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Gagan Chadha Memorial Award for Entrepreneurship
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Encourage and honor the BITS Pilani tradition of innovation, non-conformism and risk taking to build high impact organizations.


22nd March 2013 marked a very tragic day for the BITSian community when it lost a remarkable individual, Gagan Chadha. Gagan co-founded Value First and played a multifaceted role in growing the organization to become highly successful in the mobile VAS space. A truly passionate BITSian and an active member of the BITS Spark initiative, Gagan mentored a lot of young entrepreneurs and actively invested in young BITSian companies.The Gagan Chadha memorial award for entrepreneurship is awarded for recognizing and honoring young business leaders who have shown outstanding performance and leadership in developing successful business ideas.

Award summary

Jointly awarded by BITS Spark and ValueFirst, the award aims to create a platform to encourage innovation and growth in entrepreneurship.

The winners will be awarded a cash prize of 7,50,000 INR to recognize achievement, encourage the organization to extend their impact and target long-term financial and operational sustainability.

Who’s eligible?

  1. BITS Pilani alumni

  2. The startup should be registered less than 4 years from the last date of applications

  3. The entrepreneur applicant should not be more than 35 years of age as on 31.12.2013

Judging Panel

The judging panel comprises of

Vishwadeep Bajaj

Vishwadeep did his MCA and CFA, and went on to work with CMC and then Siemens in India and Germany. He switched between corporate life and entrepreneurial life a couple of times, before starting his steadfast journey as an entrepreneur in Europe in the technology space. He has since then founded a couple of companies in UK/Germany and exited before founding Valuefirst. Valuefirst, with headquarters in India, serves in many countries across Asian, African and European continents.

Dr. S.P. Kothari

Dr. SP Kothari('74) is the Gordon Y Billard Professor of Accounting at Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has held Professorship position at the Simon School, University of Rochester and visiting professorship positions at London Business School, Cranfield University, UK, University of Technology, Sydney and Baruch College, New York and City University Business School, London. He has authored a book titled Financial Statements Analysis, written over 50 articles for The Hindu and The Economic Times, and been invited to speak at universities and conferences around the world. Dr. Kothari holds a PhD in Accounting from the University of Iowa (1986), an MBA in Accounting and Finance from IIM Ahmedabad (1982) and a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from BITS Pilani (1979).

Anupendra Sharma

Anupendra Sharma is currently a venture capitalist at Siemens Venture Capital, investing in healthcare companies around the world out of Boston. He also spends time advising startups, as well as people on careers. Anupendra remains most passionate about helping youngsters achieve their dreams. In 2006, he started The Leadership Program (TLP), to groom the next generation of global startup CEOs, which is now being slowly rolled out around the world. Anupendra founded the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at BITS Pilani, and is Founding Advisor to Peking University's Venture Capital Association. He also started the Massachusetts Life Sciences Startup Initiative, to accelerate the pace of startups in the Commonwealth, and advises government and related agencies on policy matters related to startups in the Commonwealth. Anupendra holds an MBA from Cornell University, MS in Accounting & Finance from Manchester Business School, Masters in Economics and Bachelors in Instrumentation Engineering from BITS Pilani, India.

Phanindra Sama

Phanindra Sama is the Founder and CEO of redBus, India’s First Online Bus Ticket Booking Service.

Started in 2005, today redbus is the largest online bus ticketing company in India. It has the largestnetwork of bus operators. It offers over 4500 routes across the Indian map. Customers can book tickets as per their convenience – be it the phone, home delivery, physical outlets or even SMS. Phanindra recieved his Electrical Engineering degree from BITS Pilani and Post- Graduation from Indian Institute of Science. Prior to redbus, he worked at ST Electronics and Texas Instruments.

Abhinav Kushraj

Abhinav is an entrepreneur. He started in enterprise software as a techie, then worked in business roles at Nokia. He is also involved actively in the startup ecosystem as an angel investor and advisor. In addition, he has been driving various entrepreneurship initiatives under the BITS Spark banner. Abhinav did his MS in Information Systems from BITS Pilani and MBA from MIT Sloan.

The Panel will be responsible for screening and shortlisting of entries/nominations received based on applications received and evaluating shortlisted entries to select the winners.

Deadline for nominations is on the 7th of October , 2013.

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