Know the IIM Ahmedabad’s Young Alumni Achievers - Nine CEOs, Entrepreneurs, Public Servants Honoured in 8th Edition of IIMA YAAA 2022 Awards

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Updated on June 27, 2023
IIM Ahmedabad presented the 8th Young Alumni Achiever’s Awards on June 24 to nine formidable Alumni under the age of 45 in four work areas including Corporate Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Public Service and Arts & Entertainment. The awards, started in 2015, are given to IIMA alumni to recognize their outstanding achievements in various areas of work
IIM Ahmedabad Alumni

Out of its large alumni base spread across the Globe, IIM Ahmedabad, in its 8th IIMA “Young Alumni Achiever’s Awards 2022 ceremony, held on June 24, 2023 at its campus, presented the award to 9 formidable Alumni that included Corporate Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Top Public Servants and Young Authors. The Young Alumni Achiever’s Awards 2022 (YAAA 2022) were given away by Professor Bharat Bhasker, Director, IIM Ahmedabad and Professor Sunil Maheshwari, Dean (Alumni and External Relations) at an event organised at the IIMA campus and was attended by members of the larger IIMA community.

Initiated in 2015, these awards are given to its alumni under the age of 45 in recognition of their outstanding achievements and contributions in the areas of Corporate Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Academics, Social/Public Service and Arts/Entertainment/Sports. This year’s winners in the respective Category of Award are: 

Corporate Leadership: Category-1
There are three winners in the Corporate Leadership area. The winners are

  1. Mr Aditya Sharma, Partner at McKinsey (PGP – 2011)     
  2. Mr Prabhjeet Singh, President of Uber India and South Asia Entrepreneurship (PGP 2006) 
  3. Ms Sucheta Mohapatra, Managing Director of Branch International (PGP 2006) 

Entrepreneurship: Category-2 
IIM Ahmedabad has honoured its following three young alumni achievers in the Entrepreneurship area:

  1. Mr Sandeep Deshmukh, Co-Founder of ElasticRun (PGPX 2011) 
  2. Mr Saurabh Garg, Co-founder of (PGP 2004) 
  3. Ms Vineeta Singh, Co-Founder of Sugar Cosmetics (PGP 2007) 

Social/Public Service: Category-3 
IIM Ahmedabad has honoured its two young alumni achievers in this area. They are:

  1. Shri K Thavaseelan, IAS (PGP 2009)  
  2. Mr Srijan Pal Singh, Former Advisor and OSD to the 11th President of India & CEO and Founder of Kalam Centre, (PGP 2009) 

Arts and Entertainment: Category-4 
The award was given to one young alumni achiever in this area:

  1. Tanuj Solanki, Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar Winner, (PGP 2009) 

Know the IIM Ahmedabad YAAA 2022 Winners
Many of the IIM Ahmedabad Young Alumni Award winners 2022 are a household name in the country. Category wise winners’ achievements and brief profiles as given below:

Corporate Leadership Winners: Achievements & Profiles
Key achievements and profiles of the winners in Corporate Leadership area are:

Aditya Sharma: Partner at McKinsey – IIM Ahmadabad Alumnus

Aditya Sharma: Partner at McKinsey

Aditya Sharma is currently leading the Asia Banking Analytics practice. He previously led India's Financial Services and Strategy & Corporate Finance practices. He was nominated for Forbes 30 under 30 from India in 2018.

Aditya is one of the Youngest Partners across leading Professional Services Firms and among the first awardees in professional services in India. He has helped Indian financial institutions to develop a model that simplified access to credit, strengthened financial inclusion, and supported growth in small businesses, in Tier 2, 3 & 4 locations and industrialized analytics across more than 100 use cases at a leading Asian bank. He Developed 200+ senior leaders at a bank through an integrated personal leadership and business transformation program. He was a core part of the ACT Grants initiative supporting multiple COVID-relief initiatives across India in 2021 and collaborated with a large Indian bank to launch at-scale nationwide digital servicing journeys during the pandemic to support customers in getting remote service without going to the branches. He has 8+ publications, including McKinsey's seminal three-volume report on Indian Banking and Op-Ed articles.

Aditya collaborated with IIM-A faculty and alums to develop a 5-year vision and blueprint to enhance institutes' pre-eminence in management education and support developing the next generation of talent. He continues to follow his hobbies & interests while focusing on excelling in his professional aspirations. 

