Bits of Success (Inspiring Stories of BITS Pilani Alumni)

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Item Code: NAJ773
Author: Harsh Bhargava and Kinnera Murthy
Publisher: Orient Blackswan Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9788173719158
Pages: 207 (50 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 310 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About The Book

The creators of Hotmail, Foodking, Bharat Forge, MapmyIndia, Onida, TheFind, Varshajal and the Buddh International Circuit, to name a few, were all driven by passion—the passion to realise their dreams. They all built successful teams and created enduring brands. Further, the founders of the companies all had one more thing in common—they had graduate from Bits Pilani. These Bits alumni and many more have been successful entrepreneurs and trailblazers in varied fields. How did they do it? Did they score a bullseye the first time? If not, did they experience frustration—like many of us? How did they balance their work and personal lives? Did they have a success mantra?

The book provides answers to these question by taking the reader the journeys of fifty individuals who realised their dreams through perseverance and determination, be it as entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, teachers or artists. What is noteworthy is that all of them unanimously attribute their success to the exposure they received in Bits Pilani, highlighting the importance of educational institutes in shaping students’ lives.

This book is an initiative of Bits Alumni Association, Hyderabad, to commemorate the golden jubilee of Bits Pilani (1964-2014).


About The Authors

Harsh Bhargava © is an alumnus of Bits Pilani, IIT Kanpur, Osmania University and Naval Postgraduate School, California. He is a former commodore, Indian Navy, and Professor, IBS Hyderabad. His previous books include Virtual Leadership.

Kinnera Murthy (L) is an alumnus of Bits Pilani, Universities of Pune and Osmania University. Former Dean of the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad, she is a strategy consultant and serves on the board of several corporate and academic institutions. She also leads social initiatives.

Anu Khendry (R) is an alumnus of Bits Pilani and State University of New York at Stony Brook. After having spent two decades in the IT industry, she now consults and trains the subject areas of agile methodologies and project management.



The evolution of BITS over the last fifty years from a tiny pathshala (school) for two to the marvel that is BITS Pilani, an institute offering the best of science and technology education, makes for a splendid story. BITS of Success captures admirably how this great institution has spawned and shaped generations of leaders in India and worldwide.

An eclectic tapestry, this volume presents the passion of fifty BITSians, their success drivers, their deep longing to make meaningful contributions and the lessons they learnt in the journey of life! According to these achievers, if they had to think of one single factor that enabled them to reach the top of their league, it would be the strong foundation of values-integrity, perseverance and commitment-ingrained in them during their most formative years at BITS.

I believe the stories in this book will enthuse and motivate not only BITSians but the entire student community to set high aspirations that would lead to a purposeful life that goes beyond the self.

Kudos to Harsh Bhargava, Kinnera Murthy, Anu Khendry-all BITS alumni from BITSM, Hyderabad-for their insightful chronicling of brand BITS through the eyes of these 50 alumni who have made a mark in their respective fields and brought glory to BITS.

I find the dedication and the emotional and intellectual equity that BITSians invest in their alma mater-a matter of great pride for me-truly exceptional. Let me explain what has been the university's strategic vision-"to raise BITS to become one of the leading science and technology universities in Asia with a clear focus on teaching, research and industry engagement" -which I believe will undeniably interest all BITSians. While teaching is understandably the primary objective, the focus on research enables us to occupy a position of prominence among other leading science and technological universities. Further, a close alignment with the industry at every point will continue to set us apart in unique ways.

As we march ahead, our ambitious growth plan to increase the depth and reach of both our on-campus and off-campus programmes will surely lead to more milestones achieved by an increasing number of game-changers from BITS.



BITS Pilani has a large global alumni network comprising individuals who have excelled in diverse careers. On the occasion of the golden jubilee of the institute, the BITSM (BITS Alumni Association) thought it a fitting gesture to honour the institute by chronicling the life stories of some of the outstanding BITSians over the years. A book with the theme 'BITSSO@SO', showcasing the success stories of BITS alumni over the last fifty years (1964-2014), was proposed and agreed upon as being appropriate for the occasion.

The real challenge of putting together the book was to select the individuals whose stories it would contain. We were able to identify some from the list of recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award (OM) instituted by BITS. For the others, we sought nominations through the BITSM website (www. and social media platforms. A panel consisting of BITS Pilani's vice chancellor, his predecessor, and four DDA recipients scrutinised the nominations. The shortlisted alumni were then approached to share their life experiences in the form of short biographical sketches.

The stories in this book are of people from diverse fields ranging from technologists to entrepreneurs to artists to teachers. Each story gives the reader a glimpse of how passion, perseverance and determination have helped the person realise his or her dream. The stories showcase experiences in a variety of contexts such as team-building in corporate environments, setting up companies and undertaking new ventures for the benefit of society. The narrators describe their frustrations at the difficulties encountered along the way and how they were able to overcome them with faith and persistence. One thing emerges common to all the stories-all the achievers give credit to BITS for providing them with the right environment for honing their skills and helping them develop networks that they believe has served them well throughout their careers.

