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  Aditya Birla Group Scholarships: Batch 2011
Aqsa Inayat: BITS ( Pilani) Rajasthan
For the people in the valley

Born in Baramulla, in Kashmir, Aqsa Inayat had always wanted to walk a path different from the one chosen by most of the girls around her. It was her parents who inspired her to excel in academics and other activities. Her school, being the only one in the valley to provide online education, gave her an opportunity to learn about modern technologies. The tours and field visits during her school days gave her an idea about the lack of knowledge regarding applications of computer science in Kashmir. This inspired her to become a part of the technological revolution of computer science. She chose BITS Pilani to pursue higher studies so that she can gain maximum knowledge in the subject she loves the most, viz., Computer Science. She plans to start her own organisation in the valley so as to help increase computer literacy in the state and also provide employment to the jobless. In the future, she also wants to reach a level wherein she will be able to provide quality education to talented youth so that their dreams to join institutions like IIT, BITS Pilani, etc., come true. She believes that “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
Rohit Pathak: BITS ( Pilani)
Innovative engineer

Hailing from Nagaland, Rohit Pathak says that it was his family who encouraged him to pursue Engineering as a career. He too had a basic affinity towards mathematics and logical reasoning. After completing his tenth standard, he studied the basics of C++, from where he became inclined towards Computer Science. He topped his class XII board examinations and sought entry into the prestigious BITS – Pilani to pursue his dream. After completing his studies, he plans to become an innovative engineer and do research in computer software.
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Amit Kumar: IIM Bangalore
Green ideas

Amit Kumar excelled in both his studies and extra-curricular activities during his school and college days. He won several prizes for puzzle competitions and participated in technical, cultural, and sports events. His first job at Adobe Systems saw him being employed as a PDF library developer in CoreTech. As a part of his job profile, he promoted and encouraged the use of Acrobat. Soon he too developed a passion for the use of Acrobat and learnt that digital media could actually help in minimising the use of paper, reducing carbon footprints, and thus preserve the environment. He decided to study management at IIM Bangalore to learn more about the business initiatives that would help him turn his dream into a reality.
Amitansu Kar: IIM Bangalore
Eyeing online retail

It was his passion for computers that inspired Amitansu Kar to take up Computer Science Engineering at BITS Pilani. He loved programming and wanted to develop software that would create an impact in a business environment. While at his first job at D E Shaw & Co, he developed software models for the funds accounting group, that was responsible for managing approximately $20 billion of investment capital. His work experience at Shaw provided him with an opportunity to learn how IT can be used as a strategic investment to gain a competitive advantage in business. Having had the experience of developing large scale enterprise software products, he nurtured a dream to develop a sustainable business venture based out of India that will leverage the concept of online retail. He is also keen to develop a business model, which would help preserve ancient art and sustain artisans and the environment. After completing his studies from IIM Bangalore, he is planning to work in the field of business development for an Internet-based retail company. He believes that this experience will help him in establishing his own business venture in the future.
Gaurav Chandwani: IIM Calcutta
Understanding the holistic view

Gaurav Chandwani made a flying start to his professional career at his first job at Aricent where his efforts were recognised through an official award and him scoring the highest rating amongst all the new hires. His second job in Italy threw a new set of challenges in front of him, wherein he had to manage multicultural and multinational teams and had to implement various projects across countries in Europe. This exposure made him realise the need to improve his understanding of business aspects. He thought a formal education in business management would be of immense help and enrolled himself into IIM Calcutta. He believes that the management degree will provide him with an ideal platform to launch the next phase of his career. After completion of his course, he plans to choose management consulting as a career option, as this will allow him to work across industries and geographies, adapt best practices and develop a holistic understanding of business.
Gopal Balakrishnan: IIM Ahmedabad
Learning the ropes

Gopal Balakrishnan co-founded Santacruz Ventures with the simple idea of 'picking up a stake in the common man's dream', and hoped that by 2040, the word poverty would be officially eliminated. Though the idea was successful (the company purchased a stake in a food cart and in a barber's shop), Gopal and his business partners could not convince their investors that their venture would be sustainable in the long run. Therefore, inspire of breaking even within four months of starting business and even earning a return in excess of 20 per cent, in a major setback he and his partners had to shut down the micro-equity operations.

However, Gopal didn't lose hope and neither did he give up on his dream. He wanted to analyse what exactly went wrong in his business. He realised that there are two primary aspects to a successful and sustainable implementation of his idea, one is education and the other exposure.

