Fellowships Support India's Future Leaders
Since its start in 2009, the Reliance Dhirubhai Fellows program has provided full academic scholarships to attend the Stanford Graduate School of Business for five students from India with demonstrated financial need and a commitment to improving their country.
The fellowship is made possible by a gift from Reliance Industries Ltd., which is led by Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, a member of the school's Advisory Council.
Meet the current second-year fellows:
Uzma Hussain Barlaskar: While at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science in Pilani, she participated in a program that taught self-sufficiency to women living in the countryside. Last summer, she worked in the Mumbai office of Sherpalo Ventures, a Menlo Park–based venture capital firm. "I see myself going back to India and starting my own company," she said.
Ankur Gigras: He's learning more about business with the aim of improving medical services for India's rural populace. "I could see that there were people who couldn't afford anything else, but they could come to the hospital for treatment," he said of his time assigned to local hospitals while working at McKinsey & Co.
Kriti Parashar: She helped establish a microfinance program for rural farmers while at Lehman Brothers in Mumbai. That experience led her to the GSB and the opportunity to get "a more tangible education in the business space" and the skills she'll need to thrive at a larger corporation upon her return to India.
Rohit Satapathy: He calls late Apple CEO Steve Jobs one of the "heroes" who attracted him to Stanford and its entrepreneurial culture. Already, he has assembled a cross-continental, cross-cultural team working on an internet venture.
Niveditha Viswanathan: She's learning from entrepreneurs who share the nuts-and-bolts of starting successful internet companies for use in her own social venture — raising money to buy ventilators for cash-strapped government hospitals in India.