Abhijit Pawar (born 17 February 1972) is the Managing Director of Sakal Media Group. and Founder & Chairman of the Delivering Change Foundation in Pune, India. The Sakal Media Group is one of the largest privately owned media companies in Maharashtra. Abhijit took up the role of ‘Group Managing Director’ of the entire media group in 2004 and his father Pratap Govindrao Pawar took up the role of ‘Mentor and Chairman’.
Upon joining the company Abhijit initiated a comprehensive modernization program that saw the company create several new verticals such as Events(Sakal Events), Online(eSakal and sakaaltimes.com), Digital TV(Saam TV), Agricultural Daily (Agrowon), Commercial Printing, Social Media and diversified across sectors in which he had prior work experience e.g. infrastructure, manufacturing, real estate and investment advisory services. Each business unit created at Sakal Media Group was designed to communicate and reach out to the grass roots of society and making sure that society is informed and educated in an inclusive manner.
Beyond Sakal Media Group
Abhijit Pawar is the Founder & Chairman of the Delivering Change Foundation (DCF), an independent organization that partners with governments and communities to accomplish nation transformation. The unique promise of DCF is to align boardroom policy with grassroots action by advancing the trilogy of Emotional Connect, Intensive Planning and Absolute Execution.
He is the Founder of the Sakal International Learning Centre which has been specifically created to impart employable and skill-based training that replaces regular pedagogy and offers several short, medium and long term courses in various areas such as Agriculture, IT, Entrepreneurship, Governance and many more.
Abhijit Pawar launched Agrowon, the first ever daily in India by Sakal Papers Pvt. Ltd. devoted to Agriculture on 19 April 2005. Agrowon is a 16-page tabloid published in Marathi. This daily started the movement to support farmers in their initiatives and contributed to the development of agriculture in Maharashtra. Agrowon caters to the micro information needs and education of farmers.
Abhijit Pawar is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), a world premier peer network of chief executives and business leaders. He has also been conferred the Young Presidents Organisation - World Presidents Organisation’s (YPO-WPO) highest award, the first Global Impact Legacy Honour at YPO Edge 2016 held in Dubai.
Abhijit Pawar is the Trustee and Director of 'Sakal Social Foundation' The trust is focused on being an advocate of social causes affecting the fabric of India as a nation. It conducts projects in various areas such as education, environment, health, city resilience and eradicating poverty.
He is a trustee of the ‘Sakal Relief Fund’. The ‘Sakal Relief Fund’ has been India’s foremost disaster relief and management fund and has supported displaced Indians and their rehabilitation since 1943.
He is the founder of Sakal International Learning Centre, which supplements and complements regular education and pedagogy with relevant skill based education that is both employable and relevant to business, government and social needs.
He is a Life Trustee of Sakal India Foundation which grants educational scholarships to deserving students for their higher education in India and overseas. The aim of this foundation is to promote education and research and international co-operation related to it with other countries.
Abhijit Pawar is also the Chairman of the Poona School and Home for Blind an NGO dedicated to the education and care of blind girls and boys. This is a residential facility, complete with skill training infrastructure and also makes assistance for emergency surgical procedures benefiting the blind.
He is a trustee of the Nanasaheb Parulekar Sakal Charity Trust which is focused on propagation and advancement of Journalism and Mass Communication with electronic media in particular and also open to other forms.
He is the Chairman and Trustee of the Nirdhar Tanishka which promotes and advocates issues related to women in the area of economic, social, political frameworks. It promotes women empowerment, education for girls, gender equality and livelihood options for women.
Abhijit Pawar has also founded the Tanishka Stree Pratishtha Abhiyaan. The 'Sakal Media Group' has become the voice of lakhs of unborn baby girls and has sensitized the society on the increasing incidences of female foeticide. It has appealed the masses to form a pressure group against this social evil. Responding to this appeal, thousands of women, especially school-going girls spontaneously joined the state-wide 'Lek Wachwa' (Save the Girl Child) campaign. It was in July 2012, when citizens from each corner of Maharashtra pledged to fight against pre-natal sex determination and sex selective abortions.
