IIT Madras Announces 2021 Class of Distinguished Alumni Awardees: 11 Alumni with Extraordinary Accomplishments

IIT Madras

IIT Madras has announced the 2021 Class of Distinguished Alumni Awardees (DAA), given annually by the institute in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments by alumni in various spheres.

The list of DAA 2021 winners includes eminent persons such as the Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Executive Vice President of Walmart, and the Chief Technology Officer for Energy and Mobility at Microsoft R&D India and Azure Global

Congratulating the awardees, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, said, “We are delighted that so many of our alumni have made an impact in their chosen walks of life. We are honored to recognize their achievements.”

Since the inception of the awards in 1996, a total of 192 alumni have been chosen for the Award. The selection is done by a committee appointed by the Director of IIT Madras.

The nominations are received under the following categories:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Technology Innovation Excellence
  • Business Management Excellence
  • Entrepreneurial Excellence
  • Excellence in other walks of life

Some of the awardees in earlier years include Kris S Gopalakrishnan (1977), Co-founder of Infosys and Chairman, Axilor Ventures, Dr. S Christopher (1987), Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Satish Pai (1985), Managing Director, Hindalco Industries, Dr. Desh Deshpande (1973) Co-founder and Chairman, Sycamore Networks and S Sowmya (1992), well-known Carnatic Vocalist.

Here’s what the 11 awardees this year had to say:

  1. Thanking the Institute for bestowing this recognition, Ajay Kaushal, Co-Founder, and Director, BillDesk said,
    IIT Madras has been a turning point in my life. It boosted my confidence, prepared me to deal with people and situations, and got me thinking about entrepreneurship.”I fondly remember the four years on campus – the tough electrical engineering courses, great professors, and life-long friends. I am deeply humbled and honored to be recognized by the very institution that has played a pivotal part in my journey,” he added.
  2. Yogesh Gupta, CEO, Progress Software, US, said,
    I am delighted to have been chosen for the Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2021 by IIT Madras and humbly accept this great honor. The lessons I learned at IIT Madras have accompanied me through every stage of my professional career and I am grateful for the opportunities that being an alum of this great institute has enabled.”

“This honor carries even greater meaning to me given the global challenges we face and I hope to continue living up to the high standards set by my alma mater,” he added.

  1. Shivkumar Kalyanaraman, CTO, Energy and Mobility, Microsoft R&D India and Azure Global, said,
    IIT Madras gave me a rich set of formative memories, a wonderful network of friends, a love for lifelong learning which has shaped who I am and influenced my contributions. A big thank you to everyone in the institution and my collaborators over the years.
  2. R Madhavan, Chairman, and Managing Director, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited,
    It is a great feeling to be recognized by our own Institute and I feel that this is also a recognition of all the teachers and professors who made us what we are.
  3. Suresh Kumar, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, and Chief Development Officer, Walmart Inc., said,
    Generations of our alumni have transformed their chosen fields and tech itself. Being included in this year’s class of DAA recipients is a tremendous honor.

“I am deeply grateful for the IIT Madras family and the many ways the institute shaped my technical expertise and entrepreneurial spirit,” he added.

  1. Prof. Ravi Subrahmanyan, Emeritus Professor, Raman Research Institute, Karnataka, said,
    It is a pleasure to be recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of IITM. The 5 years as a BTech student there was a huge life-changing experience, formative and empowering, in the classroom but much more in life with the exceptional peer group; all of us went out friends with the means and confidence to find our paths in very different roads.
  2. Dr. SK (‘KG’) Ganapathi, Founder and CEO at Vimaan Robotics, said, It is a great honor to be recognized by my alma mater, which is one of the world’s finest institutions, and to join so many other luminaries as a recipient of this award.
  3. Thanking the Institute for bestowing this recognition, Prof. Jayaraman Chandrasekhar, Principal Research Scientist, Gilead Sciences, said,
    It is indeed a great honor. I cherish and wish to thank all my teachers and classmates at IIT Madras who have had such a lasting influence on my career, professionally and personally.
  4. Dr. Ram Duvvuru Sriram (aka Duvvuri), Chief, Software and Systems Division, Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA, said,
    I am honored to receive this prestigious award from my alma mater, IIT Madras. IIT Madras provided us a solid foundation to pursue and excel in whatever field we ventured into. I am fortunate to have been under the tutelage of many excellent faculty at IIT Madras and CMU.” The bonds that we developed with our batch mates at IIT Madras are everlasting. I am thankful for the excellent support from my friends, family, and colleagues, throughout my career,” he added.
  5. Prasanna Ramaswamy, the Musician, Virginia, USA, said,
    I am honored to receive this Award from IIT Madras. As a Guitarist, Composer, and Music Educator, I owe so much to IIT Madras — the institution and its community for shaping my character and personality, for showing me the blueprint for excellence, and for just letting me have the time of my life.
  6. Prof. BS Sathyaprakash, Associate Director, Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, Bert Elsbach, said,
    I am truly honored with this recognition. Our professors in the Physics Department were not only excellent teachers but trained us in critical thinking and problem solving cognitive skills that proved invaluable in my research career.

“In particular, Professors R Srinivasan (RS) and V Balakrishnan (Balki) were my heroes they made physics fun, exciting and intuitive. IIT-M with its splendid campus and the rich art and social festivals was a remarkable life experience,” he added.

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