Click here to apply for Mantra Award - 2013.
The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at BITS Pilani aims to create future leaders at BITS Pilani. CEL not only seeks to create all-round leaders, but also focuses specifically on students who break new grounds in the field of entrepreneurship, innovation and social ventures. In addition, CEL aims to empower and inspire BITSian women to play a significant leadership role.
The Mantra awards were instituted by CEL, in 2009, to recognize and reward outstanding students who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential and/or entrepreneurial initiative. Anupendra Sharma, co-founder of CEL, Investment Partner at Siemens Venture Capital in Boston, and CEL Alumni Advisor had initiated the creation of the Four ‘Mantra Awards’ namely :
- Mantra Award for Outstanding Leadership – 2 awards (1 male, 1 female): For outstanding achievement in areas of leadership, with a particular focus on at least 1 outstanding achievement in a chosen category, and consistent demonstration of all-round leadership potential. Rs. 5,000 each in prize money.
- Mantra Entrepreneur of the Year Award: For outstanding achievement in entrepreneurship demonstrated during the stay at BITS, either in writing business plan(s), starting social or commercial ventures, or creating commerializable innovations on campus. Rs. 5,000 in prize money.
- Mantra Award for Social Leadership: For demonstrating a commitment to social leadership either through the creation of sustainable ventures or for contribution in not-for-profit events on campus. Rs. 5,000 in prize money.
- Mantra Innovator of the Year Award: For demonstrating an ability to invent or build innovative products or ideas in the labs. (Optional Award)
These awards shall be open to all current, full-time students of BITS Pilani (on-campus or Practice School), excepting:
- CEL student member on the Award selection Panel
- Any past winner of Mantra Awards in that category
- Any student with a record of indiscipline and/or malpractice at BITS Pilani.
Cases where eligibility is not clear will be decided by the Award Panel.
CEL will also proactively seek out people to nominate as recipients of these awards.
The Panel will include faculty members and students from all the four campuses.
In order to ensure fairness, the identity of the student on the Panel shall be known only to the Panel members and the CEL Student President.
The faculty members for the next year’s Panel will be decided by the Panel members, with advice from the CEL Faculty Coordinator and Student President.
Faculty members may serve the Panel for more than one year. Student members may not serve for more than one year.
Calling for Nominations
· The Panel would call for nominations beforehand by electronic submission.Click here for the application form.
· CEL should also proactively nominate deserving candidates.
· CEL student body would be responsible for coordinating the awards.
· Advertisements calling for nominations shall be put up on campus. They would also be marketed electronically, through email etc.
The selection process will be in two steps.
- Candidates submit a short write-up on their achievements electronically.
- If required, more information would be requested from the candidates
Winners would be announced at the event. All nominees would be invited.
Awards 2012 Winners
Vemuri V.L. Ambarish - Mantra Award for Social Leadership
has graduated with a Mechanical Engineering Degree from BITSPilani. He has
joined Dell Global Analytics as a Business Analyst. He has been the Vice
President of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership on campus. He has been
an active member of the Rural Entrepreneurship Division, Pilani and has worked
as a teaching volunteer for disabled at the National Society for Equal
Opportunities for the Handicapped, Mumbai. He enjoys applying practical
fabrication knowledge to build mechanical devices, and is a keen automotive
enthusiast, having been consecutive National runners-up of the Mahindra Auto
Quotient in 2009 and 2010.
Aaksha Meghawat - Mantra
Award for Outstanding Leadership (Female)
Meghawat is an all-rounder in the truest sense of the word. She has held
several leadership positions throughout her BITSian career from being the
Coordinator of the Out-of-Box Conference, Conquest 2011, member of the Election
Commission Panel, Master of Ceremony of the AVB Memorial Inauguration to
Captain of the BITS Pilani Athletics team for BOSM 2011. She has been a
consistent academic performer and her versatility stems from her passion for
diverse things such as her love for coding, technology, economics and art to
marathon racing and travel. Aaksha, a big believer in efficiency, aspires
to create systems and products in the future that will add true value to
society and people’s lives.
