Praful challenger left IT business, cosy life in US

On Thursday, Prashant was nominated party candidate for the Bhandara-Gondia constituency, where he is all set to take on current NCP MP and Union Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel.

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur | Published:February 28, 2014 4:03 am

Prashant Mishra and wife Vandana Wadhwani have left their multi-million dollar IT business and a cosy life in the US to join the AAP bandwagon. On Thursday, Prashant was nominated party candidate for the Bhandara-Gondia constituency, where he is all set to take on current NCP MP and Union Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel.

Interestingly, electronics engineer Prashant is a product of Gondia Engineering College run by Patel. “I have been with India Against Corruption since 2011 and have also participated in Nagpur’s dharna. We need to change the things in the country for the better. I have relinquished most of my duties to my company’s interim CEO Scot Pherson, who will slowly take over all operations,” Prashant told The Indian Express.

Prashant and Vandana had started RGEN Solutions in 2007 at Seattle after working for seven years since 2000 as part of Microsoft’s core team of 300 people that developed the Windows XP. Today, his company’s annual net revenue is $ 6 million. It has offices also at Helsinki and Nagpur with a staff of over 100 software personnel.

“My grandfather Pandit Radhakishan Mishra had left his six children on the street to plunge into freedom struggle. My maternal uncle was in the Jaiprakash movement. So, I have the right background. When I decided to join the AAP movement, my wife was selfish upfront, asking why did I wanted to part with the cosy life when we have two children to bring up. I said this is the time to bring about change. She said if you are devoted to it and are not into the power game, I will be with you. That’s how we are here,” Prashant said.

Prashant belongs to Mohadi town in Bhandara district and had worked in various companies before joining Microsoft along with his gold medallist engineer wife Vandana, whom he first met at Bhandara’s Sunflag Industries. He has three patents under his belt for software innovations and still works as consultant to Microsoft.

His connect with Bhandara has remained uninterrupted as he has stayed there two months every year. His Nagpur unit employs boys mostly from the rural interiors of Bhandara. “I wasn’t prepared for this. But party said I have to fight to bring down one of the poster boys of corruption. And then, don’t people ask why do you expect a Shivaji to be born at your neighbour’s house? So, I agreed,” he said.

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