CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 5, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SMART Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:SMT) (TSX:SMA), a leading provider of collaboration solutions, today announced the appointment of Sanjiv Pande to the newly created position of country director, India and South Asia. Pande will be based in Delhi, India, with a mandate to develop new business and education opportunities for SMART throughout India and South Asia. He will manage in-country SMART staff and oversee the operations and product sales of distributors and dealers. The creation of this senior-level role reinforces SMART's commitment to this important market. Pande has a bachelor's degree in engineering electronics from MS University in Baroda, Gujarat, and brings more than 20 years of experience in IT and education to the role. He reports to SMART President and Chief Operating Officer, Tom Hodson. Pande comes to SMART with a strong senior-level management background acquired from some of the world's leading IT companies, including HCL-HP – India's largest IT hardware company – Tata Elxsi, IBM and NIIT – India's leading education development company. During his time with these companies, Pande held a variety of positions, including general manager for government and large enterprise; general manager for Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan; country executive for midmarkets in India; and president of School Learning Solutions. As country executive for midmarkets in India, Pande expanded this section of IBM's business from US$50 million to US$150 million in only two years. In his role at NIIT, he led a project to bring activity-based computer education to economically weaker sections of India and was the architect of an accelerated growth strategy for NIIT's private school business. Through this project, Pande worked closely with state governments and ministries, developing strong relationships and working agreements. With more than five million classrooms nationally(1), India represents significant market potential for SMART. These market conditions, combined with Pande's experience in the country, offers SMART an opportunity to expand its product penetration and usage across India in both education and business settings.