He joined IIM Ahmedabad to fulfil his dream and to learn why the idea failed and why success, in terms of returns, did not translate into success in terms of continuing investments. After completing his graduation, he plans to work in a venture capital (VC) firm to understand the processes and philosophies that VC firms adhere to at the million dollar scale. He believes that this will help him develop the required processes that will build investor confidence even in the thousand rupee scale.
Maneesh Menon: IIM Ahmedabad
Venture capitalist in the making...

Belonging to an Air Force family, Maneesh Menon got the opportunity to travel across the country during his formative years, meet people of different cultures and appreciate diversity. As he strived to excel in new environments, he developed the ability to adapt quickly, and it taught him not to become complacent at any stage.

He chose Engineering as a career and joined BITS Pilani to study Electrical and Electronics Engineering. During his course, he undertook various roles such as that of a teaching assistant and placement coordinator and was also involved in developing several embedded system-based projects. This experience provided him with valuable insights into how technology can be leveraged to solve real life problems. To further pursue his interest in technology, he joined Nvidia as a hardware design engineer, where he designed and developed high end graphic chips. Over this period, he realised that technology has the potential to provide a new momentum to promote inclusive growth in India; however, it is important to evolve cost effective and sustainable ways to bring it to use. He therefore quit Nvidia and decided to join IIM Ahmedabad to learn business and managerial skills. After completing his studies he plans to pursue a career, first as a management consultant, wherein he can learn about the various facets of business and then ultimately move onto the venture capital role, preferably in the technology sector.
Nikhil Gulati: IIM Ahmedabad
Combining technology and management

After his early childhood in New Delhi, Nikhil Gulati moved to the US with his family when he was 15. He completed his Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and his Master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas in the US. After completing his studies, he started working at Dell, USA, as a software engineer. At the same time, he also got involved with the Association for India's Development (AID), an organisation that raises funds in the US for grassroots level projects in India. His primary aim to join AID was to learn about the current development issues faced by the large sections of Indian society. He soon developed a keen interest in activities related to India.

Following a two-year stint at Dell, Nikhil was eager to come back to India. He moved back and the first thing he did was spend six months doing voluntary work in a small village in Rajasthan. In the initial phase, he faced huge challenges; however, eventually he settled down and started teaching basic literacy skills to women and children.

Working in a large organisation like Dell taught him what a private enterprise can achieve through good management and innovation. On the other hand, the experience of working in a village made him see the importance of connecting his work to society. He decided to pursue higher studies at IIM Ahmedabad to equip himself with practical leadership and managerial skills. He aims to work on problems wherein he can combine his knowledge in technology with the development sector. He believes that his present course of study at IIM Ahmedabad will help him achieve the same.
Nilkesh Patra: IIM Shillong
Enhancing leadership skills

Throughout his academic career, Nilkesh Patra succeeded in maintaining a consistently remarkable performance. He won the gold medal for the best graduate at NIT Rourkela and also cleared the level-1 of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Similarly, he excelled in his job front too. He won several awards for his quality deliveries and commitment towards work.

His experience at work taught him to manage resources effectively, follow market dynamics and develop team building skills.

With an objective to grow higher in his career, he thought it best to pursue a management degree. He joined IIM Shillong and hopes that the exposure will help him develop both personally and academically and also polish his leadership skills.
Noufal Basheer: IIM Bangalore
To serve the poor

A native of Kerala, joining IIT was something beyond Noufal Basheer's dreams, till it actually happened. He owes his success to his Mathematics teacher, Mr. P. A. Jacob, who discovered his quantitative aptitude in junior college and encouraged him to pursue Engineering as a career.

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, he dreams of setting up his own enterprise in the future. He wants his first business venture to be directed towards improving the standard of living of the poor. It was during his internship at ITC Limited's Saharanpur factory in 2009, that he realised that an MBA would prepare him better to build a business of his own. Following completion of his project at ITC, he joined IIM Bangalore to fulfill his dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Shreeya Roy: IIM Lucknow
Making a difference to the lives of people

Born in a simple Bengali family and living in the heart of New Delhi, Shreeya Roy learnt to analyse and select the best of both the cultures. As a member of the student council in college, she was instrumental in organising the college festival where she was responsible for managing 16 teams and the nitty-gritties of 12 events. This exposure made her realise that she liked working in teams where real time strategic decisions had to be taken.

Later, her job stint at Maruti Suzuki was also a learning experience for her. She was exposed to the enormity of the scale of activities that take place in running an organisation where one has to account for varied functionalities. The challenges that the job threw in front of her made her realise that she enjoyed working on diverse elements of a project rather than focusing on a single aspect. This diversity appealed to her and she decided to pursue an education in management, and thus the move to IIM Lucknow happened.

