as batches do a lot together. You entered BITS at the same time,
stayed in the same Bhawans/blocks, you went to classes and labs together, and graduated together. But how did that bond manifest
itself after you graduated? Some batches keep in touch via electronic
groups, others meet at the Silver Jubilee Reunion.
batch of '70-'75 has taken several leaps ahead in this regard – by
continuing to pay Guru Dakshina even 35 years after graduation and
encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship through a Trust in their
name – the BITS-75 Charitable Trust. We had already reported to you
about the establishment of the Trust.
Trust was formally registered in India in April 2008 after
conceptualization in October 2006. It acquired 80-G tax exemption
status in 2010. With relentless fund raising effort by the trustees
and its operational team members, the Trust has so far collected
approx. Rs. 35 lakh from over 50 members of the BITS 70-75 class.
major initiative of BITS-75 Trust is to promote
entrepreneurship and innovation
among BITS students and faculty and inculcate in BITSians the
mind-set of ‘Job Creators’ rather than mere ‘Job Seekers’.
In an effort to provide the proverbial fishing rods instead of the
fish, the Trust envisions contributing both in cash and in kind. BITS
alumni have considerable expertise and experience in entrepreneurial
start-ups and businesses. These successful entrepreneurs can offer
help in kind by providing guidance to budding young entrepreneurs on
both technical and business sides.
BITS-75 Trust held a symposium on Oct 26, 2009 during the Coral
Jubilee Reunion of the batch of '70-'75 to inform the BITS faculty
and students about the Trust mission and vision of inculcating
entrepreneurship at BITS.
As a result of the symposium feedback, the Trust developed a rigorous
Request for Proposal (RFP) process to solicit proposals from students
and faculty seeking funds for entrepreneurial/innovative projects
from all BITS campuses.
BITS appointed Prof. R. N. Saha as the Single Point of Contact. Dr.
Arya Kumar of Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is also working
with the Trust.
response to the RFP, the Trust received 11 proposals from BITS
campuses. They were rigorously evaluated through a multi-iteration
evaluation process (short-listing
5 proposals, several rounds of phone and Skype interviews, revisions
and iterative improvements, face-to-face meeting) based on the
criteria listed below.
level of applied R&D (Innovation may be technological and/or in
business models): Is it 'Innovative entrepreneurship" project
or only a scientific research project?
potential: Does a market exists or needs to be created?
improvements over competing solutions: Will it succeed in
marketplace due to its substantive superiority over competing
dedicated to commercialization after graduation: Are students
committed to start venture upon graduation?
it improve Quality of Life for India's masses or the intended market
segments who are expected to consume innovation? What will be the
scale and impact of innovation?
to create employment in India: Scale and impact
and reasonableness of project planning: Cost and Timeline
Composition: Faculty, Students, Industry Advisors
work done: Is there some homework/prior work on proposed line done?
Skin in the game?
Management: Are risks identified with risk management plan?
The Project Selected It
is a great pleasure to announce that after careful evaluation of 11
received proposals, the Trust has selected the Phyzok project, headed
by Lohit Sahu, (2009, Mech). Several current students at BITS are
working on Phyzok project. Phyzok has already won several business
plan contests and awards and built prototypes.
Learning Solutions LLP (www.Phyzok.com)
is dedicated to developing efficient education delivery system for
the schools in India. With Phyzok's methodology, which combines
technology with traditional methods, students are exposed to varied
subjects not just in the form of textbooks and classroom lectures,
but where they can explore, experiment, dwell deeper to understand
and apply their learning constantly. It promotes their critical
thinking which not only helps in learning but also in day today
decision making and reasoning.
The pictures below will give you an idea about Phyzok. More
details are available at www.Phyzok.com.
