Bombay: Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani) today awarded Distinguished Alumnus Awards (DAA) to thirteen distinguished alumni of the institute. Since 2011, more than 70 alumni have received this prestigious award for their outstanding contribution to academia, business, entrepreneurship, public life, philanthropy and community service, bringing honor and pride in the institute and in society.
This year’s winners are Sushil Kumar Roongta, former Chairman of 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 Gray Orange, a global robotic solutions company. Teacher. Nasir Memon from New York University, Prof. Arul Jayaraman from Texas A&M University and Professor Kartik Hosanagar from Wharton Business School are also proud recipients of the DAA.
This year, BITS Pilani presented two more awards – BITS Ratna Awards, the highest honor the institute will have for an alumnus, and the Distinguished Service Awards (DSA). Prashanth Palakurthi, founder of Reflexis Systems and renowned philanthropist, is the sole recipient of the first-ever BITS Ratna Award, for his outstanding service to business, the community and BITS Pilani. The Distinguished Services Award was given to the late Captain K Ravi Shanker of the 118 Engineer Regiment stationed in Jammu and Kashmir posthumously, for his supreme sacrifice to the motherland during Operation Rakshak in 1997. DSA was also awarded to four other alumni for their outstanding service to BITS Pilani.
The winners were nominated by their peers around the world and selected by a committee led by Amitabh Chaudhry, MD, Axis Bank, and a former BITS Pilani DAA winner himself.
Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice Chancellor, said: “BITSians are an unstoppable force. They have time and again taken the lead on a global scale and contributed to important social and economic development. More than 7,400 of them are Founders/Co-founders of companies. No wonder BITSians are known for being innovative, enterprising, and strong leaders. Our brilliant alumni are 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 alumni eventually embark on this journey. At present, ten unicorns such as Swiggy, MPL, Bigbasket, Groww, etc. in India were founded/co-founded by a BITSian. These awards are a humble way to recognize the contribution of our alumni to society.