He is an organization theorist and a management expert by training. Born in Mumbai, India, he became a chartered accountant in 1964, did his MBA from Wharton School, US, his PhD from the Carnegie-Mellon University, and then taught at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, for a few years. His avid interest in India's socio-economic transformation led him to return to India in 1975 to teach at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA). He later held the L&T Chair in Organizational Behaviour at IIMA, and served as its Director. He retired from IIMA in 2002.
Khandwalla has authored over a dozen books, notably on the design of organizations, turnaround management, styles of management, effective management of state-owned enterprises, corporate greatness and excellent management of the government. He has served on the editorial boards of several of the world's leading journals that publish research on organizations. The present work on creative society is the third in the trilogy on creativity, the previous two being on creativity and corporate creativity. He has authored three books of poems in English and one in Gujarati and has translated several volumes of poems and stories from English into Gujarati and vice versa.
He has served on the boards of Indian corporates and public sector corporations, and been on the governing bodies of academic, government and other institutions. He has been felicitated twice with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Four of his books have secured the Best Management Book of the Year Award. One has been translated into Mandarin Chinese.