BITS Pilani alumnus Raghu Sethuraman and his spouse, Aparna Thyagarajan, co-founder of Shobitam, a Seattle-based apparel brand have donated US$1,22,380 for women entrepreneurship at the institute.
According to an official statement, the amount will be used to develop a “Shobitam Centre for Women Entrepreneurship” (SCWE), which will strengthen startup ventures of women students across the BITS campuses. Additionally, the donation will also fund two scholarships each year for talented women leaders from the centre.
SCWE will also conduct events and programs to encourage entrepreneurial spirit in women, provide seed capital for promising ventures, access to cutting edge technology of industry experts and hands-on coaching from a diverse set of stakeholders.
A graduate of the 1992 batch, Sethuraman currently serves as the chairman of the board, Shobitam and general manager at Azure, Microsoft. “I am indebted to BITS Pilani, an institution which has played a key role in shaping me personally and professionally. And it gives me great pleasure to be part of this unique initiative to create SCWE in collaboration with BITS, Pilani,” he said.
“Entrepreneurship is a mindset where the centre will create a conducive environment for women’s entrepreneurship to succeed with gender equality, build institutional capacity and develop tools with support services for women entrepreneurs. SCWE will be a legacy builder, one that will have a lasting impact on the future generations,” he added.
BITS Pilani is a reputed institute in India well known for its entrepreneurial culture. The Alumni is credited for founding 10 unicorns in India, including Swiggy, Groww, Eruditus, Ofbusiness, Bigbasket and more.