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News & Press: July 2013

Distinguished Alumnus Awards- 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013   (4 Comments)
Posted by: Alumni Communications
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BITS Pilani Distinguished Alumnus Awards - 2013

We are happy to share with you that BITS Pilani has decided to give the 'BITS Pilani Distinguished Alumnus Award' in 2013 to the following alumni in recognition of their significant and outstanding contributions.

  • Mr. Pankaj Patel (Exec VP, Cisco Systems) for Professional management of businesses
  • Mr. Rajesh Hukku (Past SVP, Oracle and Past GM Oracle FSGBU) for Entrepreneurship
  • Prof. S. P. Kothari (Deputy Dean, Sloan School, (MIT) for Academic Teaching and/or Research
  • Mr. Ramesh Ramanathan (Founder, Janaagraha) for Public Life and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Dr. Vijay Chandru (Founder, Strand Life Sciences) for Entrepreneurship
Please join the Chancellor and all of us, the faculty, staff, students and alumni of BITS Pilani in congratulating them on their successes.

The awards will be presented during the Convocation 2013 at Pilani, on August 4, 2013 commencing at 11 am. Shri Pallam Raju, Union Minister of Human Resource Development will give away the awards. The Chancellor, Shri Kumar Mangalam Birla, will preside over the convocation.


Know the winners

Mr. Pankaj Patel

Mr. Pankaj Patel received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from BITS Pilani in 1975. He obtained his Master’s degree from University of Master's Degree -University of Wisconsin – Madison.


He is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Cisco. Mr. Pankaj Patel has been Chief Development Officer of Global Engineering and Executive Vice President of Cisco Systems, Inc. since August 2012.

In January 2003, Mr. Patel rejoined Cisco as Vice President and General Manager of Cable Business Unit. Mr. Patel served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Service Provider Routing Technology Group since January 2006. He served as Senior Vice President of Broadband Edge & Mid-Range Routing Business Unit at Cisco Systems, Inc. since July 2005 and served as its Co-Head\Co-Leader of the Engineering Organization from May 5, 2011 to June 2012.

He served as Senior Vice President of Engineering at Cisco. from July 1996 to September 1999. Prior to Cisco, Mr. Patel held senior management positions at Apollo Computer/HP, Digital Equipment Corporation, Stratacom and Redback. He served as Senior Vice President of Engineering of Redback Networks Inc. from November 1999 to January 2003. Mr. Patel joined Redback in March 2000. He has been a Director of eASIC Corporation since May 26, 2011.

Patel is an industry member of the Dean's Advisory Committee of UCLA's School of Engineering; serves on the California State University Professional Science Master's Executive Board; is a member of eASIC's Board of Directors; and maintains ongoing involvement in Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering.

He also serves on the Board of Directors of The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute, which is dedicated to catalyzing and accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of new and more effective treatment options for lung cancer patients. He also held various senior management positions at Apollo Computer/HP and Digital Equipment Corporation.

Mr. Ramesh Ramanathan

Mr. Ramesh Ramanathan has an MS in Physics from BITS Pilani, an MBA from Yale University and a CFA from AIMR. He was nominated as one of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2007.


He joined Citibank on graduating from Yale SOM, and worked with them in New York and London, until leaving for India. His career path at Citibank was one of the fastest to rise from a management associate to his last position as managing director & European head of corporate derivatives. Ramesh was also a member of the bank’s Global Markets Leadership Team.

Both Ramesh and his wife Swati decided to return to India in 1998, to "give something back." Since then, Ramesh’s interests have been in two areas: urban poverty alleviation and urban governance.

He is a social entrepreneur, and works on urban issues in India. He is co-founder of Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, a non-profit focused on transforming quality of life in Urban India. He is also Chairman of Janalakshmi Social Services, a not-for-profit social business holding company that has promoted enterprises in urban financial inclusion and and Chairman, Janaadhar Constructions, an affordable housing development company.

He works closely with government on urban issues in a pro-bono capacity. His current positions include being the National Technical Advisor, Government of India for the Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the country's flagship urban mission.

He has co-authored a book titled,Urban Poverty Alleviation in India and writes regularly about public governance issues in leading national publications.

Mr. Rajesh Hukku

Mr. Rajesh Hukku received his Bachelors (Honors) degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bits Pilani in 1979, with First Position in the EEE stream. He later undertook post graduate research and studies in Local Area Networks at University of Maryland, College Park, USA


In his career spanning over 31 years in the IT industry, Rajesh has undertaken numerous technical and business roles, working for companies like TCS, Citicorp, i-flex and Oracle. Since the early 90’s, when he took over as the CEO of i-flex solutions, Rajesh lead the company from a mere startup, to India’s first and most successful global IT Product success story. Within a short period of under 15 years, i-flex grew to a size of 10,000 employees, won customers in over 125 countries, and topped the worldwide sales league tables for core banking application products for 5 years in a row. During 2007-2010, after Oracle Corporation, USA, acquired a majority stake in i-flex, Rajesh served as the GM of Oracle’s Financial Services Global Business Unit (FSGBU) and Chief Strategy Officer for Oracle Financial Services.

