Jalaj Dani is an Indian businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is the second-generation scion of the Dani family, one of the founding families of Asian Paints Ltd, India’s largest homegrown paints company. He was the public face of Asian Paints for around two decades during which he handled human resources, supply chain and chemicals portfolio at the company. In 2017, he resigned from his leadership roles at Asian Paints and became its co-promoter. He is the Chairman of Addverb Technologies and IIM Trichy and an Independent Director of HDFC and Havells.
Jalaj Ashwin Dani Telegraph India was born on Monday, 20 October 1969 (age 54 years; as of 2023) in Mumbai. His zodiac sign is Libra. He pursued a course in Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA and the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, Paris. Pratham
Height (approx.): 5′ 11″
Hair Colour: Black (half bald)
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father, Ashwin Dani (1944–2023), was the non-executive chairman of Asian Paints Ltd. He passed away after a brief illness on 28 September 2023.
His mother’s name is Ina Dani. She is a keen yoga practitioner and adherent follower of yoga teacher B. K. S. Iyengar. She used to teach yoga to pregnant ladies at the Iyengar Yoga Centre which the husband-wife duo established at their residential building Home Villa in 1998. She has also served as managing trustee to Guruji Iyengar’s Light on Yoga Research Trust (LOYRT).
He has two brothers, Malav Dani and Hasit Dani. Malav A. Dani is a businessman and entrepreneur. He is a Non-executive Director and Chairman of CSR Committee at Asian Paints. He is also a Managing Director of BSE-listed plastic and packaging company Hitech Corporation Limited. Hasit Dani is also a businessman and a board member of Asian Paints.
Wife & Children
His wife, Vita Dani, is a sports entrepreneur and philanthropist who runs the Dani Foundation. She is also the Chairperson of the 11evenSports. Apart from that, Vita co-owns the Chennaiyin FC soccer club, which participates in the Indian Soccer League, along with actor Abhishek Bachchan and former India cricket captain MS Dhoni. She is also a promoter of the professional table tennis league Ultimate Table Tennis. They have two children, a son, Mudit, who is a professional table tennis player, and a daughter, Smiti Dani, who is a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company.
Jalaj Ashwin began his career by joining Asian Paints Ltd. The company was co-founded by his grandfather, Suryakant Dani, along with his three friends, Champaklal Choksey, Chimanlal Choksi, and Arvind Vakil in Gaiwadi, Girgaon, Mumbai in February 1942. In June 1999, Jalaj stepped down as director from the board of the Asian Paints board and was redesignated as vice-president, international.
In 2002, while Jalaj was the Head of international operations, Asian Paints became a major world player in the decorative paints business following its acquisitions of controlling stakes in Berger International Limited. Thereafter, Jalaj was appointed Chairman of Berger International. In April 2004, he took up the role of International President at Asian Paints following which he oversaw a string of acquisitions overseas. He worked in this capacity for eight years. In April 2012, he was promoted to President of HR, International & Chemicals in the company. In June 2015, he became President of HR, Supply Chain & Chemicals. He stepped down from his leadership position at Asian Paints in 2017 after an 18-year stint with the company. Thereafter, he became a co-promoter of Asian Paints. In February 2018, he became a board member of Addverb Technologies Private Limited, India’s largest Robotics company that focuses on warehouse automation and robotics. In September 2020, he became the Chairman of Addverb Technologies.
In March 2018, he became President of the Sports, Physical Education, Fitness and Leisure Skill Council (SPEFL-SC). Apart from that, he is a Chairman Invitee and Board Member of Start-up- Fourth Frontier Technologies Private Limited, which developed the World’s first and only wearable Smart Heart Monitor that provides high-quality continuous ECG & real-time feedback on heart health. Jalaj was the chair of the Paints and Coatings Sector Skill Council (PCSC) from its inception in 2015 till September 2017. He was the President of The Indian Paint Association (IPA) from 2015 to 2017. Jalaj is actively involved in the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Young President’s Organisation (YPO), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and other Business Councils in various capacities. He is a Trustee of Tribhuvandas Foundation, which was set up by Tribhuvandas Kishibhai Patel – the founding Chairman of the Kheda District Milk Producers Cooperative Union (now known as AMUL). In November 2018, he became the President of the Sportscom Industry Confederation, a non-profit organization. He is an investor in various start-up companies like Skillmatics i.e., Grasper Global Pvt Ltd (engaged in educational products and games for children), Smart Express Pvt Ltd (in the space of logistics), and Surge Technologies, a start-up in the US, (engaged in innovative tech-enabled fitness and sports equipment which helps fitness enthusiasts to improve the quality of their workouts).
Other Key positions held by Jalaj Dani:
- Chairman, Board of Governors for the Indian Institute of Management (Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu)
- Independent Director on the boards of HDFC Limited and Havells India Limited
- Director, Reliance Foundation
- Board member of the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), which functions under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of India
- Member of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushalya Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) Steering Committee, which functions under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of India
- Member, Advisory Committee, Fit India Movement
- President of the Sports, Physical Education, Fitness and Leisure Skills Council (SPEFL-SC)
- President, Sportscom Industry Confederation
- National Council Member (CII) & Co-Chairman of the National Committee on Sports (CII)
- National Executive Committee Member, FICCI
- Next Generation of Leaders Board (NGLB) of the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad
- Board Member of Piramal Foundation and Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership
- Vice President of Kapadwanj Kelavani Mandal, Gujarat
- Trustee of the Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai
- Governing Board Member of Mumbai First & Project Mumbai
- Member of the governing body of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gujarat, as an Expert Academician
The Dani family is known for focusing on constructive philanthropy i.e. empowering people and communities via transformative actions like holistic learning, promoting well-being like physical literacy and sports, etc. In the early 2010s, Jalaj and Vita Dani began working with an 80-year-old foundation called Kapadwanj Kelavani Mandal to provide affordable education to the citizens of Kapadvanj, the native town of the Dani family. The foundation runs 13 educational institutions, many of which are named after Suryakant Dani. Later, the husband-wife duo set up the not-for-profit initiative Dani Foundation, which aims at creating a self-sustaining society. The foundation is associated with five organisations, Kapadwanj Kelavani Mandal, Annamrita Trust, ELMS Sports Foundation, Project Mumbai and, Pratham. It also established the Sports for Transformation fellowship, which allows sports professionals to work with teachers. Annamrita works towards implementing the government’s mid-day meal programme in schools. Pratham aims at improving the quality of education for underprivileged children. The Dani Foundation also supports Project Mumbai. A unique model of public-private-people partnership, Project Mumbai works on multiple areas from health to environment and governance to education to improve the city of Mumbai. The Dani Foundation is the promoter of ELMS Sports Foundation, which focuses on enhancing sports, especially grassroots-level sports, to help the country win medals at global sporting events.
- Jalaj Dani’s wife, Vita Dani, is a niece of Indian businessman Dhirubhai Ambani. Her brothers, Hital Meswani and Nikhil Meswani, serve on the board of Reliance Industries.
- Jalaj was identified as ‘Stars 2000’ – Potential Leaders in the New Millennium by the Business India Magazine in 1998.
- On 28 September 2023, Jalaj Dani’s father Ashwin Dani’s net worth was $7.8 billion. He ranked #49 on Forbes India’s The 100 Richest Indians 2013 list for a net worth of $1310 million. Forbes India