Abhijit is the Founder & Chairman of the Delivering Change Foundation (DCF), an independent organization that partners with governments and communities to accomplish Nation Transformation. DCF is committed to delivering socio-economic change through systemized programs that are fast and result oriented on a five-year timeline, yet intense and large scale for optimal last-mile impact. It is a 50:50 Joint Venture with BFR Institute of Malaysia which is a 100% subsidiary of PEMANDU(Performance Management & Delivery Unit), the PMO(Prime Minister’s Office), Government of Malaysia. DCF works closely with governments and local communities including those from Business, NGOs, Academia, Consulting and all grassroots level organizations and civic groups.
Abhijit is the Founder & Chairman of the Delivering Change Foundation (DCF), an independent organization that partners with governments and communities to accomplish Nation Transformation. DCF is committed to delivering socio-economic change through systemized programs that are fast and result oriented on a five-year timeline, yet intense and large scale for optimal last-mile impact. DCF has a collaboration with PEMANDU (Performance Management & Delivery Unit), the PMO(Prime Minister’s Office) of the Government of Malaysia via a 50:50 Joint Venture with the BFR institute of Malaysia, which is a 100% subsidiary of PEMANDU. DCF works closely with governments and local communities including those from Business, NGOs, Academia, Consulting and all grassroots level organizations and civic groups. The Delivering Change Foundation is committed to not merely harnessing, but actively galvanizing the power of people to come together to deliver transformational change. It is therefore committed to providing platforms to enable people of different socio-economic strata to form large, powerful networks that work in unison to deliver Transformational Change.
Young Inspirators Network (YIN)
Abhijit has provided a platform for the youth (in the age group of 18-24) to collaboratively network with each other on a “project initiative based” model thereby actively influencing policy formation and implementation via the Young Inspirators Network (YIN). YIN was created to focus on the personal, professional and social growth of the youth. This network is currently based in Maharashtra.
Abhijit has created the Tanishka Foundation to promote the dignity and security of women in Maharashtra. Any woman irrespective of her class, caste and in the age group of 24-65 years can be a member of Tanishka Foundation. It is an independent, inclusive and enabling network that helps women in the creation of forums of 20 members which are trained and empowered to run community level projects. These projects are being conducted under various themes that affect women such as their land rights, crime, education, health, environment and many others. Abhijit also recently launched the Tanishka Foundation in Mexico in collaboration with Elisa Salinas of The Women’s Project, Grupo Salinas Mexico and the Azteca Group.
Global Inspirators Network (GIN)
The Global Inspirators Network is a voluntary alliance of young citizens(in the age group of 18 to 35) striving for positive change within their individual, professional and societal spheres. GIN aims to create a spirited and unified platform that inspires and engages the youth and young working professionals to participate in the critical process of nation building. The unique promise of GIN is to integrate the young adults as a dynamic force in nation transformation, ensuring direct outcome through tangible results.
Delivering Smart Villages
‘Delivering Smart Villages’ is an initiative undertaken by Delivering Change Foundation and Agrowon with an aim to give a new direction to the rural economy by implementing a model with support from Israel. This project establishes a paradigm of progress that enables farmers to become self–reliant and achieve agricultural development.
Sakal International Leaning Center - Education & Upskilling
He is the founder of Sakal International Learning Centre, which supplements and complements regular education and pedagogy with relevant skill based education that is both employable and relevant to business, government and social needs. Launched with the objective of building leaders for transformational change, SILC’s focus is on providing a contemporary and practical learning environment to students, equipping them to emerge winners in an ever-changing and challenging milieu.
Boards & Committees
- Founder of the Young Inspirators Network
- Founder of the Tanishka Forum network
- Executive Committee Member - Indian Newspaper Society, Delhi
- Committee Member - NM Wadia Institute and Media Research & Users Council, Mumbai
- Committee Member, 2015 - Information Technology Steering Committee
- YPO Regional Elected Director, 2015 Board of Directors
- Founding Member – Pune International Centre, 2012 till date
- Committee Member- Media Research and Users Council
- Co-opted Member of MCCIA, Oct 2008 - till date
Past Positions / Champion Roles
- Executive Committee Member, 2012-2014 - Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA)
- Committee Regional Chair, 2010-2012 - Regional Chairs Council
- Committee Member, 2008-2010, International Events Committee
He is married to Mrunal Pawar who helps him with work at the Sakal Social Foundation. He has a son, Rahul and a daughter, Janhavi. Abhijit loves sports, reading and has a holistic approach towards human development.