BITSAA Alumni Summit

Keeping in mind its resolute mission to keep the alumni of BITS connected to their alma mater and to maintain the integrity and strength of the vast alumni community, BITS Alumni Affairs Division – Student Team Goa, conducted the Alumni Summit 2015 on the 30th of August 2015. It was a first of its kind event and witnessed speakers who had established themselves in various fields of life. They reminisced about their life back at the BITS campuses and their journey thereafter.

Seven speakers were invited to take the stage – Anugula Rakesh Reddy- a BJP Youth Wing politician and the founder of Nirmaan, Akash Gupta- the founder of Grey Orange Robotics, Jenish Mehta- a Graduate Student at California Institute of Technology, Ajay Chaturvedi- the founder of HarVa and a published Author, Nikita Bhardia- an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and the founder of Udaan, Harish Sivaramakrishnan – the lead singer of the band Agam and Garv Malik- a stand up comedian and founder of OpenMics.

A Rakesh Reddy


Anugula Rakesh Reddy, the first speaker spoke about how he joined politics after graduating from BITS. His experience at BITS in contesting elections, and his role as the General Secretary during his time at BITS motivated him to take up politics. He mentioned how the BITSian tag was special for him as it distinguished him from the crowd. He stressed on the need for educated people to take up the responsibility of changing the political landscape in India and talked about political entrepreneurship as a career.

Akash Gupta

He was followed by Akash Gupta who left behind enticing job offers from the USA, South Korea etc. and followed his heart into starting up a hardware product company. He spoke about his belief in taking risks and enjoying work, and how challenges are an important aspect in an entrepreneurial journey. Excerpts from his college life were a major part of his speech and he also talked about AcYut, India’s first humanoid robot. He encouraged students to be passionate about their dreams.

Jenish Mehta

Jenish Mehta, a student of Theoretical Computer Science at California Institute of Technology took stage next. He walked us through his journey to Caltech and spoke about various aspects of Theoretical Computer Science and its applications. In surprisingly simple words he explained fascinating concepts such as zero knowledge proofs. He then moved on to say a few words about perseverance and effort, and how we must endure a lot of pain to succeed in the field we are truly passionate about.

Garv Malik

Having graduated very recently with a degree in Civil Engineering, Garv Malik could relate really well to the people in the audience. He described his journey in the eight semesters of BITS and jokes about how being a Civil Engineer enhanced his sense of humour. Stand-up comedy comes naturally to him. He started off by sharing jokes by gathering his friends and slowly, after a lot of experimentation, he managed to find his way into shows and flagged off his career in stand-up comedy. Even though he was not appreciated early on in his career, he didn’t give up. Along with building his career as an artiste, he also established to provide a platform for comedians.

Harish Sivaramakrishnan

Harish Sivaramakrishnan, the voice of Agam, gave an inspiring speech sharing his experiences at BITS and after that. He narrated the story about how he discovered his passion for music and web page designing during his college years. Despite not having much interest in his own branch of engineering, he never got demotivated and instead found his salvation in creative areas like music. While his dream job offer from Adobe served as inspiration for all the students, his stint at Freecharge as its 4th employee caught the attention of the startup enthusiasts. His life story was summed up in a single line – “Do what you love in life, for if you love your work, it won’t seem like a burden! Rather you’ll enjoy doing it.” In the end, he sang on public demand and that energized the atmosphere.

Nikita Bharadiya

Nikita Bharadiya, a young and active alumnus of BITS Goa motivated young BITSians by throwing light on different aspects of her life. She was extremely motivated to crack CAT and had the exact percentile in her mind so that she works towards a specific goal. She explained how life at BITS Goa transformed her from a silent, shy person to a fearless young woman. She mentioned how she founded UDAAN for empowerment of poor and deprived women, the difficulties she faced and how she overcame those. She narrated the story of her first day at work after graduating from IIM-A, when she realized that though you have good degrees from reputed institutes to your credit you don’t gain respect until you work hard and contribute to the company or association that you are working for.

Ajay Chaturvedi

Ajay Chaturvedi was the final speaker at the Summit. Students were very curious to hear the story of the man who had made it so big in the corporate world, only to leave it behind to build his own startup. He shared his experiences at BITS and at Wharton, working as the director of Citi. The dot com bubble made an appearance in his speech. Finally, his experiences of going to the Himalayas and Kedarnath after hitting a rough patch in his life and how he found his guru there who inspired him to change tracks. From being an investment banker, he became the founder of HarVa- a BPO company empowering rural women. He ended the talk by launching his book-“Lost Wisdom of the Swastika” and answering students’ queries.