Post-IIM, she aims to be a part of the top management of such an organisation where she will be in a position to make a significant difference to people and the society as a whole.
Sweety Samaiya: IIM Lucknow
Building homes for poor

When Sweety Samaiya was 15, her father took her to the top of a 90m high chimney that he had built. The idea of a building rising from nothing to something as big as the chimney mesmerised her and it was this incident that marked the beginning of her affair with buildings and motivated her to study architecture at IIT Roorkee.

She studied low cost housing in great detail with an aim to build homes for the poor in the future. However, much to her disappointment, she realised that though she had the theoretical knowledge, she lacked the business knowledge needed to make a difference.

She decided to study business management to have clarity on the feasibility aspects of her ideas including the financial, operational and planning issues involved. After completing her studies at IIM Lucknow, she wishes to work towards her passion of building homes and hopes that her dream of 'home for all' is fulfilled soon.
Virendra Shekhawat: IIM Ahmedabad
Star performer!

Born in an army family, Virendra Shekhawat had the privilege of assimilating the diversity and uniqueness of different cultures. While adapting to change, he made sure that his academic performance remained unaffected. He didn't disappoint either, as he was in the top 1 percentile of CBSE XII examination and also qualified for JEE (AIR 331) and premedical examinations simultaneously. He joined IIT Kharagpur to become a B.Tech computer science undergrad. Here too he performed remarkably well by winning the best B.Tech research project award and presented various research papers in AQIS, Japan and TIFR, Mumbai.

Later, belying everyone's expectations by turning away lucrative job offers, he joined a start up, iRunway, as its third employee. Here too success awaited him in the form of three out-of-turn promotions! He was the lead consultant in over 15 cases including some of the most high profile cases in the US, that resulted in over $600 million favourable settlements. With a goal to scale higher in his career, he decided to acquire the right management skills in planning, finance, business development and people management. He joined IIM Ahmedabad as he believes that the institute will equip him with a business education that will help him provide a wider picture of the industry and management. He plans to establish his own business venture in the future in the technology domain that can benefit from the myriad opportunities in India.
Vivek Darera: IIM Bangalore
Providing a better lifestyle

Hailing from a Sindhi business family, Vivek Darera was born and brought up in Mysore. After completing his Bachelor's degree at SJCE, Mysore, he went to Bangalore to study at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). After completing his Masters degree from IISc he joined Intel research, where he twice won Intel's second highest honour, the 'Divisional Recognition Award', for his outstanding contributions.

Being afflicted with asthma, healthcare always remained an area of keen interest for him. He believes that thanks to the advent in technology, people suffering from chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and repetitive strain injury can now lead a better lifestyle.

He has worked extensively on addressing such problems. He has developed body wearable sensor systems that monitor a patient's body parameters within the setting of their everyday life and provide a sixth sense to the user about their illness. The sensors alert users about potential problems that might worsen their condition. He holds a patent to his credit for the research and has also published several research papers in various conferences in this field.

He now aims to take this research out of the lab and to the people. He joined IIM Bangalore to seek the necessary knowledge and confidence to catalyse his transition. He aims to set up a successful business in this field.
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Akash Goel: IIT Kanpur
A career in research

Since school days Akash Goel was fascinated by the subject of Mathematics. He found it thrilling to spend hours thinking about mathematical problems during his preparation for the Olympiad. According to him, Mathematics is the most elegant tool to explain physical laws and to model physical phenomena. Explaining new situations using calculus, graphs, numerical estimates and other mathematical tools, and finally physically interpreting the results gave him an immense satisfaction. Currently pursuing his academics at IIT Kanpur, he plans to complete his B.Tech in Computer Science, and get a BS in Physics. After graduation, he aspires to secure a post graduation in pure Physics and pursue a career in research.
Anshul Rai: IIT Kanpur
Changing the way the world lives

Hailing from Bokaro steel city, Jharkhand, Anshul Rai has had a great affinity towards simple practical models and experiments. This, coupled with a great liking for Physics and Mathematics, made him choose Engineering as a career. He chose to study Electrical Engineering at IIT Kanpur, as he was always fascinated by electricity and its myriad forms. After completing his education, he plans to develop a new electrical technology that can change the way the world lives. He believes that path breaking developments coupled with good business outreach can do a lot of good for the society.
Dilip Kainikkara: IIT Madras
Aiming high

Dilip Kainikkara says that it was his mother, a high school Physics teacher, who instilled in him a love for applied Physics. During school days, it was the chapters on electrical phenomena that interested him the most. His participation in the 'Science aptitude development programme' at S B College, Changanacherry, Kerala, helped him gain exposure to the realm of electronics. It was this deep interest for electrical and electronics applications of Physics that motivated him to choose Electrical Engineering as a career. Currently pursuing his Engineering at IIT Madras, he aims to work for the advent of nanoelectronics and complete his M.Tech in the future.
Prudhvi Immadi: IIT Bombay
Exploring the subtility of Physics