Demonstration of Phyzok lab Kit through projector at Birla Chain of Schools. Similar kits will be provided to all the students wherein they can experience and understand the concepts deeply using the content provided by Phyzok team
Demonstration of Phyzok Interactive Courseware at PSBB School Chennai. The courseware is intended to be highly customized as per the teacher using it.
will the BITS-75 Trust support Phyzok? The
Trust will support the Phyzok project in a number of complementary
ways that will help in creating a sound technical system and use
solid business and marketing skills to scale up the project to
commercial levels at which they can sustainably run it.The
Trust will fund Phyzok project with INR 1 Million (Rs. 10 lakh)
grant over the period of August 2011 through November 2012. Funding
will support buying equipment, consumables and marketing effort, and
will be in multiple batches tied to specific deliverables and
milestones based on a project plan.The
Trust will support and fund the Incubation Center under Dr. Arya
Kumar at BITS where Phyzok venture work will continue its work.In
addition to monetary help, the Trust also envisions to provide
technical guidance and business development help, and project
management supervision to Phyzok.
Are you excited by Phyzok? Can you help in this winning effort? Dr. Satish Thatte will serve the role of Mentor/Guide for Phyzok project and help coordinate a network of mentors/guides from the BITSAA community with technical and business expertise to help Phyzok venture succeed. Vijay Sarathi will serve the role of Project Manager for Phyzok.
The Trust is soliciting Mentors/Guides for Phyzok project from BITSAA community to take full advantage of the deep knowledge, expertise, and networking of BITS alumni.
Technology Mentors/Guides: Provide technical expertise/guidance to Phyzok team in the following areas. Mentoring and guidance can be provided over phone, e-mail, Skype, Web meetings, as well as face-to-face meetings with Phyzok team. Any qualified member of BITSAA may play the role.
Internet cloud-based interactive contents delivery: Guidance on creating an Internet cloud-based platform to deliver the Phyzok interactive contents in a secured way over Internet to schools that will consume Phyzok contents. Technical expertise in Internet cloud-based platforms and delivery of multi-media interactive contents from cloud-based servers to users is required.
Development of creative interactive contents: Guidance on creating creative interactive content (multi-media, animation, video) for delivery through DVD media and later from cloud-based servers over Internet.
Modular Phyzok kits: Guidance on modular Phyzok kit development and taking it to manufacturing. Phyzok kits are similar to modular toys using solenoids, magnets, circuit boards, electric motors, gears, pendulum kits. Phyzok team needs guidance in designing, blue printing and eventually outsourcing the manufacturing work.
Business Mentors/Guides: Provide marketing, business development and sales expertise/guidance to Phyzok in the following areas: Business models: Review and critique the business model of Phyzok; and offer advice on improvements. If you have MBA background and some industry experience in evaluating business models, your advice to Phyzok team will be very helpful.
Creative content development partners: Help in establishing partnerships with creative content providers in India (like eureka.in). The content created needs to be in line with the Phyzok kits and lesson plans. If you are in touch with creative content developers in India, your help will be of value to Phyzok team.
Advice related to India’s education systems: If you have good knowledge and contacts with India’s educational systems (standards 7 to 10), your advice could be very valuable to Phyzok team.
Phyzok pilot sites leads: If you have contacts with educational institutions in India (owners and management), your networking would go a long way in having such schools as Phyzok pilot sites, which may later become referenceable customers.
Service provider referrals: Any referrals on cost-effective business services that Phyzok needs; such as matters related to legal, tax, insurance, human resources, etc.
References with banks and investors: If you have contacts with venture capital community, angel investors and banks in India, your networking will be of great value to Phyzok team.
Marketing help: Review and critique Phyzok web site and marketing brochures, and offer advice on improvements; recommendations on trade-shows, advertising, etc.
If you are interested in helping Phyzok project as its Mentor/Guide, please contact Satish Thatte at email@example.com. Satish Thatte (Operational Team memberof BITS-75) is the CEO of New Synergy Group (www.NewSynergyGroup.com) in Kendall Park, NJ, USA. The company provides training, workshops and consulting services and strategy advice to software-intensive and IT companies. He received MS in 1977 and PhD in 1979 from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and B.E. (Hons.) in Electronics from BITS, Pilani in 1975. He is the founding member of the BITS-75 Charitable Trust.
Trust consists of a group of 4 trustees and 4 Operational Team
Members listed below. Trustees:
Hanuman Bengani, Jagdish Acharya, Vijay Chandru, Suresh Sharma
you are interested in knowing more about the BITS-75 Charitable
Trust, its operations, fund raising effort or how to form a Trust in
India, please contact Hanuman Bengani (Chief Trustee) at
He is based in Kolkata, India.