BITS-AMP – Second session coming soon!

In an effort to bring the huge number of BITSians in all parts of the world closer to the initiatives of their alumni association, this first of many posts is about the Alumni Mentorship Program – BITS AMP.

The Comms team had a brief chat with Sandeepa Garlapati for more information on BITS AMP.

BITS AMP is a one-on-one mentorship program that was conceptualized in late 2013 and the first session had its kick off during the BITSAA Global Meet in January 2014 at the Hyderabad campus. The man behind the idea, Venu Palaparthi (batch of 1987), wanted to connect BITSians belonging to the same fields and usher the flow of guidance. He roped in Shivaraaj Kotini (batch of 2006) who had done something similar for BITS Spark and had been leading the Spark Mentors program for 2 years. He had conducted mentor-mentee workshops at few locations in India and had gained excellent insights in the area. However, the task proved big and they needed a volunteer to build the team and fine tune the entire concept from its raw stage. That’s where Sandeepa (batch of 2002) came in. Together they worked for a few months before the first version was presented to the world in January 2014. Kris Inapurapu (batch of 1999) was involved in structuring this program during his studies at MIT and he gave ideas from his experiences in launching a similar program there. Chandra Bhople was instrumental in conceptualizing the program as well. Rohit Koul, ex-CEO of BITSAA, was very interested in this initiative and motivated the team. Sandeepa, very recently, hired people to build the team and currently the size of the AMP team is 4 people.

Venu came up with the idea to crowd source the name and logo for this initiative. A contest was held on Facebook for BITSians and the winner, Ravi Mantri, received an MS Dhoni autographed cricket bat! He, of course, gave BITS-AMP but there were also a lot of interesting names like BITSPlus, BITSBuddy, Marg Darshak that were suggested.

The basic idea behind BITS AMP is that BITSians come together and assist each other in their careers. On the BITS AMP platform, BITSians need to sign up either as mentors or mentees. Then they are paired up  accordingly by the AMP team based on a variety of factors. The most important factor is that both members have the same interests and be in the same fields, career wise. After this, the pairs begin a six month relationship, throughout which the AMP team is in contact with both the mentor and the mentee. This ensures that the relationship is ongoing and stays true to the concept. The AMP team would also help the pair in case they have trouble contacting each other or if they haven’t much to contribute to each other.

After the first session of six months started in Jan 2014, the AMP team took some time to restructure most of the program and make it more streamlined. There were around 18 to 20 pairs made by choosing guests who had attended the BGM. Some of the mentors who participated include Preetish Nijhawan (Managing Partner, Cervin Ventures and Co-founder of Akamai), Anurag Jain (CEO of Access Healthcare), Venu Palaparthi (CEO, Nasdaq OMX), Sudeep Jain IAS (Chairman & MD, Tamil Nadu Solar Energy Development Agency), Arun Jain (Director, Sales and Marketing, TI) Devender Kumar (MD, Ahuja Engineering Services). Sandeepa tells us that this was a great learning experience for the BITS-AMP team.

The second session for which sign-ups have been happening since the last few weeks will be started in October this year. Sign-ups have started coming in. In Order to sign up or the BITS AMP program, click here.

However, everyone who signs up cannot be a part of the program unless a counterpart with similar interests signs up.

The categories for mentorship currently include:

  • Technology Careers (careers in technology – in consulting; at enabling companies; non-technology companies)
  • Business, Strategy, Finance, Consulting, Innovation, Education (includes project management; product management)
  • Entertainment, Media, Marketing, and Advertising (includes creative pursuits such as Film, Music, etc.)
  • Mentoring for Businesses
  • Sciences & Scientific Research

“BITS-AMP’s target audience is the entire BITS community. Our mentoring program will also help students and faculty in realizing their aspirations. BITS-AMP will work in a symbiotic way with the other BITSAA programs such as BITS2MS PhD and BITS2BSCHOOL.”

— Sandeepa Garlapati (BITS Class of ‘06, Coordinator, BITS-AMP)

“To me, any mentoring effort needs to have a way for effective one to one interaction between the mentor and the mentee  with limited or no external intervention. BITS-AMP provides exactly this.”