Prabhjeet Singh, President of Uber India and South Asia: IIM Ahmedabad Alumnus  

Prabhjeet Singh, President of Uber India and South Asia

Prabhjeet Singh has 16 years of post-MBA experience and is currently the President of Uber India and South Asia and helped launch Uber in 100+ new cities. He was recognized as ET 40 under 40 top business leaders of the country. He was a SAC member at IIMA and was awarded the KVS Gold medal for best outgoing all-rounder and Aditya Birla Scholar. He recently held the position of Associate Partner at McKinsey & Co.

Prabhjeet led the capability-building service line that helped transform skills for 40,000+ mid to senior executives across companies. While at McKinsey, he was the only consultant invited to the government committee on 'capability building in the banking sector.' He led several India-first innovations, including scaling up Auto, Moto, Intercity, and High-Capacity vehicles, and introduced Uber Bus in India. He built two new service lines in McKinsey and helped adapt diversity, inclusivity, and cultural norms at Uber. He also led the transformation into shared mobility and advised iconic companies in India and SE Asia on performance transformations, building digital-first businesses at McKinsey. He steered Uber Medic during Covid and worked with Max Foundation and Gurgaon First. 

Speaking at the Awards ceremony, Prabhjeet said, “I believe the award is a recognition less for me but for the impact Uber has had on the lives of million of riders and drivers and the cities we operate in. It is no doubt a peak professional moment to have your alma mater recognize you. It is also a reminder of the responsibility we carry to have a wider impact with the privilege of IIMA education.”

Sucheta Mahapatra, Managing Director, Branch International: IIM Ahmedabad Alumna 

Sucheta Mahapatra, Managing Director, Branch International

Sucheta is the MD for India at Branch International (a16z and Visa-backed FinTech) and is building one of the first full-service digital banks in India. She is also a member of the Board of Governors at IIM Sambalpur. Earlier, Sucheta was the COO for WeWork in India. She has held leadership positions with Airtel and Bain & Company in India and abroad. She has broken the glass ceiling by becoming a CXO before age 40. Sucheta is known for her strategic thinking, strong leadership, and grit. Outside work, she is a mother to two daughters and loves cooking and the outdoors. In her early years as a management consultant with Bain and as Head of Strategy at Airtel, Sucheta mastered the business toolkit and how to steer others to drive impact. She drives the strategy, mobilizes resourcing and funding, and steers the business through crises like the pandemic.  

Expressing her gratitude on being honoured with the award, Sucheta said, “I have IIMA to thank for instilling the early values of hard work, humility, relentless pursuit of excellence and giving me the opportunity to make lifelong friends. I hope this award serves as a platform for me to pay it forward- a signal to women entering the corporate world – that they can aspire for fulfilling a business careers too.”

Entrepreneurship Winners: Achievements & Profiles
Key achievements and profiles of the winners in Entrepreneurship area are:

Sandeep Deshmukh, Co-Founder, ElasticRun, IIM Ahmedabad Alumnus

Sandeep Deshmukh, Co-Founder, ElasticRun

Sandeep Deshmukh is the Co-founder and CEO of ElasticRun and founded the company in 2016. ElasticRun is a Deep-Reach Logistics technology platform, unlocking the next wave of consumption in India and a key player in servicing the low-density remote areas of India. The ElasticRun platform would channel trade, finance, and data of $500 bn consumption in India through its network. It aspires to become the default enabler of Infrastructure for Indian consumption. Currently, ElasticRun's 12-month annualized revenues are at 1,800 Cr+ (based on Jan 21 sales.), and the company's revenues have grown 145% annually YoY in FY20. The company provides livelihood to over 25,000+ partners with 1,200+ full-time employees. Sandeep built ElasticRun to be a key player in the Indian e-commerce and FMCG industry. It is handling almost a million shipments per day on peak days. Its FMCG network serves goods of 100+ FMCG brands to 112,000 stores. The company's network has been built to service 28 states and over 400+ cities in India. In tie up with banks and NBFCs, it offers credit services to a large number of small Kirana stores.

Sandeep's vision is backed by marquee international VC investors - Naspers Ventures, Kalaari Capital, and Avataar Venture Partners (previously part of Norwest Venture Partners). Its last funding round was in Oct '19, when it raised Series C funding of $40mn led by Naspers. Across all the funding rounds, the company has raised $62mn ($55M in equity and $7Mn in venture debt). As per the Jan '21 offers of investments by VC firms, the valuation of the company stands at $325mn. ElasticRun is a pioneer in several technology disruptions in the Indian transportation and logistics space. All technology innovations are protected by patents. The company has filed over five patents in USA and India. Under Sandeep's leadership, ElasticRun has been able to attract some of the top-tier executives from global organizations. The current leadership team at ElasticRun has joined marquee organizations such as Amazon, Infosys, ICICI, Mu Sigma, etc. The senior leadership comes from top-tier business institutes, such as IIMA, ISB, IIMC, etc. 

