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Obituary - Amrit K Das, 1966CE - Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 20:47

Submitted by Apurba Tribedi, 94CE, Los Angeles, USA and edited by Tarun K Basu, 67CE, Texas, USA

Amrit K Das

We are saddened to inform you that our beloved Amrit-da (Amrit K Das) is no more. He passed away in a hospital in Kolkata on Saturday (August 27th) early morning. As many of you know he was suffering from a deadly disease for the last few months. May his soul rest in peace. He was a legend and his life will continue to be an inspiration for many of us.
 
AMRIT K. DAS was the Chairman, CEO and Founder of Research Engineers Inc. and then netGuru, Inc. He graduated from Bengal Engineering College in 1966 in Civil Engineering. Later on, he earned his master’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 1967 with specialization in computer applications in engineering. After getting Master’s degree, he moved to Philadelphia and started working in a Consulting Engineering Company (Catalytic Engineers).  After working there for few years doing structural analysis, he started thinking about going into engineering business. During that period, he developed STAAD, now one of the world’s leading general-purpose structural engineering software. He founded Research Engineers, Inc., in 1978. Widely known and respected in the Information Technology community worldwide. He is listed in the International Who’s Who of Global Business Leaders, Who’s Who of Outstanding Americans and Who’s Who of Leading American Executives. The California Chamber of Commerce recognized Mr. Das as their Man of the Year in 1996, in recognition of his achievements. In the same year, Research Engineers was listed as a public company in NASDAQ. Realizing the immense commercial potential of the Information Technology industry, he diversified into the areas of Internet, e-commerce, Digital Media and IT products and services. In November 2005, he sold the Engineering division of netGuru to Bentley Systems.
 
On top of his various professional achievements, Mr. Das was an innovator. He went to school in the segregated South in the 1960s. When he came to USA, he had no prior knowledge about computer.  He learned programming first and then started writing commercial level software in his spare time. If he was committed to an idea, he would leave no stones unturned in making it a reality. People said he couldn't start a software business as a structural engineer with little computer knowledge. He took STAAD to global heights and made it a household name. People said he couldn't take a company public and buy adjacent software businesses for piping, civil or architecture. He took REI public in 1996 and reached a market cap of $700m in 5 years. When people said diversifying outside of his expertise was foolish, he started the largest online e-commerce site for Kolkata and bought 3 IT companies to boot. And finally, when they said he knew little about the media business, he started a successful animation company, ran concerts with various Bollywood and Tollywood artists including Shah Rukh Khan and even made a feature film in memory of his first wife, Purabi Das. Although, he only survived to the age of 71, he lived the equivalent of ten lives. His legacy will inspire for many generations to come. 
 
He had the deepest love for his Alma Mater (B.E. College) and used to visit the campus when he was in town. He made a substantial contribution to set up Purabi Das School of Technology (PDSIT) at B.E. College, in memory of his first wife Purabi Das. All through his professional life, he was an advocate for BEC graduates and recruited many in his company. He was a proud BEC alumnus.  

Amrit K Das

His notable social commitments are:

  • "The Purabi Das” School of IT at his alma mater BE College  
  • Shaid Khudiram Smrity Mohavidyalaya in Balichak
  • Kamala bala high school in Balichak
  • Sri Aurobindo Vidyabhawan in Balichak

He is survived by his mother, Bela Rani Das, wife Tamisra(Mithu) Das, two sons Santanu Das & Andrew Das, daughter-in-law Kelly Das, daughter Sormistha Kerwin, son-in-law Paul Kerwin, grandkids Landon, Colin, Luke, Elliot & Connor.

