My fellow Alumni, Students and Friends of BITS,
I hope all of you had a memorable 2012! With your active participation and support, we accomplished a great deal in 2012 and there is more to come in 2013.
When I took over as Chairman in July 2011, we set some key goals for BITSAA Leadership and the Board in order to promote BITS Pilani and strengthen the alumni network. I'm happy to share with you that we made excellent progress towards these goals in the last year.
Streamline governance of alumni programs in support of BITS Pilani's stated vision 2020
In order to have transparent and streamlined processes, BITSAA International set up governance across all its major initiatives. BITS Pilani and BITSAA Leadership for the first time signed a document of understanding to track and manage contributions from alumni worldwide.
Create an ecosystem of partners, in industry, government and academia to enhance research and entrepreneurship at BITS
With the vision of making BITS among the top 3 institutes for entrepreneurship in Asia, we launched the BITS Spark initiative with support from BITS administration. Three platforms - Spark Connect, Spark Mentors and Spark Angels have been established to engage with entrepreneurs at various stages.
Still in its nascent stages, BITS Spark is already off to a great start - thanks to the efforts of numerous BITSian volunteers. 50 angels signed up from 3 continents in less than 6 weeks and more than 20 start-ups applied to seek seed funding. The Manoj Saxena Fund in association with Spark Connect has been pivotal to the success of the Sparks program providing funding to 6 start-ups in 2012.
I am confident that entrepreneurship has truly arrived in India and BITS Spark is well positioned to lead from the front. If you would like to join us as a start-up, mentor, angel, faculty or volunteer - please visit http://www.bitsaa.org/spark.
Raise at least $1M before the next BITSAA Global Meet
As you may know we kicked off the Bridges to the Future Fundraising campaign in 2011 with a goal to raise $1M for various initiatives. I am happy to note that, within just a year, we have already raised $700K - thanks to the generous contributions of passionate BITS alumni across the globe. $60K of this was raised for Atmanirbhara. The inauguration of the Pilani Resource Center (PRC), the biggest initiative of Atmanirbhara happened in April this year, and this is the first time that an alumni group has converged for a social cause on such a large scale.
Finally, I would also like to mention that our flagship project, BITS connect 2.0, will be launched on 9th January 2013. Thanks to the hard work of so many passionate folks from BITS, BITSAA International, and the overwhelming support from all chapters, an idea that was conceived 2 years ago is now close to its culmination. I am very excited about the possibilities for BITS Connect 2.0 and a transformation that will take BITS Pilani in the direction of becoming a world-class university - A better BITS Brand is indeed a better us.
The passionate BITSians behind the scenes
None of these achievements would have been possible without the tireless effort by all the volunteer BITSAA leaders and my colleagues on the Board. I have utmost respect and admiration for their selfless work and continue to be amazed by the dedication of so many young BITSians, who form the lifeblood of our vibrant global organization. 2012 saw 80 more passionate BITSians join BITSAA International after the BITSAA Leadership Program - 2012.
Your opportunity to give back
This is an exciting time for alumni to make a difference to our alma-mater. I am delighted to personally witness the generous commitment of time and money from many of you. I call on you, my fellow alumni, to assist and support me and my team in taking BITS Pilani in its evolution into a leading global university.
I travel quite often and will be happy to meet you when I am in your area. Please drop me a line if you happen to visit the San Francisco bay area - I would love to meet. Nevertheless, I look forward to meeting you all at the next BGM during January 2014!
I wish you and your families a very happy 2013 and look forward to stay in touch.
Chairman, BITSAA International