Akshaya Pātra USA

Unlimited food for education

Nutanix founder to headline Akshaya Patra Benefit Event

Press Release


Contact: Krista McCarthy, Marketing Manager, 781-438-3090 x 7, Krista@apusa.org


STONEHAM, MA–The Akshaya Patra Foundation will be holding its 2017 Bay Area Benefit Gala on Sunday, September 10th at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley.  Dheeraj Pandey, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Nutanix, will be the event’s keynote speaker.  The event will feature Diane Greene, Google’s Senior Vice President of Google Cloud Business, as a guest speaker.

Dheeraj Pandey is the Founder, CEO & Chairman of Nutanix. He brings a wealth of experience of working at high growth enterprise software companies. Prior to founding Nutanix, Dheeraj was the VP of Engineering at Aster Data (now Teradata), where he helped build the product and its engineering team from the ground up. At Oracle, he managed the storage engine group for Oracle Database/Exadata, and co-authored numerous patents in the area of distributed databases. Dheeraj’s entrepreneurial spirit has been recognized with a number of prestigious awards including Dell’s Founders 50 and the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year, Silicon Valley. Dheeraj is a Ph.D. dropout from University of Texas (Austin), where he was a Graduate Fellow of CS. He holds a BS in CS from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Kanpur), where he was adjudged the “Best All-Rounder Student Among All Graduating Students in All Disciplines” and bestowed with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Diane Greene leads Google Cloud, a major Google business that is partnering with companies as they digitally transform their cultures and businesses. Diane is also a member of the Alphabet board, and Intuit’s and MIT’s boards. Diane co-founded and was CEO of VMware from 1998-2008, she took the company public and to a $2B run-rate. Before that, she co-founded and was CEO of a low-bandwidth streaming video company, VXtreme. She has held engineering and management positions at SGI, Tandem, and Sybase, ran engineering for Windsurfing International, and worked as a naval architect designing ships and large ocean structure deployment systems. Diane's degrees include a B.S. in mechanical engineering, an M.S. in naval architecture, and an M.S. in computer science from the University of Vermont, MIT, and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively. Diane is married, has two children, and was the 1976 National Women's Sailing Dinghy Champion.

The event will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley in East Palo Alto, California, and will begin with a welcome reception. Nearly 300 business, non-profit, government, and philanthropic leaders from around the region are expected to attend and support the organization’s dual mission of addressing childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India. Tickets are limited and the organization is encouraging interested individuals to reserve their tickets quickly.    

The event is sponsored by WestBridge Capital, Western Digital, Mayfield, Jyoti and Avinash Parwaney, Nari and Revathi Narendrnath, Chandra and Indu Mundra, Deutsche Bank, Dheeraj Pandey, Mohan and Padmasree Warrior.  Akshaya Patra is also supported by Bay Area Patrons Jyoti and Anil Godhwani, Gautam Godhwani, Satya and Krishan Kalra, Rajeev and Geetha Madhavan, Ashu Garg and Pooja Malik, Sumit and Smita Sandana, Sanjeev Sardana, Sarvajna and Seema Dwivedi, BV and Anu Jagadeesh.

Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra began by serving 1,500 in 5 schools in Bangalore. Today Akshaya Patra is the largest NGO-run school meal programs in the world and serves over 1.6 million children daily in over 13,808 schools through 30 kitchen facilities in twelve states in India.  Akshaya Patra has pioneered an innovative program design that combines technological innovation and government collaboration to create a highly effective, sustainable, and replicable school meal program.

Rather than compete with government-run school meal programs, Akshaya Patra has partnered with the federal and state governments to manage the school meal programs where requested. In return, the state and federal governments provide Akshaya Patra with cash and grain subsidies that drastically reduce the cost per meal by an average of 60%. This has enabled Akshaya Patra to reach twice as many children as it could on through fundraising alone. By working alongside the government, Akshaya Patra has ensured the school meal program is both effective and sustainable.

Another hallmark of the Akshaya Patra program are the centralized kitchen facilities that have been designed and engineered by our management team to optimize quality and minimize cost, time and labor. Using their own knowledge of engineering, they designed kitchens that can produce large quantities of high quality food at low cost and with minimum human intervention. Akshaya Patra kitchens are unique in impact, hygiene, and environmental sustainability:

For many of the children Akshaya Patra serves, our school meal is the only complete meal they will receive in a day. The meal serves as an incentive for struggling families to send their children to school where they will have access to the life-changing benefits of education. 

Akshaya Patra USA is the US branch of Akshaya Patra and raises funds and awareness for the school meal program in India. The Bay Area Chapter is one of Akshaya Patra USA’s oldest chapters.

This year’s event will feature an evening of networking, entertainment, and dinner.

For more information: Geetika@apusa.org or 415-317-3771

To register: Geeta@apusa.org or 408-209-8368

To register or purchase tickets: www.foodforeducation.org/bay-area-event