Abhinav Mahajan - Mantra
Award for Outstanding Leadership (Male), Mantra Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Mahajan bearing ID No. 2007C5AB716P, have developed a very intellectual and
dynamic personality in college by involving in various extra-curricular
activities, ranging from co-founding Manufacturing Engineering Association to
leading a team to compete in Human Powered Vehicle Challenge organized by ASME
in Montana State University, USA in 2011. I have coordinated various events of
the association and the one of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME),
conducting India level prelims of international event Student Design Challenge
(problem statement provided by NASA). In one occasion I got a chance to share
the dais in our college auditorium with Dr. Nikolaos Mavridis, founder &
Director, Interactive Robots & Media Labs and Rachel Armstrong, TED Speaker
& Sustainability innovator, addressing a gathering of over 1500, as a
speaker for the APOGEE INNOVATORS PROGRAM, APOGEE (BITS Annual International
Technical Festival), 2011. Currently,
I am working on my start-up TEEVRA Cycles, designing customized human powered
vehicles. Winning various prestigious B-Plan competitions across India has
acted as a fuel for me and my team to achieve our endeavours.
Suvonil Chatterjee -
Mantra Innovator of the Year Award
by his friends as a coder who is heavily invested in
design, Suvonil is currently in his third year of Electronics &
Instrumentation Engineering at BITS Pilani. As a member of the Centre for
Entrepreneurial Leadership, he is leading a team of creative minds involved in
the creation of Stimulus X, a social entrepreneurship game. He has also been a
part of various technology start-ups, Rovio, dplay tech, FrameBench and GharPay
to name a few, where he designs user-experiences to facilitate work flows. At
present, he is developing a system that revolutionizes the way astronauts are
weighed in space-stations. And just for fun, he started writing his own
programming language, Ceasy, a childish transformation of C. He is a foodie,
loves his fantasy novels and Enya's music.
Shruthi Vishwanath - Mantra
Award for Outstanding Leadership (Female)
Economics and Chemical Engineering at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus. She is
passionate about classical music, was the founder-secretary of the Classical
Music Club at BITS and the Coordinator for SPIC MACAY since its beginnings at
Hyderabad. Shruthi has been a delegate at the Harvard Project for Asian and
International Relations (HPAIR) Harvard Conference, and a delegate at the World
Business Dialogue (WBD) at Cologne, Germany. She was the Indian Ambassador for
WBD for 2011-12. Shruthi has also been the first Union Cultural Secretary at
BITS Hyderabad and a Teach for India Campus Ambassador. She aims to pursue a
career integrating her passion for music and entrepreneurship.
Bahl - Mantra Award for Outstanding Leadership (Male)
Just a 2nd
year student, Siddharthais
pursuing B.E(Hons.) in Computer Science Engineering. Currently a core member of
Centerfor Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), he is also heading 'Baithak', the
regional cultural association of 5 North Indian states. Apart from 'Harvard
Project for Asian and International Relations', he has also been selected as a
delegate by the U.S. Congress to the prestigious 'Global Young Leaders
Conference'. He ideated, formulated and founded the ‘Student Mentorship
Program’, a program structured on the idea of 'networking through nurturing'. Being
an excellent orator, he has won many awards in debating competitions and MUN's.
He is a networking ninja and likes developing new contacts. As a leader, he
sets himself a target of leading the change and believes in leaders mentoring
their teams rather than micro-controlling them. Ideologically, he is profoundly
influenced by the thoughts of Swami Vivekananda. An ardent management
enthusiast and an aspiring business entrepreneur, he is always on a hunt for
learning opportunities and values experience a lot.
Kunal Bhatia - Mantra Entrepreneur of the Year Award
currently in his 3rd year, pursuing Msc Economics and BE Computer Science from
Bits Pilani,Hyderabad. Passionate about entrepreneurship, he likes
brainstorming over existing community problems and how can a service/product
that simplifies the problem can be made into a business model. He has been an active member of Center for
Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) of his college and currently leads its finance
department. Kunal has 2 start ups to his name. BlueTie Outsourcing-
registered in 2010, BlueTie is a firm providing Internet Marketing and Social
media marketing services to website owners present all over the world. It is in
its 3rd year of operation and has been running smoothly after its initial year
of founding. Trippin' Unlimited- is a travel organization providing
customized vacation solutions to college students. Trippin' has conducted 3
successful trips, bagged the second prize in Ground Reality, b-plan competition
of Bits Hyderabad and has been selected for pre-seed funding by the Saxena
Foundation, all in just its first year of operation.
Kunal's also actively involved in other activities apart from Entrepreneurship.
He plays football for a B-Division club in Delhi and is presently the captain
of his college Football team. He has won medals at state and zonal levels in
Taekwondo and participated in state level marathons as well. His other hobbies
include reading, philately, swimming and playing chess. After his graduation,
he plans to do MBA from either India or a reputed Ivy university in USA.