Rajesh is an acknowledged leader in the international IT industry and has been the recipient of several prestigious global awards and accolades, including Ernst & Young India's 'Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2002' in the ITCE category, Indian Government’s 'The Dewang Mehta award for innovation in IT 2003’, and "The Global Entrepolis Award for innovation’, in Singapore in 2004. Rajesh was conferred the 'Order of Bernardo O Higgins - Great Official' - by the Chilean President for his work in Chile, and won an International Stevie Award in the third annual International Business Awards for Best Chairman in June, 2006.

Rajesh has been profiled in several publications worldwide - including TIME Magazine's feature on 'Technology Gurus who survived the global meltdown', in Business Week as a Star of Asia-2003, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal and the Far Eastern Economic Review to name a few. Rajesh has also been listed as an entrepreneur in the '25 leaders at the forefront of change' by Business Week in 2003. Rajesh has also served on the NASSCOM Executive Committee, and has been an invited speaker at many prestigious forums like the World Economic Forum Summit, the Asia-Pacific Leadership Summit, Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School, Yale University and the Latin America Business Convention.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award in the Category of Entrepreneurship is awarded to Mr. Rajesh Hukku in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the society. Through his achievements Mr. Rajesh Hukku has brought glory to the name of the institute.

Dr. Vijay Chandru

Dr. Vijay Chandru received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from BITS Pilani in 1975. He obtained his Master’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles, USA in 1977. He obtained his Doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Operations Research in 1982.


Dr. Chandru is Founder and Chairman of Strand Life Sciences, a pioneer in discovery research informatics. He was responsible for articulating Strand’s vision, recruiting the founding team, helping the venture graduate from IISc through dialog with the university administration, and developing the first version of Strand’s business plan. Subsequently, he helped raise institutional capital, establish business and technology strategy, and build the R&D, sales and marketing teams. Strand is now a profitable, multi-million dollar organization with a global footprint.

Concurrently, he also founded PicoPetaSimputers, a private limited company that commercialized handheld device technology and brought it to market as the AmidaSimputer. He participated actively in its conception and early growth, and continued to serve as an advisor till its successful acquisition by a publicly traded company. PicoPeta was listed among the seven hottest startups worldwide by Technology Review in 2002. He helped establish the Association of Biotech led Enterprises (ABLE), the apex body of the biotech industry in India, and was elected as Honorary President for a three year term 2009-2012.

He has mentored numerous entrepreneurs and early stage ventures in the realms of education, technology and life sciences. He serves on the Vision Group for Science and Technology as well as the Vision Group for Biotechnology for the State of Karnataka in India. He was elected as a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1996. He was elected as a Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum in 2006 for his work with Strand. He became a fellow of the Indian Academy of Engineering in 2010. As one of the inventors of the Simputer, he received the Dewang Mehta Award, the first time it was awarded in 2001 (it is India’s highest award for innovation in information technology).

Prof. S P Kothari

Prof S.P. Kothari holds a BE in chemical engineering from the BITS PILANI in 1979, an MBA in accounting and finance from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a PhD in accounting from the University of Iowa.


He is Deputy Dean and Gordon Y Billard Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

His responsibilities as Deputy Dean include Faculty Affairs and International Programs. He is also Director of the MIT-India Program. Previously, he served as Global Head of Equity Research for Barclays Global Investors (BGI), where he was responsible for research supporting BGI’s active equity strategies, from 2008-09. Prior to joining BGI, he was Deputy Dean at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and earlier he served as Head of the Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting at MIT Sloan. In 2005-06, he was Thomas Henry Carroll-Ford Visiting Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His highly cited research focuses on financial reporting and valuation, asset allocation, explaining the diversity in international accounting practices, use of employee stock options for compensating executives, accounting for employee stock options, evaluating investment performance, and corporate uses of derivatives for hedging and speculation.

For the past 16 years,he has served as an editor of the Journal of Accounting & Economics, a world-renowned academic research journal in accounting. He is an expert on economic policy issues in India, and he has written numerous opinion-page editorials in The Economic Times.

He served on the Board of Directors of Vicarious Visions from 1998-2004, and he is a senior consultant with Charles River Associates, a business-economics and litigation-support consulting firm.He has consulted with many large corporations, including leading U.S. and international banks and asset management companies, Australian television broadcast corporations, U.S. steel companies, Ernst &Young, KPMG, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and the U.S. Department of Justice. After serving for five years as chairman, he is chairman emeritus of his undergraduate alma mater alumni association, BITSAA International.



Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Hearty Congratulations to Pankaj Patel, Vijay Chandru, S P Kothari, Rajesh Hukku & Ramesh Ramanathan all very Deserving Distinguished Alumni. Pradeep Sethi Trustee BITSAA International & President BITSAA Delhi NCR Chapter
Swaminathan L. Valady says...
Posted Monday, July 22, 2013
Hearty congratulations to all distinguished awardees. BITSAA Bangalore have sett the tradition to be in the "RECOGNITION" in collecting two of the five. Congrats once again
Rahul Banerjee says...
Posted Saturday, July 20, 2013
Hearty Congratulations to all these distinguished alumni! We are in deed proud of them!
Smriti Dagur (Smriti Desai) says...
Posted Saturday, July 20, 2013
congratulations to all the recipients. Smriti Dagur(EEE 1972)

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