Comments by Readers
Comments by D P Chakravorty from India on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at 02:01 - IP Logged
Proud Alumni of our Alma Mater. STAAD has been and will be a world renowned product. Amritda is our role model. He has been the epitome of what hardwork,sincerity and bundled with innovation can do. May His Soul Rest in Peace !!
Comments by Susobhan Ghosh from United States on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 08:23 - IP Logged
What an accomplisher? Do you know his baby "STAAD", a structural engineering software has been widely used in every continent, if not all the countries of the world? All the biggies, e.g., Bechtel, Flour, KBR, .... do use this program for their structural day to day engineering analysis and design works. Although I never had a chance to meet him, I did have few e-mail (frank) exchanges; I am a great FAN of him, and I salute him.
RIP .... .... .... .... Jai Ho !!
Comments by Nanda Chakravartti from United States on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 07:34 - IP Logged
Amrit was in my civil engineering class for five long years. Then again in New York / New Jersey area from 1970 onwards for many more years. He was our family friend as well. We used to make fun of him for his "tall talks" - but he proved by his achievements that he is worthy of it. Him and Purabi are very good souls and always had the energy and enthusiasm to do something out of the ordinary and big. With all the wealth and luxury he had - he always kept his feet on the ground. He disciplined (shielded them from luxury) his children Shantanu and Sharmishta with firm hands. That is why I believe they became responsible and caring citizens now. This I'll say is one of his greatest achievements - besides being CEO, multimillionaire etc. My heartfelt condolences to his family members - especially to Bela mashima who has to endure her son's death. May god give her strength to overcome this hurtful situation.
Nanda Chakravartti
B.E.College -1966 Civil Engineering
Comments by (Dr)ASOK KUMAR GHOSH from India on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 03:25 - IP Logged
NetGuru was very well known in the field of structural engineering and it was a real achievement by Amrit Das to reach the topmost level of structural engineering. His departure is a great loss for all junior engineers who could have learnt a lot from him. I express my heartfelt condolence to all his family members.
Comments by Dipak Ranjan Sen from India on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 00:51 - IP Logged
Dear Amrit da was also a guide like elder brother to lot of our college mates.
He allowed me to stay with his family until I got a substantial amount in hand after joining the first job in Philadelphiain 1973.
His early wife Purabi boudi was also very affectionate gentle lady to all our friends.
He was working very hard and tried very hard to show us the reality of technical education in proper sese.
All of us know that he was exceptioally brilliant and a successful enterprenour.
I owe him a great deal of great suggestions..
May his family members have god's blessings
Dipak--B.Arch-69
Comments by Manasij Das from India on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 00:36 - IP Logged
Amrit was my batchmate of 1966 passout
batch. He was civil and I was Electrical.
But first year we were in the same section so got friendly.He was not a very bright student like me and later
when I came to know about his immense
success I considered him as a role model for many many BEC alumni. I have
described his success to my son and have
tried to instil confidence in my son
in USA talking about Amrit. May the almighty give his soul a permanent place in heaven
Comments by Kajal Kumar Ghosh from India on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 18:21 - IP Logged
Amritda was our good friend and guide in our early part of life in USA .
I had contact with him all along even after our return from USA .
We had lots of gettogether along with drive in diff areas in USA.
It will be a very long story.
May God rest his soul in peace.
Shrimati & Kajal
Comments by Hari Balasubramanian from India on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 15:57 - IP Logged
Had several great interactions with Amrit da in the past. He was a good soul and always had the energy and enthusiasm to do something new and big. Heartfelt condolences to his family members.
Comments by Sabyasachi Gupta from United States on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 13:25 - IP Logged
His demise caught me in complete surprise !! I was his batch mate. Although not in the same branch ( myself in ME and Amrit in CE ), my recollection goes back to 1961 , both of us were residing in the same hostel , No. 12 . Everybody in that Hostel used to like him immensely, a fun loving guy, who used to play table tennis in the hostel !! Then , in 1978 , we lived in the same area of NJ near Cherry Hill, we again renewed our friendship, he was then working in Catalytic, but started his business first working part-time. I had so much faith in his abilities that even when lots of my friends doubted his eventual success, I used to tell them , " just wait and see", I was right !!
At that time, Amrit, Purabi, Shantanu and Shormistha became close family friends. The rest is history. Apart from his professional achievements, I will always remember him as a very fun loving guy. He loved Hindi movies and even a big fan of Helen's dances too!!
May his soul rest in peace.
Comments by Susobhan Ghosh from United States on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 12:39 - IP Logged
Happy to inform that he supported our CE students organization SOCCE by being a member of the SOCCE Fan club. When I solicited fund from him for SOCCE, he told me that he would have liked to do much more for his Alma mater, but he did not because he was not treated well after he set up Purabi Das School of Information Technology (PDIST). He did not divulge the details, but it was unfortunate to make an alumnus of his caliber unhappy.


 

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