It’s been a bit longer this time since I wrote a post. Wanted to profile all our Fellows and was busy collecting their Bios. A lot  has been going on with Acara during the last few weeks. Teams submitted their business plans and presentations were made. A lot of interesting ideas. Great feedback from the judges. And the finalists have been announced too. You can see them here. These teams will be making their presentations on May 17th, Monday during the evening IST. You can watch the live telecast here. Lot of excitement coming up!

Till then, we would like you to meet all our Fellows –

Anirudha Kandharkar did his production engineering from SGGS Nanded and is currently pursuing MBA from K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai with International Business/Marketing as his area of specialization. His interest lies in product development and business development for low income communities. He has worked with Cognizant Technology Solutions before starting MBA. At Cognizant, he was involved their CSR activities and designed green campaigns for the firm. He is currently working on creating and implementing sustainable business models.  Anirudha is an avid trekker and takes immense pleasure in organising events.

Raman is a Final Year Student at VIT University. He has held the office of the President of the Entrepreneurship Cell at VIT University for two years. Currently, he is mentoring the new E-Cell Team. He believes that technology and business innovation are a must to create long term social impact. Being passionate about start-ups and entrepreneurship, he has worked as a Student Co-ordinator for VIT-TBI(Technology Business Incubator), which has been selected for the National Award for the year 2008 by the NSTEBD division of DST. He was recognized by National Entrepreneurship Network as an E-Leader for leadership in entrepreneurship over 400 other students across India. To promote start-up culture and to provide an informal platform to entrepreneurial students, he has started the Open Coffee Club, VIT Chapter. Following his passion for social entrepreneurship, he has worked with The Spark Group, an MIT/Yale education start-up. He has also worked with Max Value Online Pvt. Ltd. where he has designed courses for management students.

Vikash Singh is an alumnus of Bangalore Institute of Technology Karnataka (BIT). He has an experience of over 3 years in IT industry and is currently pursuing his Post Graduation in Management in International Business & Marketing at SIMSR, Mumbai. His interests include areas like Social entrepreneurship, business networking and development. Vikash is a budding entrepreneur and is in the process of starting his own venture in due course to take on socially relevant projects using sustainable business models that could make a difference to the society. He has earlier been involved with various NGO’s & SHG’s like HIV Foundation, Saathi, Vibha to name a few. He has been trained on ‘School-based Teenage Education Program for Alcohol & HIV Prevention’- collaboration between Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA and Institute for Strategic Biotechnology, Health and Training, India.

On completion of my Bachelor of architecture from New Delhi, Karthik worked with firms in New Delhi and Chennai, on projects that ranged from architecture and interior design to urban and ecological design. A desire to understand the environment holistically urged him to study and work across disciplines and across scales in diverse contexts and projects. This interdisciplinary approach now defines him as a designer, and sustains his interests in landscape urbanism, infrastructural systems with a deep understanding of the context and a passion for detail. In the Master of Landscape Architecture + Certificate in Metropolitan Design programs at the University of Minnesota, he repeatedly explored the relationships of the small scale solutions with the larger infrastructural systems in the city and the region. As an Landscape Architect and Urban Designer, his work reflects the strong conviction that to realize the sustainability of the smaller solution, it is essential to understand the sustainability of these larger systems.

Jane Miller is an undergraduate student studying Industrial Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is most interested in promoting the value of integrating business and design into a symbiotic relationship. Using her knowledge of ideation and design processes, she believes she can bring a unique perspective to the practice of creating sustainable solutions for those living in poverty. She also hopes to use her experience as a student competitor in the 2010 Acara Challenge to analyze and develop successful strategies to address the challenges posed by multi-discipline, multi-country collaborations.

Himanshu Chandra is pursuing B.Tech. in Electronics & Communication Engineering at VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, INDIA. His interests lie in the field of Management, Economics, Rural Development, Entrepreneurship, International Relations and Technology. He has done a course in Strategic Management at The London School of Economics and has also completed a two year course in technology entrepreneurship at the Technology Business Incubator of VIT University. He has published a paper on Rural Governance at IIM Calcutta & also an IEEE Paper on queuing disciplines in 2009. Himanshu is the Co-Founder of a nonprofit organization “iKENNEX: Promoting Knowledge” which works for fostering technological development and scientific thinking in colleges.

Yash Baheti is currently pursuing his B. Tech. in Biotechnology at IIT Roorkee. He likes business talks and competitions related to business and entrepreneurship. He has participated in several business plan completions and is passionate about creating technology and business solutions for rural India. Through the Acara fellowship program, he wants to serve the Charba village and build a strong understanding about businesses and also develop better communication skills.

Elliot Altbaum will be graduating from Southwest High School this May with an IB Diploma. He will be attending Clark University next fall to study International Development and Social Change. He is interested in the blend of social justice and equitable businesses. He is the founder of the Light Bulb Project, an effort to increase relevance high school curriculum by bringing professionals into the classroom to demonstrate the intersection of theory and practice.

Cashmira Pramanik is pursuing her undergraduate studies in Architecture & Planning from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. She is a proud recipient of IIT Roorkee Heritage Fund Annual Excellence Award, 2009, for Outstanding Academic, Co-curricular and Extracurricular Activities. Her interest lies in the fields of inclusive education, knowledge management and tools and techniques of education. Over her three years in IIT Roorkee, she has undertaken various initiatives and projects.  She has founded the ‘Group for Interactive Learning’, which primarily aims to experiment with ways to facilitate interactive learning for the purpose of dissemination of knowledge and sharing of skills amongst the stakeholders of IIT Roorkee. Besides, she is the official student representative of IIT Roorkee Alumni Heritage Foundation and is currently working to bridge the gap between the current student community and the alumni population of IIT Roorkee to facilitate career mentoring and support. Recently, she has co-authored the paper, ‘Primary School Drop-outs in India’ with Prof. Vinay K.Nangia and it has been accepted for presentation in the Joint Annual Conference of the International Academy of Business and the International Educators Group, as Vegas, 9-12th May, 2010..

Maninder Pal Singh Thind is an undergraduate student, pursuing B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT Roorkee. He has interests in management and working for social issues. He is amember of Student societies of IIT Roorkee, namely SIIRD (Students Initiative for Integrated Rural Development) and STIFKI ( Student Teacher Interaction Forum for Knowledge and Innovation). Under SIIRD, he is working with Profesor Vinay K. Nangia (Chair Professor, Government of India’ Knowledge Economy Project, Head, Department of Management Studies, and Coordinator, Uttarakhand Development Cell, IIT Roorkee) to work in the field of Rural Development. They have adopted a village called Charba, near Dehradun where he, along with the team, is working to provide computer education to students, conduct surveys, provide computers to the primary schools, etc. He is also trying to develop relations with companies like GAIL Ltd, Gensol Ltd. etc. for associating with SIIRD.

We once again congratulate all our Fellows and wish to get updates on their work soon on the blog!