The Force Behind - Our Leadership
Dr. Vijaypat Singhania name is synonymous with pioneering initiatives and glorious achievements. He is a perennial inspiration to all of us with his courage and recurring appetite to set new benchmarks of excellence.
The world knows him not only for his achievements in the field of business, but also as an excellent aviator. Beyond business and aviation, he has always been committed to social welfare and developmental activities. He is actively promoting cattle development, an issue close to his heart. He encouraged the development and propagation of Embryo Transplantation Techniques for the upgradation and breeding of high milk-yielding cattle. He has supported in-house research for fifteen years in the field of upgradation of Indian sheep for the production of apparel wool. After the establishment of a new breed, stock of about 2000 high quality, pure and cross-bred Merino sheep together with the equipments, were gifted to the Maharashtra Government for continuing the work.
Dr. Vijaypat Singhania believes that education is the foundation of a strong and progressive India. This is propagated through institutions like Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane, the Kailashpat Singhania High School, Chindwara and the J. K. Sports Foundation.
An alumnus of AMP (Harvard), he has also served as the Chairman of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (2007-’12), and has been a visiting Professor at the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai.
His busy schedule does not stop him from pursuing his interest in squash, swimming, snooker, billiards, golf, scuba diving and photography.
An incredible world record was created when he flew solo in a Micro Light Aircraft from U.K. to India in August / September 1988. This feat is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.
He also holds the distinction of winning the first International Air Race in 1994, starting and ending in Montreal [Canada], after a 24 day odyssey, covering a distance of 34,000 km across several countries. This victory also brought him another distinction, the FAI [Federation Aeronautique Internationale] Gold Medal, which is the most coveted award given in aviation sports. The FAI is the equivalent of an Olympic Gold Medal in the field of aviation.
The former President of India, His Excellency Mr. R. Venkataraman was pleased to confer him with the rank of Hon. Air Commodore of the Indian Air Force. The 7th Air Squadron of the IAF, comprising of the Mirage 2000 aircraft based at Gwalior, also honoured him as the first and only civilian member of the Squadron 'The Battle Axes'.
Dr. Singhania has been active in the sport of thoroughbred horse racing for three decades and was a member of the Managing Committee of the Royal Western India Turf Club, Mumbai for several years, retiring as its Chairman in ’96-’97.
Former Prime Minister , Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee conferred on him the 'Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award' for the year 2001, in recognition of his lifetime achievements in the field of aviation adventure. For his outstanding achievements in the field of aviation, Dr. Vijaypat Singhania was awarded the 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Smarak Award' on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of Indian Railways and the centenary of aviation.
The London Institute of Technology and Research conferred on him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in October 2003. Not satisfied with the medals and the accolades, Dr. Singhania was determined to break the world altitude record of 64,997 feet in a Hot Air Balloon, set by Per Lindstrand; a record that stood unbroken for 17 years.
On November 26, 2005, Dr. Singhania set the new world record by attaining a height of 69,852 feet, breaking the earlier record by almost 5,000 feet. For establishing this new world record, the Limca Book of Records has bestowed on him “People of the Year Award 2006” on June 8, 2006.
He has also held the office of the Sheriff of Mumbai for the year, 2005-06.
Finally on 26th January 2006, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Hon’ble President of India honored Dr. Singhania with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India.
Truly, a man of many dimensions, Dr. Singhania has achieved far more than what many of us can only dream of or take several lifetimes to achieve.