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The Pilani Pioneers


 | Book Awards 2022 | English Non-fiction

The Pilani Pioneers

Full Title: The Pilani Pioneers: Inspiring Success Stories of 25 BITS Pilani Graduates

Author: Gaurav Mandelcha and Durjai Sethi
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Award Category: English Non-fiction
About the Book: 

How did the trailblazers of Indian business turn their dreams into reality?

The Pilani Pioneers profiles twenty-five accomplished BITS Pilani graduates, including startup founders, entrepreneurs and CEOs, who have made an indelible mark on the Indian and global business landscape while deftly navigating the twists and turns of their professional and personal lives.

It introduces us to mavericks such as Baba Kalyani, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Forge; Hari Menon, Co-founder and CEO of BigBasket; Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian at Tata Sons; Sunil Duggal, Dabur's longest-serving CEO; Tulsi Mirchandaney, MD of Blue Dart Aviation; Nandini Chopra, MD at Alvarez & Marsal; Phanindra Sama, Co-founder of redBus; among others, whose stories of passion and perseverance reveal what it takes to not only achieve success in the competitive arena of business but also make a positive difference in both industry and the world at large.

Inspiring, with a touch of nostalgia, this book is an essential read for anyone looking to find their niche and build a meaningful professional life.

About the Author: 

Gaurav Mandlecha graduated with a double major in Economics and Mechanical Engineering from BITS Pilani. He is a strong believer in the compounding power of small actions and has a zeal for exploring new pastures. Gaurav’s heart lies with the startup ecosystem in India. He made his first angel investment at the age of twenty-three and is an early team member of Airmeet, a virtual events platform. In his free time, you will find Gaurav reading about startups, writing emails to people he admires, exploring the city of Mumbai or dancing to a DJ with his friends. He is always open to catching up over a frappé and can be reached through his LinkedIn and Twitter.

Durjai Sethi graduated from BITS Pilani in 2019. His journey with theatre helped him develop active empathy, a personality trait he values above all else. He considers conversations and the exchange of thoughts and ideas to be a form of meditation. Durjai is a proponent of the positive-sum game and identifies strongly with egoistic altruism, which, in the words of Kurzgesagt, is a ‘selfish argument to make the world a better place’.

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