Speaking at the award winning ceremony, Sandeep said, “Entrepreneurship is a journey of frequent near collapse experiences and one really does not know the time to the destination. In such a journey, a recognition from the institute of the stature of IIMA, is a great stabilizing event.”

Saurabh Garg, Co-founder of IIM Ahmedabad Alumnus 

Saurabh Garg, Co-founder of

Saurabh Garg is the 1st Generation entrepreneur who started the entrepreneurship journey very early in life. He founded NoBroker along with his Co-Founder Amit Agarwal. Despite having offers from Columbia University, LSE, and Imperial College, he decided to stay back in India after IIT as he believed India has a very high potential and entrepreneurship. He strongly believes that all students should realize that this is the best time to be in India. 

Saurabh is a regular speaker at start-up events and forums, including IITs/IIMs/Incubators, motivating students and start-up enthusiasts and helping them learn from his experience. He is Advisor/Mentor and angel investor to more than 30 start-ups, many of which have grown to large scale. Three of these start-ups are run by IIMA alumns. NoBroker became India's first property tech unicorn, posting a money valuation of $1.01 bn, and the company raised a total of $361 mn from investors, including Paytm's Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Saurabh transformed the way real estate transactions are done in India.

Before NoBroker, Indian real estate transactions were highly inefficient, and common people paid a huge amount of money as brokerage every year to rent/buy/sell properties. NoBroker made the entire transaction transparent, cheaper, and faster by eliminating the middleman and connecting tenants/buyers directly with owners/sellers. NoBroker is the world's largest C2C platform. More than 7 lac people can find a home every year without paying any brokerage. This is a Gross Transaction value of 64000+ crore. NoBroker helps save brokerage worth more than 4500 crores every year. The company is India's No. 1 Packers and Movers aggregator and a pioneer of online Rent Payment platforms. Rs. 20000 crores of rent is paid through the platform annually. 3% of India's credit card spending happens on NoBroker. Every year, over 7 lac people can find a house, and 7 lac people can rent/sell a home without paying any brokerage in a very transparent and easy process. More than 5000 people are employed at NoBroker and helping lacs of people save brokerage. 

On the occasion, Saurabh said, “The award reinforces my belief that I am on the right path and making a positive difference to the lives of people. It is definitely a matter of pride for me. This recognition also comes with a sense of responsibility. It inspires me to continue pushing boundaries and strive for excellence.

Vineeta Singh, Co-Founder of Sugar Cosmetics: IIM Ahmedabad Alumna

Vineeta Singh, Co-Founder of Sugar Cosmetics

A household name after making her presence as investor and guide to the budding entrepreneurs at ‘Shark Tank’ Reality Show on Sony TV, Vineeta Singh is the Cofounder & CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics. Vineeta co-founded SUGAR Cosmetics in 2015 with a single-point agenda of creating world-class makeup products with high-pigmentation that specifically catered to the Indian skin tone. In an industry dominated by global giants who adopted a one-size-fits-all approach, Vineeta aimed to create a truly inclusive beauty brand that creates world-class, functional beauty products with high pigmentation for makeup users of all skin types and tones. 

SUGAR Cosmetics is a brand built by women, for women - with a focus on core business fundamentals and an innate understanding of the customer and their needs. The company boasts of a workforce of 3000+ employees with over 75% of them being women. Under Vineeta’s leadership, the startup clocked 60% growth in sales during the pandemic and even crossed 2.6MN followers on Instagram and 1.45 MN on YouTube, making SUGAR one of India’s largest digital-first brands. A serial entrepreneur, Vineeta advocates a fast-paced work culture where speed and experimentation lead the way for rapid innovation and a launch-packed calendar. 

On being honoured with the Young Alumni Achiever Award 2022, Vineeta said, “IIMA is what ignited my entrepreneurial journey. I want to express my hearfelt thanks to my alma mater; if IIMA had not happened, I wouldn’t be building SUGAR or had the courage to start up on my own. This incredible institution has helped me in turning this vision of building a successful brand into reality.”

Public Service Winners: Achievements & Profiles
Key achievements and profiles of the winners in Public Service area are:

Shri K Thavaseelan, IAS, Posted in Nagaland: IIM Ahmedabad Alumnus

Shri K Thavaseelan, IAS, Posted in Nagaland

Shri K. Thavaseelan is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer. Presently, he has a field Posting in Nagaland, where the poverty index is higher than the state's average, with agriculture being the primary source of livelihood for the population. Nagaland continues to witness one of the longest and bloodiest standing insurgencies—one that has existed longer than the Kashmir insurgency. Because of this, Nagaland is considered as one of the toughest cadres for any All-India Service Officer to serve in. 