Prudhvi Immadi was always fascinated by the subtlety of Physics in explaining many a natural phenomena. It was this fascination and his early exposure to the subject through various educational camps during his school days that influenced him and made him choose electronics and communications at IIT Bombay. What he likes the most in his favourite subject is the application of communication science to produce new gadgets. He plans to excel in his chosen field and possibly do research in the same. He also nurtures a desire to appear for the Civil Services examination.
Rohan Jaishankar: IIT Madras
Fascinated by bio-science

Rohan Jaishankar's love for Maths, Physics and biological sciences, made him choose Electrical engineering at IIT Madras. In high school, he was fascinated by the functioning of the human body and also by the improvements in vaccines and healthcare. This led him to opt for the Biology group in his 11th and 12th standard in CBSE. He also undertook a two-month long MRI project at VHS, Chennai, with the department of Neurological Sciences, to understand the basis for MRI analysis, the interpretation of MRI reports and their correlation with neurological disorders faced by people. Currently pursuing his Engineering at IIT Madras, he plans to make a career in applied research and commercial enterprise, to apply Maths and Physics in Life Sciences and use technology advancements to explore the various unresolved mysteries surrounding bio-sciences today.
Sandeep D'souza: IIT Kharagpur
Making it big in electronics

Sandeep D'souza considers himself to be lucky to have cracked the IIT-JEE 2011 (All India rank of 407) and made it to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). With both his parents being practising chartered accountants, Finance and Economics always intrigued him, but his interest lay in Science and Technology. In his early teens, he had even tried his hand at dabbling with electrical and electronic gadgets. He chose Electronics as a subject of study at the plus two level in college. When in class XI, he qualified among the top 50 students in India to participate at Techniche 09 – the festival of IIT (Guwahati), where his interest in robotics deepened. He believes that confidence through hard work is the key to succeed in all endeavours. He aims to become an entrepreneur in the future and make a difference in the world of electronics.
Sarang Nath: IIT Delhi
Harnessing solar energy

Sarang Nath chose Chemical Engineering (B.Tech) at IIT Delhi as he was interested in the fields of energy, environment and material science. Brought up in the academic environment of IIT (his father is a scientist) he naturally developed an early interest in becoming one as well. His hard work and determination in high school was rewarded through an AIR of 81 in IIT-JEE and AIR of 19 in AIEEE. He feels that a chemical engineer who is enthusiastic about Biology and has a strong grasp of physico-chemical principles, mathematical tools and computational abilities has exciting opportunities. His goal is to master the fundamentals taught in the undergraduate programme and pursue higher studies in a reputed institution in India or abroad. He plans to develop new technologies, which can harness solar energy in a photosynthetic process, and apply such processes in the industry, to benefit the masses and usher in a sustainable new world.
Shouvik Sachdeva: IIT Kanpur
Turning designs into reality
Sumegha Garg: IIT Delhi
A career in academics

Hailing from a middle-class family of Bathinda in Punjab, Sumegha Garg says it was her father, an electrical engineer at Guru Nanak Dev thermal plant, Bathinda, who first helped her discover her favourite subject, i.e., Mathematics. Later, when her brother took up Computer Science at IIT Delhi and started sharing his experiences with her, she too developed a keen interest in the subject. Her passion for Mathematics helped her clear the Indian National Mathematics Olympiad and gave her an opportunity to attend the International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC) at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) in Mumbai. The other subject that fascinated her was Physics. Again it was her passion for the subject that saw her win the gold medal at the 42nd International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) with the 11th position among 393 students from all over the world. Her analytical skills gave her the confidence to pursue Engineering as a career. After completing her graduation, she plans to pursue her PhD in a field of her choice and eventually take up a career in academics and research as she believes that one masters a subject in its entirety only when one teaches it.
Surbhi Goel: IIT Delhi
Giving it back to the society

Coming from a family of engineers and doctors, Surbhi Goel did not have to look any further for inspiration. With a keen interest in Mathematics and Logic, she cleared the Indian National Mathematics Olympiad (INMO) in class XI and was selected among the top 30 of the country to attend a training camp. By this time, she had also developed an intense liking for Logic and programming and therefore chose to pursue higher studies in Computer Science and Engineering. After completing her studies she wants to get into research and development and develop an innovative technology, which would reach out to the common people. She plans to bring about a change in the society, work for its betterment and give back to the society in whatever way she can.

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