Alumni donates to create Shobitam Centre for Women Entrepreneurship at BITS Pilani with a pledge of Rs 1 Crore

BITS Pilani, famous for its entrepreneurial culture, announced that it will be setting up a centre for women entrepreneurship to strengthen startup ventures from women students across the BITS campuses. The centre is being set up through a generous donation by its alumnus Raghu Sethuraman and his spouse, Aparna Thyagarajan, Co-founder of Shobitam

The centre will be named as ‘Shobitam Centre for Women Entrepreneurship’ (SCWE), after the global fashion brand Shobitam run by Aparna from Seattle, US. Shobitam is dedicated to making Indian ethnic wear affordable, elegant and available globally. The funds will also be used to award the Lalitha and Hema scholarships each year for talented women leaders from the centre.

“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. Entrepreneurship is a mindset where the centre will create an enabling environment for women’s entrepreneurship to succeed with gender equality, build the institutional capacity and develop the tools with support services for women entrepreneurs. SCWE will be a legacy builder, one that will have a lasting impact on the future generations, says Raghu Sethuraman, Chairman of Board, Shobitam, a BITS alumnus, class of 1992.

The centre shall create a strong foundation in BITS campuses for women to get inspired, supported, and mentored to become successful global entrepreneurs. The centre shall conduct events and programs tailored specifically for women. The centre shall also provide scholarships and seed funds for promising ventures, access to cutting edge industry experts and hands-on coaching impact from a diverse set of stakeholders. Ultimately, we are creating a first of its kind centre for India which will help close the gender gap in business, one woman leader at a time.

Prof. Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani said, “we are committed to provide plenty of opportunities to all the students on the campus. We want women from all programs whether Engineering or Business or PhDs to build their ideas into viable start-ups. We are grateful to Raghu for setting up this Shobitam Centre for Women Entrepreneurship, that will act as connecting bridge between the women innovators and PIEDS, our startup incubator.”

BITS Pilani was in news recently for allowing students to take a year off from their studies if they wish to work on their startup. BITS alumni have founded more than 10 unicorns in India, including Swiggy, Groww, Eruditus, Ofbusiness, Bigbasket amongst others.

BITS Pilani offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral level programs in Sciences, Engineering, Management and Pharmacy. It has 3 campuses in India - Pilani, Goa, and Hyderabad, and an international campus in Dubai, UAE.

About Shobitam: Founded by fashionistas and creative sisters Aparna and Ambika in Seattle, Shobitam is building a world-class ethnic fashion brand that is elegant, affordable, and available globally. Powered by a passion for fashion, an interest in designing them, and a drive to make them available to all, Shobitam’s mission is to help people look good, do good and feel good. Working closely with weavers across India, Shobitam designs unique collections and makes a difference in their lives with deep impact. They sell through their global online platform to tens of thousands of customers across 40+ countries, offering beautiful selections with quality, prices and 5-star service! Customer Obsession is at the core of Shobitam’s experience and you can see it reflected in their 6000+ 5 Star Customer Reviews.

About BITS, Pilani BITS Pilani, established in 1964, is an institute of eminence and offers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral program in Engineering, Sciences, Pharmacy, and Management from its four campuses at Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad, and Dubai. It also offers Work Integrated Learning Programmes for working professionals. It has more than 170,000 alumni across the globe from its on-campus and WILP programmes.

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