— Rohit Koul (BITS Class of ‘02, ex-CEO, BITSAA)


The BITSians’ Day 2014 Flashback


Chennai Chapter Meet-up at Gandhinagar Club

The month of August is very close to every BITSian. In fact, it is as joyous and exciting as the month of December for the rest of the world. Wonder why? It’s because the first week of August every year marks the beginning of a new academic year at BITS. That did not just mean a new set of OHT courses and late night ghotting sessions and Cs and Ds in CDCs, but also meant getting back to the campus to lead the enthu filled life of a BITSian. So, BITSAA decided to make this month special for all the BITSians. It decided to dedicate the first Friday of August every year as a day to celebrate being a BITSian, to enjoy the nostalgia, to relive all the fun moments, and to stay connected to the BITSian community around the world. Thus was born the concept of BITSians’ Day, a celebration that is one of a kind, something never done before by any other college in India.

The first BITSians’ day celebrations in 2013 saw huge success with BITSians putting mega enthu by wearing BITSAA tshirts and meeting up fellow BITSians around the globe. BITSians met up in their work places or for a meal at a restaurant. Now the challenge for BITSAA was to make BITSians’ day 2014 as good as or even better than 2013.

The Communication and Marketing team at BITSAA had a meticulous social media campaign planned to recreate the magic. Posters that advertised the event, video teasers, email newsletters and pictures and trivia from 2013 celebrations were released on Facebook from two weeks before the event. An unplanned boon the night before 1st of August 2014 was the #BITSmemories fever that was kindled on Facebook by a BITSian. The Director of the Communication and Marketing Team at BITSAA recalls being pleasantly surprised and super excited that night to see posts from BITSians flooding Facebook.  Every BITSian’s Facebook page was swamped with anecdotes, poems, senti messages and truck loads of pictures making them feel the vibe and giving them goosebumps.  All the Chapter heads in coordination with the Chapter Relations Team took care of setting up venues and arranging for volunteers. Pubs and restaurants were reserved for the celebrations across the globe, food was ordered and coordinators assigned.

Thanks to all the publicity on Facebook, the meticulous arrangements made at each venue and the BITSians that volunteered to offer help with the coordination in each venue, there was a great turn out for the event. More than 4000 BITSians participated, including alumni from the 1970s and the 2000s. Meetups were held in 100 different office locations and involved 45 different chapters. The celebrations ranged from informal latchaa sessions and parties with music nights to formal dinner gatherings.

BITSians’ Day 2014 was better than the 2013 celebrations in every which way. It saw some unusual and interesting incidents. The enthu of the event percolated into remote locations like Tanzania and Ganjam, Orissa. Venues like Chennai and Mumbai were overflowing.  The event gained global public attention too. Times of India covered BITSians’ Day at Udaipur and Microsoft retweeted a picture of BITSians working for the company, thus acknowledging their contribution to its growth. Very excitingly, a new chapter at Hong Kong was born out of BITSians’ Day 2014, thanks to Sneha Nandan for having taken the initiative. She gathered a group of BITS alumni at Hong Kong with the help of BITSAA to celebrate the event. Following the celebrations, they swore to keep in touch and have regular meetings and thus was born the Hong Kong chapter!


Celebrations at Microsoft Hyderabad office

For an event of this magnitude, minor setbacks were inevitable. BITSAA received complaints about the poor service provided by the Estore vendor. This year we have partnered with My Dream Store and promise to provide you a much better experience. Visit and order your BITSians’ Day tee now! Orders placed till the 26th of July will have guaranteed delivery before the BITSians’ Day.

BITSians, buckle up and get ready for yet another BITSians’ Day gala!

August 7th, 2015: Mark your calendars!

An interview with Anitha Alappat

We are back with the prestigious ‘BITSAA 30 Under 30’ Award.

