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Sharad K. Tak, M.S. '69, of Bethesda, Md., Distinguished Alumni Award

By Barbara A. Byers

Release Date: March 3, 2009

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Sharad Tak

Sharad Tak received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from ITT Mumbai, and came to the University at Buffalo on a fellowship. He was among the first class to receive a master of science degree in computer science from UB.

After a few years as a senior computer engineer Tak established the System and Applied Sciences Corporation. Later renamed ST Systems Corporation (STX), the company provided programming and systems integration services to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense and other governmental agencies. STX reached approximately $70 million in annual sales in 1991 when Tak sold it to Hughes Aircraft.

Now Tak is an entrepreneur with ventures around the world in infrastructure development (including power plant, refinery and petroleum-exploration activities), information technology, communications, business services and commercial real estate. He currently has holdings in a number of companies, including E-Com Systems, based in Gaithersburg, Md., which develops and implements advanced approaches to the conduct of business-to-business transactions via the Internet; ST Power Systems, Inc., which built and operates a 250-megawatt thermal power plant in India; TAK Investments LLC; ST Paper, which concentrates on the production of tissues and is a supplier to the container industry; and Nam International, which operates three luxury properties in Bermuda. Tak consolidated his diverse business interests in 2005 when he formed his ST Group.

Past ventures include Orange Technologies, Inc., a global provider of IT solutions to the likes of the departments of the Treasury and Defense and the Internal Revenue Service, and TAK Communications, a group of nine network-affiliated television stations and three FM radio stations.

Tak was a key volunteer in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Science's feasibility study for a proposed fundraising campaign.

His wife, Mahinder Kaur Tak, M.D., a radiation oncologist and retired U.S. Army colonel, was listed as one of the top 100 collectors of art in the country last year by Art & Antique magazine. Their home in Bethesda, Md., houses one of the most important collections of contemporary Indian art in the country.