- Mantra Award for Social Leadership
pursuing B.E (hons.) Mechanical Engineering at BPHC. His start-up Valonia
engages students and helps them excel in their areas of interest. Valonia
already has impacted nearly 2000 students. Hereceived the Bal Shree
Honour for creativity in writing by the President of India during his school
days and later also received The President’s medal for leadership and
team spirit in Scouts and Guides. He has a way around with people, likes reading
autobiographies, travels a lot, and likes adventure sports and debating on
A member of an international community of social entrepreneurs ( Makesense
), he has also been a part of projects with NSEF, BalBhawan, JagritiYatra
and is extremely passionate about giving back to the society.
Shah - Mantra Innovator of the Year Award
is a Second Year student at BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad Campus with a keen interest
in all things computers. He has been programming in various languages for the
last 8-10 years as a hobby and is now looking to turn it into a full time
career option. However he does not code in only high-level languages such as
.NET but also enjoys writing low-level assembly code and debugging it. Darshit
is a entrepreneur at heart and has been working on various ideas since his
first year in college. He is currently working on two projects both based on
microprocessors and assembly level programming. Apart from technology, he also
enjoys swimming and photography.
Kunjan Gandhi - Mantra
Award for Social Leadership
Kunjan a 5th Year undergraduate student at
BITS Pilani (Goa), has his interests and achievements scattered into a diverse
spectrum- from being a Tata JagritiYatra Alumnus, to being in love with
Physics; from being engrosed into Electronics and Electrical to having this
great passion for learning new languages and playing Foolball! In the same
fashion, his contributions to Nirmaan in the past four years have also been
diverse. As a project coordinator of SAP at Nirmaan Goa, he led transformation
of two Government-Run Schools into Model Schools by upgrading their
Infrastructural Facilities. During his tenure as the President, he played a
pivotal role in building an strongand organized Team at Nirmaan Goa. His
contributions led to building of strong ties with various organizations like
NABARD Bank, NCUI and Father Agnel’s Ashram and Zuari Industries Limited; which
helped accelerate the women entrepreneurship program and promote hygienic
living in communities in Sancole region of Goa. Currently he is serving as the
Director, Livelihoods with Nirmaan overlooking operations at 4 different
part of Nimraan, he has learnt a lot about the top down and bottom up
approaches to solving social problems and has realized that the world is in
dire need of executors than planners. He aspires to use technology as aiding
tool for societal development. He firmly believes that good leadership skills,
the attitude of problem solving and being able to build a strong culture are
three most important virtues of a social change maker.
Tanmaya Sanghvi - Mantra
Award for Outstanding Leadership
a senior undergraduate student at BITS Pilani Goa Campus. She is pursuing a
Master’s degree in Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. The
past three years of her college life have witnessed her involvement in a
spectrum of activities which have established in her the inclination and
expertise of being an effective leader. Tanmaya was the Co-coordinator for the
Department of Finance and Asset Management for Quark-2012, the Annual
Techno-Managerial Festival of BITS Goa. She led a team of 100 to oversee the
monetary front of every aspect of the festival. An environment lover, Tanmaya
has served as the Co-coordinator of the Environment Protection and Awareness
Club of BITS Goa. She was a part of the college team for the Great Power Race
in which the college secured 9th position internationally. She is
currently working towards starting a company which is an online financial tool
aimed at ‘Simplifying Stocks’. It serves as a complete resource for beginners
and an efficient tool for professionals, to provide them the much needed
confirmatory opinion before investing. She worked as a summer intern at Ernst
and Young in the Risk Advisory Services. With her keen interest in Economics
and its various applications, she sees herself pursuing a Master’s Degree in
Finance in future. In her spare time, Tanmaya likes visiting offbeat places and
engages in adventure activities like mountaineering, SCUBA diving, rafting and
snorkeling. She enjoys vocabulary challenges, meeting and interacting with new
Mudit Gupta - Mantra
Innovator of the Year Award
Mudit is a final
year student of M.Sc. (Hons.) Chemistry and B.E.(Hons.) Electronics and
Instrumentation at BITS, Pilani - K.K. Birla Goa Campus. He is fascinated by
intelligent machines and resulting system behaviour when these intelligent
machines interact. He supports the vision that such swarms of intelligent
machines will result in innumerable useful products. He is working in the same
domain. He was selected for the prestigious Google Summer of Code (GSoC) twice
(2011 and 2012). During GSoC-2011 he worked for University of Michigan on
multiagent complex systems and during GSoC - 2012 he worked on making Network
Simulator - 3 (ns-3) capable of participating in complex systems simulations.