We are disappointed that we could not include more stories in the book for want of time and space. Many of the alumni we approached did not want their stories to be showcased. Like them, there are countless other BITS alumni who equally deserve a place in this book but who shy away from being in the limelight. We hope to succeed in persuading them to share their stories in the next anniversary volume.

Suggestions for the title of the book were sought through various social media channels. Within just three days of posting the requirement, more than fifty submissions came in! These were assessed and voted online by more than five hundred BITSians. The title 'BITS of Success', suggested by Jatin Chuglani, a BITS alumnus, was an outright winner. We thank Jatin for his imaginative suggestion.

A project of this magnitude could not have been completed without the active support of many people. We thank the BITSians the world over who passionately relived their stories for us and met our deadlines in spite of their busy schedules and the families of the late Ramesh Grover and Shanti Sharma for their inputs. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of all those who helped us in the compilation of this book-all the alumni for nominating fellow BITSian achievers; Indira Susheel Kumar (parent of a BITS alumnus) for her unmatched line drawings as well as her committed editorial support; Bhashwati, Shyamola Khanna, Jayanti Ramamoorthy and N Raguveer (a BITS Hyderabad student) for their editorial and research support; Deepak Manchanda, former editor of BITS Beat (a campus "as-and-when-we-canly") for sharing his memories of BITS; Sherin Kurien, Rahul Sengupta and Rohit Kaul (all BITS alumni) for helping with the research and compilation of this book; the BITSM Hyderabad team led by Ashok Agarwal and Sanjay Khendry for their unstinting support; Debdaan for the excellent cover design; Susheela for her immaculate typesetting; and Madhu Reddy, Ramya Sriram and the rest of the team at Universities Press, the publishers, for bringing out this book on time. Lastly, we wish to thank our families for believing us every time we said, "Just coming!" but took two hours thereafter!

We hope you enjoy reading the book as much as we did putting it together. Your feedback is always welcome.




  Foreword by K M Birla vii
  Foreword by K Kasturirangan ix
  Preface xi
  Bits Pilani: A vision come true xiii
1 D Balasubramania Eyeing success in vivo, in situ! 1
2 Ashok Kumar Agarwal Driven by curiosity 5
3 Gulu Mirchandani Neighbor's Envy, Owner's Pride 9
4 Prithviraj Chavan A technocrat chief minister 11
5 Krishna Saraswat Attuning academic research to the needs of the industry 13
6 Bhagwati P Agrawal Championing innovations for people 17
7 Kishore Rajvanshy Quality brings growth 21
8 Surendra Pal Reaching out to the unknown 25
9 Babasaheb Neelkanth Kalyani Forging ties globally but firmly founded in India 29
10 B C Jain Enlightening lives 33
11 Chandralekha Bhaskar Generating power 37
12 Jinesh C Jain One man, many dreams-and many more to fulfil! 41
13 Ramesh D Grover An exemplary model of leadership 45
14 Surya P Sethi Heavy hitting pioneer 49
15 Narendra Ahuja Innovative research through societal sensitiity 53
16 Rakesh Verma Business is like running a marathon! 57
17 C P Talesara Raising the bar of success 61
18 Prem Jain An entrepreneur and an executive 65
19 Shirish Chinoy A true entrepreneur never sleeps 69
20 Vinod K Agarwal Your dreams make you what you are 73
21 Pankaj Patel Networking into success 77
22 Shanti Vaidyanathan Sharma A musical journey 81
23 Vijay Chandru Innovating technology for life sciences 83
24 Vijay Kumar Kedia No one can stop you 87
25 Mani Shankar Let the facts speak the story 91
26 Sunit Rikhi Happiness is a decision 95
27 Rajesh Hukku Dream big and persevere 99
28 S P Kothari Success hings on teamwork 103
29 Sunil Nanda Ten thousand hours 107
30 Vivek Paul Reinvent yourself 111
31 Chandni Sahgal Thriving on uncertainty 115
32 Manoj Gaur No dream too big 119
33 Raju Reddy Live your values 121
34 R Parthasarathy Align your dreams to solving problems 125
35 Manoj Saxena Your focus determines your reality 129
36 Ramesh Ramanathan Seize this moment 133
37 Diaz Nesamoney Luck is not a strategy 137
38 Suresh Kabra Two false starts and success! 141
39 Sabeer Bhatia A good entrepreneur never gives up 145
40 Sanjay Anand If your heart is dissatisfied, walk away 147
41 Sanjay Anand Jumping in with both feet 151
42 Ajay Chaturvedi Empowering people economically 155
43 Shashikant Khandelwal Sky is the limit 159
44 Kartik Hosanagar Seek your own path 163
45 Sarathbabu Elumalai Entrepresenurship is like a Japanese Bomboo Tree 167
46 Suhail Kassim Promoting tolerance and compassion in the world 171
47 Raj Kumar Skiing to the Poles 175
48 Kavikrut Wake up to a mission everyday 179
49 Mayur Patnala A dreamer with a cause 183
50 Srikumar Murthy Give it a shot 187
  Index 191

Sample Pages

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