Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani) today conferred Distinguished Alumnus Awards (DAA) on thirteen eminent alumni of the institute. Since 2011, more than 70 alumni have received this prestigious award for their outstanding contribution in the field of academia, corporate, entrepreneurship, public life, philanthropy and community service, bringing honour and pride to the institute, and to the society.
This year’s winners include Sushil Kumar Roongta, Ex-Chairman, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL); Pramad Jandhyala, Co-founder, Latentview Analytics; Bhuvan Gupta, Co-founder and CTO, OfBusiness and Oxyzo; Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta, Founders of Grey Orange, a global robotics solutions company. Prof. Nasir Memon from New York University, Prof. Arul Jayaraman from Texas A&M University and Prof. Kartik Hosanagar from Wharton Business School are also proud recipients of the DAA.
This year, BITS Pilani introduced two more awards— BITS Ratna Awards, the highest recognition the institute will have for an alumnus, and the Distinguished Service Awards (DSA). Prashanth Palakurthi, Founder, Reflexis Systems and a noted philanthropist, is the sole recipient of the first-ever BITS Ratna Award, for his outstanding service to the corporate world, community, and to BITS Pilani. The Distinguished Services Award was conferred on the Late Capt. K Ravi Shanker of 118 Engineer Regiment posted in Jammu & Kashmir posthumously, for his supreme sacrifice to the motherland during Operation Rakshak in the year 1997. DSA was also conferred on four other alumni for their outstanding service to BITS Pilani.
The recipients were nominated by their peers from around the world, and were selected by a committee led by Amitabh Chaudhry, MD, Axis Bank, and a previous BITS Pilani DAA Awardee himself.
Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice Chancellor, said, “BITSians are an unstoppable force. They have time and again led from the front globally, and contributed to the significant social and economic development. Over 7,400 of them are Founders/Co-founders of enterprises. No wonder BITSians are known to be innovative, entrepreneurial, and strong leaders. Our stellar alumni is a tremendous support to our growth and our march to eminence.”
Arya Kumar, Dean – Alumni Relations, added, “Entrepreneurship as a career option continues to be their passion in life, as around 10% of the alumni plunge into this journey eventually. At present ten unicorns such as Swiggy, MPL, Bigbasket, Groww etc. in India have been Founded/Co-founded by a BITSian. These awards are a humble way to recognise the contribution of our alumni to the society.”