and vibrant talents.

Receiving this prestigious accolade, Mr. Abhyankar said, “My journey to Drishti was built and ingrained in me at IITB in Powai. It was very humbling to have been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Mr. Abhyankar is no stranger to receiving such prestigious honours. As he says, “ This was a second lucky and humbling experience for me this year, having been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award in May by NAED, the National Association of Electrical Distributors and Manufacturers, representing a $700B+ North American industry.”

The Dean ACR Newsletter profiled his success in the June 2024 Newsletter. Read it here.


Mr. Ashok Abhyankar’s journey began at IIT Bombay in 1965. And since then he has crafted a narrative of distinction and service. From the hallowed halls of one of India’s premier institutions to a remarkable 56-year career spanning global leadership roles, Mr. Abhyankar’s story is that of a dedicated alumnus whose impact resonates far beyond the realm of technology.

Join us as we trace the several extraordinary chapters of Mr. Abhyankar’s life: as an inspiring tale of an IITB trailblazer, a global professional, and a compassionate force in community service.

Early Years and Career Journey

Mr. Abhyankar started his academic journey with a B. Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1965. He further pursued a Master’s Degree in Chemical  Control Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan and graduated in 1967. This marked the inception of what would become a remarkable 56-year career.

Professional Highlights and Achievements

Mr. Abhyankar’s career spanned 26 years at IBM, including leadership roles, two years as the CEO and General Manager of AirCare, and 23 years in Business Advisory roles at leading technology solution businesses. Notably, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from NAED for his significant contributions to the North American Electrical industry earlier this year.

Commitment to Community and Philanthropy

Upon settling in Vancouver 38 years ago, Mr. Abhyankar dedicated a minimum of 10 hours per week to “Give Back & Pay it Forward.” His impactful contributions include managing the first Public/Private partnership initiative in Canada at AirCare, fundraising for Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, and supporting various charitable causes such as the Breast Cancer Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, and Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.

Leadership in Community Organizations

Mr. Abhyankar actively served on various boards, including L’Arche Greater Vancouver, Canadian Internet Registry Authority (CIRA), Business Council of B.C., and Eagles of Tomorrow Education Society (EOTS). His involvement extended to mentorship programs, educational initiatives, and fostering diversity.

A Vision for Continued Contribution

As Mr. Abhyankar enters his 81st year, he remains driven by a passion for learning, contributing to community growth, and mentoring future leaders. He is not “tired” yet and so he is not ready to be “retired” anytime soon. He says, “There is so much left to learn from and contribute to the growth of the community in B.C. and Canada that I am part of.” His goals for the future include maintaining his good health and continue to learn as he mentors future leaders toward their contributions, success, and personal growth.


Mr. Ashok Abhyankar’s life reflects a rich tapestry of professional excellence, community service, and a profound commitment to uplifting those around him. As an IIT Bombay alumnus, Mr. Abhyankar not only exemplifies the Institute’s commitment to producing trailblazers but also showcases the profound impact individuals can have on a global scale. In celebrating Ashok Abhyankar, we celebrate the enduring spirit of IIT Bombay. His narrative is reflective of the broader IIT Bombay story and one that reflects the collective brilliance of IIT Bombay’s alumni network, and how they continue to shape the world.

Congratulations to Mr. Abhyankar!