Ashwin Dani

A Visionary Leader and Business Tycoon
Ashwin Dani

Ashwin Dani

A Visionary Leader and Business Tycoon

The world of Indian business witnessed the remarkable journey of Ashwin Suryakant Dani, a true visionary and one of the nation's most influential businessmen.

Born in the early 1940s in Mumbai, India, Ashwin Dani left an indelible mark on the corporate landscape and achieved great heights in his lifetime.

His legacy as the non-executive chairman of Asian Paints Ltd, India's largest paint company, will be celebrated for generations to come. Let us delve into the life and achievements of this iconic figure.

Early Life and Education

Ashwin Dani's roots can be traced back to Mumbai, where he was born to a family deeply entrenched in the world of paints. His father, Suryakant Dani, was one of the co-founders of Asian Paints, setting the stage for Ashwin's illustrious journey.

Education played a pivotal role in shaping his future. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the Institute of Chemical Technology at the University of Mumbai.

Ashwin's quest for knowledge was insatiable. He pursued a Bachelor of Science and Technology in Pigment, Paints, and Varnish from UDCT, Mumbai, and journeyed to the United States for further studies.

There, he obtained a Master's degree in Polymer Science from the University of Akron, Ohio, and a diploma in Color Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic in Troy, New York.

A Remarkable Career

Ashwin Dani's professional journey began in 1967 when he embarked on his career as a development chemist with Inmont Corp (now BASF) in Detroit. The year 1968 marked a significant turning point when he joined Asian Paints as a senior executive.

Over the years, he climbed the corporate ladder, assuming successively senior positions such as director of R&D, works director, whole-time director, and ultimately, vice chairman.

At Asian Paints, Ashwin Dani was recognised for his innovative prowess. He played a pivotal role in the development and introduction of numerous products, some of which were introduced to India for the first time.

His pioneering spirit was exemplified by his introduction of computerised colour matching, a groundbreaking concept that transformed the Indian industry.

One of his most notable achievements was the establishment of PPG Asian Paints, a 50-50 joint venture between Asian Paints Limited and PPG Industries. He was instrumental in its inception in 1997 and served on its board.

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Associations and Contributions

Ashwin Dani's influence extended beyond Asian Paints. He was one of the two founding members of the Colour Group of India, an organisation dedicated to advancing computerised colour matching and the measurement of colour through instruments and computers.

His commitment to the industry was further underscored by his role as an adviser to the Central Board of Trustees of the Employees Provident Fund.

He took leadership positions in various associations, including serving as the president of the Indian Paint Association, president of the Board of Governors of the UDCT Alumni Association, and as a member of the Board of Management of the Institute of Chemical Technology.

Beyond these roles, Ashwin Dani contributed his expertise to the corporate world. He served on the Board & Audit Committee of Sun Pharmaceuticals from January 2004 to September 2018.

Additionally, he was a member of the board of ACC Ltd, an Indian cement company, since December 2011, where he chaired the Nomination and Remuneration Committee and was a member of the Audit Committee.

A Commitment to Education

Ashwin Dani's commitment to education was unwavering. He served as the president of Kapadwanj Kelavani Mandal, an organisation responsible for a prominent educational institute in Gujarat.

The institute catered to a diverse range of students, from pre-primary to post-graduation, specialising in science, commerce, and arts.

Personal Life and Legacy

Ashwin Dani's personal life revolved around family. He was married to Ina Dani and had three children. His legacy lives on through his son, Malav Dani, who continues to contribute as a non-executive director at Asian Paints.

Tragically, Ashwin Dani passed away on 28 September 2023 at the age of 79. His memory remains an enduring source of inspiration to the business community, embodying what dedication, innovation, and vision can achieve.

The Dani family legacy extends beyond Ashwin Dani, with his sons, Jalaj Ashwin Dani and Malav Ashwin Dani, carving their own paths in the world of business, carrying forth the family's tradition of excellence.

Jalaj Ashwin Dani: Carrying the Torch

Jalaj Ashwin Dani is a distinguished corporate leader, presently serving as Chairman of the Paints & Coatings Skill Council. He is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization and holds key roles in industry associations.

Jalaj Dani has significant leadership experience, including serving as Chairman at Berger Paints Jamaica Ltd. His educational background includes an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and a graduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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Malav Ashwin Dani: A Visionary Entrepreneur

Malav Ashwin Dani, a successful entrepreneur, is known for founding Henkel Adhesive Technologies India Pvt Ltd. Currently, he serves as the Managing Director and Executive Director at Hitech Corp. Ltd, demonstrating exceptional leadership.

Malav also holds the position of Chairman at the Indian American International Chamber of Commerce and serves on the boards of eight other prominent companies.

His previous roles include Chairman-Young Leaders Forum at the Indian Merchants' Chamber and Vice President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

He holds an MBA from The Trustees of Columbia University in The City of New York and an undergraduate degree from Purdue University.

Hasit Ashwin Dani: A Role in the Business World

Hasit Ashwin Dani contributes significantly to various businesses, serving on the boards of Gujarat Organics Ltd., Geetanjali Trading & Investments Pvt Ltd., S.C. Dani Research Foundation Pvt Ltd., and Haish Holding & Trading Co. Pvt Ltd.

His educational background includes an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts and a graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, demonstrating his commitment to these ventures.


  • 2002: Cheminor Award for Supply Chain Excellence, Indian Institute of Materials Management

  • 2003: Achiever of the Year Award in the Chemical Industry, Chemtech Foundation

  • 2003: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Manufacturing category)

  • 2011: Lifetime Achievement Award, Indian Paint Association

  • 2012: Colour Society Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 2015: Businessman of the Year, Business India Magazine

  • 2017: B. Krishnamurthy Award of Excellence, Hyderabad Management Association & Centre for Organisational Development

The Dani family's legacy in the business world shines through the achievements of Jalaj Ashwin Dani, Malav Ashwin Dani, and Hasit Ashwin Dani, each making a distinctive mark and upholding Ashwin Dani's enduring vision and legacy.

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