Every three years, we dedicate these awards to all those young BITSians who thought and acted differently, who challenged the status quo, rewrote the rules, and created their own paths, to the best examples of what it means to be a BITSian.
We recently interviewed Anitha Alappat who won the award in 2009 under the Leadership Category. Here follows the interview –

Q.  Please enlighten us about your work for which you won the BITSAA 30 Under 30 Award.

I won the award in the Leadership category. After BITS, I did a masters in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and then joined General Motors India at their Technical Center. I was the only engineer in their Indian team who was trained in using AutoMod, a simulation software used for throughput simulations. Additionally I was involved with several other initiatives within and outside the organization, including being a training needs coordinator, member of GM Women’s council, Dream A Dream, and Navgati. Later, I attended Indian School of Business, Hyderabad specializing in Strategy and Leadership. Post ISB I joined MEMC (now SunEdison), a semiconductor manufacturing company in their Product Marketing team. I have always been passionate about education and learning and development, and in 2013 finally plunged officially into this domain! I am currently Head of Operations at an education consulting company based in Dubai, UAE. I manage their local operations as well as new product/market strategy for teacher training and recruitment. Until few months before I was an active member of BITSAA International as well as the BITSAA Middle East Chapter.

Q. What does it take to become a woman leader?

Everything that takes to become a man leader, plus an extra dose of perseverance and self-confidence!! There are always more people telling a woman that she can’t do something than people telling her that she can do it. If a woman is able to find the strength within herself to achieve whatever she wants, then nothing can stop her.

Q. Mention that one thing which you pursued in your BITSian life which played the most important role in making the present Anitha Alappat?

Always trying out new things and being part of initiatives that seemed interesting to me!

Q. What does this award mean to you?

This award is one of my most cherished achievements, an honor I am extremely proud of. It was at BITS that my leadership skills blossomed and I consider this award as a recognition from the alumni community for putting those skills to good use. :)

Q. We might be having several BITSians who would be unsure if they should get them nominated. What message do you put forward to them?

Go for it! My name was suggested by someone else and I wasn’t sure at all that I should submit a nomination. Finally I decided to do it, and its been one of the best decisions in my life so far. :)

BITSAA International calls for nominations for the prestigious 30 Under 30 Awards.

Know someone whose work shines brightly in one of the above areas?

Nominate them now ->

To know more about the 30 under 30 awards, go here ->
Nominations end – June 30th, 2015.

Getting to know – BLP 2014!

BLP – BITSAA Leadership Programme provides the perfect platform for each and every BITSian to give back to Alma Mater. It is designed to identify and nurture the next generation of Leaders who will run BITSAA International and its projects. Since its inception, it has been very successful and the year 2014 – where the fourth edition of BLP kick started, the reception and enthusiasm showcased by BITSians across the world was encouraging.

With BITSAA’s primary objective to make it as the best networked alumni ecosystem in the world, BLP comes as a starting step to reach that goal. The entire BLP process was an amalgamation of the thoughts, ideas, efforts and support of numerous BITSAA volunteers, who successfully recruited those passionate alumni who can run this global organization efficiently.

The entire process of BLP 2014 was not a cake walk for the BITSAA team. Initially the planning for BLP process happened early in the year of 2014 with the involvement of various teams such as People strategy, Operations and Leadership teams. The planning was followed by communication to BITSians across the globe. Marketing and Communications teams helped in the overall publicity in reaching out to all BITSians with ease. Once when the initial communication was released, there were around 125 applications which were received for various positions, followed by the 3 step process:

  1. Candidate’s application Screening
  2. Interview by the specific team (Ops, Marketing, Fund raising, Technology etc.)
  3. Final Interview by the people’s Strategy team.

After the rigorous screening and interview process, a total of 43 candidates were handpicked and inducted into different groups in BITSAA. It was no less than a typical job interview.

Organizing an initiative of this volume is not easy without its own ups and downs. The BITSAA team did face some initial hurdles. “Excellent Participation and Interest, But we did face challenges in attracting interest for Technology and People Strategy teams” – says Nidhi Gurnani from BITSAA People’s Strategy Team.

Some of the feedbacks from the BLP 2014 admits –

“Great questions were asked as a part of the BLP 2014 applications attempting to capture each candidates overall profile”

Interaction/Informal interviews with multiple senior team members, especially with whom the candidates are likely to work provided greater opportunity to connect with BITSians across the globe”

“Greater Flexibility in joining teams/roles that the candidates may apply based on one’s interest”

The candidates who joined in BLP 2014 truly demonstrated their passion to give back to BITS and take BITSAA to the pinnacle of success. The BITSAA Leadership Programme holds a promise of learning, volunteering, and lots of fun with giving back to our Alma mater and creating a strong network across the world with our larger BITSian family.

Do Keep a watch for the next BLP recruitment and join this invigorating team!!!