Education and Early Career
M.L. grew up in Punjab, India. He moved to the United States in 1960, and after earning a master’s degree in Engineering at Purdue University, started his career with in the development lab of IBM San Jose. While working with IBM and holding various senior positions, he also acquired an MBA from the Santa Clara University. In 1967, M.L. moved back to India to work with IBM India as head of exports, a role in which he was responsible for providing products to all IBM International locations as a measure to help reduce the deficit in the balance of payments in India at the time.
After IBM closed in late 1977, M.L. bought the IBM facility and provided employment to all IBM employees working in the manufacturing facilities to make cooking ranges and washing machines for the local market. He simultaneously started a facility in the Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) manufacturing floppy recording heads (technology completely unknown at that time in India) for exports to Tandon Magnetics, a company his brother, Sirjang Lal Tandon, incorporated in 1976.
For the first time in India, his companies manufactured and exported recording heads, floppy discs, hard disk drives and power supplies to leading computer companies such as IBM, Hitachi, Compaq and others.
M.L. also promoted and served as chairman and managing director for Tandon Motors Pvt. Ltd., Eastern Peripherals, Ultra Tek, Golden Computer Systems Inc., Tancom Electonics and Advance Technology Devices.