He worked on various projects under faculty members and worked with various
start-ups both as a consultant/freelancer and intern. He was the
Sub-Coordinator of the Drama Club (2010-2011) and founding member of the
Automobile Club (2010-2011). He is presently persuing his undergraduate thesis
in the field of Artificial Intelligence on Multiagent Systems. He loves theatre
arts, digital photography, FOSS and Robotics.
Akhil Singh -
Mantra Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Akhil is the Co-Founder of Spectrum
Apparels and Cubito.in and is currently pursuing his MSc(Tech) degree in
Information Systems from BITS Pilani K.K. Birla Goa Campus.He co-founded
Spectrum in, remarkably, his first year of college., Spectrum is now one
of the biggest players in the niche market of Bulk Apparels in the country and
counts corporates such as Google and almost all reputed colleges of India as
its clientele. He has been the finalist in Power Of Ideas conducted by IIM
Ahemdabad and Economics Times and was the youngest finalist in Conquest 2011.
He, with his team, aims to change the way people travel
in India through Cubito.in as they believe that public transportation
in india is not a pleasure and its mode should certainly change and to do this
they are working hard on the technology. He truly believes in the power of
meditation and can be found listening to The Bealtes, Bob Dylan and Coldplay
whenever he gets the time. For him entrepreneurship is not about opening new
and innovative ventures, it is simply a way of life.
Saurabh Ladha - Mantra Award for Outstanding Leadership
Saurabh is currently pursuing his Masters in
MS&E at Stanford University, after graduating with the Director's Medal for
Overall Outstanding Achievement from BITS Pilani Dubai Campus. He was the
founder of BITS360 for Dubai Campus, the founder of Jashn, the annual inter
collegiate cultural festival of BPDC and also the largest student organized
cultural fest of UAE. He was also the founding member of Embryo in his second
year at BITS. As Founder and Team Lead of the IFOR Team of BITS Pilani Dubai
Campus, he led a team of 8 students that built UAE's first fully autonomous
unmanned aerial vehicle that Ranked First at the International Aerial Robotics
Competition, held at North Dakota, USA. He completed his Practice School at NComputing.,
USA. Saurabh Ladha is also a guitarist in free time and debater.
Sanchit Sekhwal - Mantra Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Sanchit is a final year (B.E Hons.) electronics and
communication engineering student at BITS Pilani Dubai Campus and is currently
pursuing practice school 2 programme. He has been the vice president of the
student council and is also a member of student council constitution drafting
team, which in turn will bring changes in the election and voting procedure in
the campus. He is the co-founder of JASHN ( inter-collegiate cultural fest)
where he lead a team of 75 students to organize the event. He was the BITSAA
campus connect leader and was member of Bits embryo team . He also handles BITS
Alumni Cell. He has been involved in organizing many events like Ethnic day,
Diro’s tea party , TEDX-BITS-Dubai. He is currently the chief election
coordinator of hostel representative elections. He has a keen interest in
sports like cricket , squash and likes to listen to music.
Nigel Domnic Pereira - Mantra Innovator of the Year Award
Nigel joined BITS Pilani Dubai Campus in
2009 selecting Mechanical Engineering as his stream.Being an environmentalist, he would always
research on Global warming,Climate sustainability
and Waste Recycling. But then, researching isjust a small step in this world. Hence, he decided to go the
three of his friends they came up with a green
idea called 'GreeNext' which would provide advanced technologies to recycle
electronic waste through metal extraction and also recycle plastic waste to
crude oil in an environmentally friendly process called pyrolysis. They participated in the Raymond
Big Idea 2012 and came in the final round
which comprised of 20 finalists from 250 nominees. They also took this idea on the Entrepreneur TV
show where hequalified as one of the
top 100 finalists from over 4,000 contestants. He loves playing football, drawing, ambigrams,
writing short stores and participating in clean up drives.
Disha Sharma - Mantra Award for Social Leadership
pursuing her 3rd year in Electronics and Communication Engineering is driven by
the idea of making life useful to make this world a better place. She was a
part of the council since her 1st year, as the Cultural and Sports
Representative and then in the 2nd Year as the Gen. Secretary of the Student
Council. Also what brought her closer to what she liked to do was the Make a
Difference Club , of which she was the Secretary too. Being associated with
social awareness campaigns, peace drives, various walkathons and other
fund-raising events since school also continued at college level in the form of
initaiting the paper recycling campaign in college, carrying out the can
collection drive, breast cancer awareness campaign, setting up stalls for charity
and various other activities on campus. Hoping to create more
awareness amongst the youth she strives to make a difference in the society at
her best possible level.
Click here to view last year's Winner.