Thavaseelan urged MNCs to deploy their CSR funds to improve health infrastructure and improve health infrastructure. He set up a price monitoring committee to keep commodity prices in control. He installed IT equipment in colleges and schools to ensure that the teaching faculty and students could access information online and consume the same. With interventions in the Health Sector, the delivery of medical services was ensured right at the people's doorstep. Earlier, complex medical cases were referred outside his district for want of critical high-end equipment.  The installation of requisite medical equipment in the District Hospital and Health Units ensured that the Medical Officers and Health Care Workers could treat most of the cases within the district and save lives. The key takeaway is implementing large-scale initiatives at zero cost to the exchequer.

Thavaseelan has won the National eGovernance Award 2020-21 (Silver) for 'Use of ICT in the Management of COVID-19' (2022); Governor of Nagaland's Gold Medal & Commendation Certificate for  meritorious service (2020); SKOCH Award for Response to COVID (Silver) (2021) and SKOCH Crucible Award for Financial Inclusion (2020). 

On being conferred the award by Alma mater, Thavaseelan said, “IIMA gave me the courage and conviction to pursue what I had wanted to do in addition to equipping me with the skills & attitude to navigate different situations with ease.”

Srijan Pal Singh, Former Advisor and OSD to the 11th President of India & CEO and Founder of Kalam Centre; IIM Ahmedabad Alumnus

Srijan Pal Singh, Former Advisor and OSD to the 11th President of India & CEO and Founder of Kalam Centre

Srijan Pal Singh was the Advisor and OSD to the 11th President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam (2009 to 2015). In 2009, Srijan rejected a PPO from BCG during the recession and instead worked with Dr. Kalam. He was instrumental in designing the PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) scheme and bringing various PURA complexes across India, benefiting over 10,000 villages across a single knowledge platform as envisioned by Dr. Kalam. He was the founder of Homi Lab: A unique venture to provide low-cost, high-quality education on the subject of "Future" to all learners worldwide. He was the Chief Mentor and Founder of Kalam Centre (cofounded with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam): The Kalam Centre runs 400+ free libraries across India in fourteen states catering to the most marginalized sections of society.

Srijan was stationed in high-threat Naxalite areas of Rayagada (Odisha) while working on an UN-WFP case. He dealt with great difficulties in the remotest of the villages that lack basic amenities for implementing the PURA project. He founded the Kalam Bharat Fellowship, where 600 teachers were recruited to act as auxiliary teachers across 300 govt schools and children correction centers across India, directly providing training in emerging skills to over 150,000 children from disadvantaged communities. His lessons from the UKCA Mars Mission India project were taken to underprivileged children in multiple languages free of cost. Department of Personnel and Training roped in Srijan and Kalam Centre to lead the work on drawing a plan towards making a lean and flexible governance model to respond to changing environment rapidly. He worked on issues classified as National Secrets. Two of his books were nominated in their category's top 5 best sellers in the prestigious Raymond Crossword Book Awards. He was awarded the 1st Distinguished Alumni Award by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (with an alum base of over 600,000 graduates) and the Distinguished Innovative Leadership Award by the Lucknow Management Association in 2019. He was featured in Forbes India magazine as one of the leading changemakers of India and has written 14 books, including three as co-author with Dr. Kalam.  

Sharing his thoughts on the occasion, Srijan said, “I think the recognition helps one build the faith to further move along the road less travelled with stronger resolve to overcome all challenges. IIMA has been the origin of much of my professional life” and added further, “It was IIMA that I got to meet Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, as a teacher for a special course and with whom, I eventually worked till the end of his life.”

Arts and Entertainment Winners: Achievements & Profiles
The sole winner in this area is Tanuj Solanki. His key achievements and profile are shared below:

Tanuj Solanki, Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar Winner: IIM Ahmedabad Alumnus

Tanuj Solanki, Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar Winner

Tanuj Solanki is an award-winning fiction writer with four book-length works published by major Indian publishers, with some of the stories optioned for screen and stage adaptation. Tanuj received the highest award in India for an outstanding work of literature by a writer under 35 - Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar’ for his short-story collection,  ‘Diwali in Muzaffarnagar’. His work, Neon Noon, was shortlisted for the Tata Lit Live First Book Award 2016. Tanuj's work was recently included in Aleph Book Company's A Case of Indian Marvels, an anthology of the works of the best Indian writers under the age of 40. The Machine is Learning was longlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature (the richest prize for novels in India) in 2020.

