Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award

Shailendra Jagtap

John Deere India Pvt Ltd.

For tireless, career-long advocacy of diversity in engineering; and for far-reaching programs and policies that have improved the lives of women both inside and outside the company.

Shailendra Jagtap has served as the managing director and CEO of John Deere India Pvt Ltd. since 2019. He manages the India equipment, business strategy, operations, and execution; and he is responsible for two manufacturing facilities, a technology center, and a sales organization. Jagtap also leads the India team, comprising 14,000 employees. He also oversees the India operations for ETEC (Enterprise Technology Engineering Center), GITI (Global Information Technology India), and John Deere Financial. Under Jagtap’s leadership, John Deere India has significantly improved opportunities for women engineers and technicians.

After earning a B.E. in mechanical engineering at Shri G.S. Institute of Technology and Science, Indore (formerly SGS Institute of Technology and Science), Jagtap completed the special management program at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta in Kolkata, and, in 2011, a global 2030 program at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Jagtap has comprehensive technical expertise and more than 38 years of global experience in the commercial vehicle and agricultural equipment sectors of the automotive industry. He is a Six Sigma black belt and a certified diversity and inclusion trainer. With an earnest belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion should extend to all of the company’s stakeholders — employees, dealerships, and customers — Jagtap set a vision to create a 360-degree impact both inside and outside of John Deere.

In addition to supporting SWE India and being a key sponsor for India WomenREACH — John Deere India’s employee resource group for women — Jagtap’s leadership led to the development of new recruitment policies, talent and leadership development and mentoring, and infrastructure support, such as nursery facilities and gender-neutral workstations. As a result, 116 women employees have been nominated to leadership development programs. John Deere India was recognized as India’s Best Workplace for Women in 2019 and received the Out & Equal Ally Changemaker Award in 2021.

In 2021, convinced that a tractor manufacturer should foster positive change in agriculture, and knowing that driving a tractor is considered a man’s job in India, Jagtap and his leadership team visited Varude, a village in Pune, Maharashtra, to spearhead a project offering free tractor driving training to women farmers. Twelve Varude women took the training, learned a new skill, and eventually purchased a tractor for use on their farms and for rental income. The program expanded to three more Indian villages and has trained 135 women farmers to drive tractors.

Jagtap is a recipient of the 2023 SWE Local Integrator Award for supporting SWE India through volunteerism, sponsorship, and technical mentorship. An avid traveler, he loves to explore new places, cultures, and food, and learn from the people he meets. He enjoys spending time with family and playing golf.