The handsome gentleman in the picture is fellow Windows MVP Anand Khanse. While I have known Anand for a number of years, it was only until recently that I had the opportunity to interview him for my “MVP Interview” series. Anand has been a Microsoft Windows-Expert Consumer MVP since 2006 and lives in India.
1. Anand, please tell us a little of your background:
I have completed my MBA in Finance, and worked for a couple of years in the corporate sector, before realizing that a job was not for me. I then started my own business, which I am currently still running. I now stay with my family in Pune and run an Advertising business. I am not a full-time blogger.
I blog for passion and fun. It is a great way for me to relax. Blogging is a leisure activity which has now turned into a part-time profession for me. I juggle my time between my family, my business and blogging.
2. How did you become an MVP, and what were your thoughts when you first heard of getting the award?
I first laid my hands on a Windows XP computer around 10 years back. It all started when my office Windows XP computer just would not boot. The tech engineer gave me the stock reply – you will have to format the computer. I had no backups, and I was in no position to lose my data.
So I visited a tech forum, asked questions, received answers, implemented them and was able to recover my PC and my data. It was a great feeling and a moment of jubilation for me. I, being a non-techie, had done something which the tech guy just couldn’t! And that’s when my interest grew, and my participation in the forum. And before I realized it, I had graduated from asking questions, to answering them. This was 8-9 years back.
While I was active on some forums, Microsoft noticed my activities and contacted me. I had never heard of the Microsoft MVP Award, nor was I aware of its importance.
When they first wrote to me, I rechecked the mail. Must be a joke! Was it a spam, maybe? No it wasn’t. Then I actually wrote back to them and said: Hey, are you sure, you want to give me the MVP award; I am no techie!
The reply I received was that the MVP Award was not meant for uber-geeks, but for folks like me, who reach out to help. It was in 2006 that I first received Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award in the Desktop (now Windows-Expert Consumer) category, and have been an MVP since then.
3. Now, I know you are a Windows Expert-consumer MVP like me, but what areas or subjects do you like to ‘specialize’ in or feel you are most proficient in?
I like to troubleshoot Windows end-user problems and love to tinker with Optimization tweaks – though I have to say that one doesn’t really need to optimize Windows 7 and later. Still, the habit of tweaking and experimenting is a little difficult to suppress. Following developments about malware and Windows security is another thing that interests me.
I believe that the best tutorials are borne out of one’s own experiences. If you face a problem, you find the solution. You find the solution, you blog about it. That is how I go about it. I also visit some tech forums and see if any issues are troubling Windows users, and then blog about potential solutions. In fact one of my blog posts was made into the First MVP FixIt.
4. Tell us about your site, The Windows Club: what made you decide to start your own site and forums?
TheWindowsClub.com gets over 4 million page views a month and primarily covers Windows tips, how-to’s, articles, downloads, etc. My blog www.TheWindowsClub.com is all about the Windows operating system, although it does cover other consumer Microsoft software & services too. We primarily focus on discussing Windows features, offering tips, fixes and troubleshooting Windows.
I used to get a lot of mail asking questions and for my help, and I felt that I was just unable to attend to them all. That’s when I decided to start a forum, where folks could direct their questions to, and get solutions from expert members from various fields. I still do get that, in spite of having Comments open under the blog posts and a live forum. I try to reply what and when I can.
What started as a single author blog, is now a multi-author blog, where 3 other MVPs and other Windows enthusiasts contribute.
Our site offers over 80 freeware and other releases developed for the Windows users. A rare feat, if I may say so myself, for any Windows website. Our freeware have been mentioned on Washington Post and even discussed on FoxNews TV Live.
5. Downtime: what things do you like to do away from technology?
Actually, technology is my down-time. Blogging is a creative outlet for expression. It offers a complete change from an otherwise non-techie profession that I am engaged in. When I am free from business affairs, in the evening, I love to open my laptop and check out what is happening in the world of Windows. I actually rub my hands in glee, when I am able to find a troubleshooting topic on which I can make a post.
Apart from this, I love travelling around the world with my family and building memories. After all, what is life, but a collection of memories! And I want a rich set of memories with my family before I exit the world. 🙂