Prominent works of Tanuj include ‘Manjhi's Mayhem’, ‘The Machine is Learning’, ‘Diwali in Muzaffarnagar’, ‘Neon Noon’, ‘A Case of Indian Marvels’, and ‘Out of Print, Ten’. Several of Tanuj's stories have been optioned for adaptation into movies/tv shows. His short stories, reviews, and articles have appeared in Vogue India, The Caravan,, and numerous other publications. Tanuj is known for his deep dive into the world of Artificial Intelligence and people's lives. He has been acknowledged by various prominent newspapers and is praised for his fresh and fantastic writings that make ordinary characters immensely likable for the readers. 

Speaking at the Awards ceremony at IIM Ahmedabad, Tanuj said, “I don’t think I could dream to be a writer without IIMA. One takes risks because of one’s confidence, and I owe a large part of my confidence to IIMA. There is a culture of achievement at the institute, which also pushes its graduates to push themselves harder.

IIMA Large Network of 40,000+ Alumni Across the Globe

IIM Ahmedabad has a strong network of more than 40,000 alumni spread across the country and the world. Several of the alumni have made their mark in different fields and have earned accolades for their contributions in diverse fields. Their successes have strengthened IIMA’s position as a premier management institution. The IIMA alumni are engaged closely with their alma mater and have been supporting several initiatives by giving their time, thought and resources. Some of the notable past and present IIM Ahmedabad alumni include:

  • Dr Raghuram Rajan: Former RBI Governor & Global Authority on Financial Markets
  • Ajaypal Singh Banga: President, World Bank Group; earlier was President & CEO Master Card worldwide
  • Deep Kalra: CEO
  • Chetan Bhagat: Best selling author
  • Late C K Prahalad, Management Thought Leader
  • John C. Camillus: Donald R. Beall Professor of Strategic Management-Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Marti G. Subrahmanyam: Charles E. Merrill Professor of Finance, Economics and International Business-Stern School of Business, New York University
  • Beheruz Nariman Sethna: President & Professor of Business, University of West Georgia
  • Srikant M. Datar: Professor-Arthur Lowes Dickinson Chair at HBS
  • Pradeep Chintagunta: Professor-Stanford University, USA
  • Kiran Karnik: Innovative and Strategic Thinker
  • Mallika V Sarabhhai: Director-Darpana Academy, Ahmedabad
  • Vijay Mahajan: Founder & Chairman, BASIX Group
  • Ashok Alexander: India Country Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • M.P. Vasimalai: Executive Director-DHAN Foundation, Madurai
  • Sanjeev Bikhchandani: Founder and Vice Chairman,
  • Roopa Kudva: MD & CEO-CRISIL; MD- Omidyar Network India Advisors and Omidyar Network partner
  • Rahul Agarwal: MD & CEO of Lenovo India
  • Sudhir Sitapati: Executive Director and CCVP, Refreshments, South Asia and Africa, Hindustan Unilever Ltd
  • Tulsi Naidu: CEO  Zurich Insurance Company, UK
  • Sucharita Mukherjee: Founder and CEO, IFMR Trust
  • Yashish Dahiya: Co– founder & CEO, PolicyBazaar
  • Kartikeya Misra: Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • Rohan Chand Thakur: Indian Administrative Service (IAS)

IIM Ahmedabad was founded as an initiative by the Government, industry, and international academia in 1961. Since then, it has been consolidating its global footprint and today it has a network with over 80 top international institutions and a presence in Dubai. Over the 60 years of its existence, it has been acknowledged for its contributions to scholarship, practice and policy through its distinctive teaching, high-quality research, nurturing future leaders, supporting industry, government, social enterprise and creating a progressive impact on society. Its faculty members and more than 40,000 alumni, who are at the helm of influential positions in all walks of life, also contribute to its global recognition. Over the years, IIMA’s academically superior, market-driven, and socially impactful programmes, have earned high reputation and acclaim globally. It became the first Indian institution to receive international accreditation from EQUIS. The institute also is placed first in the Government of India’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), India Rankings 2023. The Institute has been ranked number 1 in India, number 2 in Asia and the 35th, globally, in the Financial Times (FT) Executive Education Rankings 2023. The flagship two-year Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) is ranked 26th in the FT Masters in Management Ranking 2021 and the one-year Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPX) has been ranked 62nd in the FT Global MBA rankings 2022. IIMA offers consultancy services and more than 200 curated executive education programmes in customized, blended, and open enrolment formats for a diverse audience comprising business leaders, policymakers, industry professionals, academicians, government officials, armed forces personnel, agri-business and other niche sector specialists and entrepreneurs.

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