Fellows Success Story

YIF Fellows Success Story

Utkarsh Amitabh, Fellow-2012

Utkarsh an engineer from Delhi College of Engineering believes that the Young India Fellowship has been the most defining experience of his life thus far. After graduating as the Torchbearer of the Founding Class, he went on to pursue the INSEAD MBA programme where he was designated the Andy Burgess Scholar. Currently he works as a Strategy Manager at Microsoft, alongside serving as World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper.
In addition to an inspiring academic experience, the Fellowship gave creative space to the thespian and debater in him. He fondly remembers submitting short movies and one-act plays as exam submissions – something unimaginable at most institutions across the world. He credits the Fellowship for empowering him with a sense of possibility and purpose that draws strength from the diversity of the cohort, the commitment of the founders and mentors, and the collective vision to re-imagine education in India. 

YIF Fellows Success Story

Rolly Seth, Tushar Chugh and Jatin Sharma, Fellows-2012

Rolly an electronics & communication engineer from Amity School Of Engineering & Technology, Tushar an electronics & communication engineer from Manav Rachna College Of Engineering and Jatin also an electronics & communication engineer from LNMIT, came together during the Young India Fellowship, and worked with mLAB (Real-Time & Embedded Systems Lab) at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania on Project 'viSparsh'. They developed a low cost waist belt with haptic feedback for visually impaired. After having gone through the Young India Fellowship, all three of them have worked with Microsoft as a Research Developer (Jatin), Programme Strategy Manager (Rolly) and Software Developer (Tushar). As Tushar continues to celebrate success at Microsoft, Jatin is currently pursuing his MS in Embedded Systems at the University of Pennsylvania and Rolly is now a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum. 

YIF Fellows Success Story

Tanvi Jain, Fellow-2012

An economics graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, Tanvi co-founded Parivartan Foundation, a youth-run non-profit initiative that won the Goldman Sachs Social Entrepreneurship Fund, 2009. Tanvi was also given the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award and selected as one of 15 Global Leaders to represent India at a conference in New York. For two years prior to joining YIF, she worked at Goldman Sachs in the real estate strategy and procurement divisions. Post YIF she worked as an analyst with the Boston Consulting Group, and is currently working as an Associate Programme Manager at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Gurgaon. 

YIF Fellows Success Story

Pavitra S, Fellow-2013

A student of english literature from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi and a print journalism student from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, Pavitra has worked for The Hindu as an editorial intern. During the Fellowship, she worked on conceptualizing and creating the Young Africa Fellowship for post-graduate students in Africa, an adaptation of the Young India Fellowship, as part of the IndiAfrica venture in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Post YIF, she went on to win the highly prestigious and coveted Commonwealth Scholarship that is fully-funding her pursuit of an MSc degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. 

YIF Fellows Success Story

Jairaj Bhatacharya, Fellow-2012

Jairaj Bhattacharya is currently the Managing Director of ConveGenius Global, an Ed-tech Startup and, co-founder of The Fantasia Colony (TFC) an online Gaming startup based in the US and Singapore. He completed electronics engineering from International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad and worked for a year at the Institute for Sustainable Nanoelectronics, Singapore, where he designed a low-cost tablet (I-slate). Jairaj had discovered his passion for entrepreneurship while at IIIT, Hyderabad and sold one of his products to a well-known IT firm in his sophomore year which was his first entrepreneurial stint. 

His ultimate aspiration has always been to work on technological solutions that bring sustainability. After a year at Young India Fellowship, Jairaj worked at the Convegenius group of companies in Singapore which advocates using inter-disciplinary creativity to solve problems and fill gaps, largely in the Education segment. He was awarded the Global Students Entrepreneur Award at the South East Asia level. He was chosen as one amongst the top 42 global student entrepreneurs for 2013 Awards in Washington DC. ConveGenius now has its centres in Ahmedabad, Delhi in India and Shenzhen in China and are currently providing their services to the Government of India by working with the Woman and Child care divisions of various states. Jairaj has also started an Online Gaming company that hopes to create a disruptive change in the mobile gaming ecosystem in 2015. 

YIF Fellows Success Story

Subrata Pandey, Fellow-2014

At 24, Subrata Pandey has already made it to the Forbes India under 30 achievers list for her Start up, Punarnawa Crafts Pvt. Ltd. Subrata finished an undergraduate course in Crafts Product Designer & Researcher with specialisation in Metal, Terracotta crafts from the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design, Jaipur. She has worked at the grassroots level in rural clusters of Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha, as well as with the corporate retail industry in Bangalore.

Subrata with her friend Shaswat Mohanty decided to return to Odisha which has the most number of handicrafts, yet no notable presence in the Handicraft economy. They started working with 56 women on The Applique Project, in Jabapanposh, a village in Odisha and follow the maxim, ‘think global and act local’ for the sustenance of handicrafts as an industry. Their most satisfying outcome they say is the empowerment of women through their project. The crafts-based training given by Punarnawa Crafts has also provided the women of this area with an alternative occupation in handicrafts. Punarnawa Crafts also facilitates education and basic facilities for the trainee women who are mostly daily wage labourers making roads and houses in the area. This venture has been selected in the watch list, 2013 in an Economics Times column written by Amit Grover, founder of Nurture Talent Academy as the most creative venture in terms of its impact as well as sustainability. 

YIF Fellows Success Story

Arpitha Kodiveri, Fellow-2012

Arpitha studied law at the Indian Law Society’s Law School, Pune. Deeply interested in environmental law, she interned at Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Bioethics in 2010 and went on to join Natural Justice- lawyers for the community and the environment at their Bengaluru office as an environmental lawyer. She also carried out interdisciplinary projects funded by the Andrea Von Braun Foundation, Kiel University, to explore the links between law and design as a Director at the Law, Environment and Design Lab in the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. She presently works as a project coordinator at Natural Justice’s office in Bangalore, India.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Dhaneesh Jameson, Fellow-2012

Dhaneesh graduated from National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, where he won a number of national and international awards for his animation films. While at YIF he won the Fulbright Scholarship to do his Master’s in Animation at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. His dream is to set up a world class animation studio in India for talented animation students in India.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Dr. Debanshu Roy, Fellow-2013

Debanshu studied medicine at Grant Medical College, Mumbai. A JRD Tata Scholar for three years, Debanshu has always been deeply involved in social activities through his work with such organisations as Umang and Apnalaya. He is currently the Strategy & Research Head at Indus Action’s Project Eklavya in Delhi, a position which involves ideation and scientific research across disciplines.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Alok Arunam, Fellow-2013

A student of Engineering Design at the undergraduate level at IIT Delhi, Alok did his masters in Automotive Engineering from the same institution. One with diverse interests such as arts, literature and social issues, he worked on utilizing design thinking methodology at NID, Ahmedabad, to work out approaches towards sustainability. Having himself struggled as a village boy, Alok wants to empower village youth to explore available opportunities to realize their full potential and is driven by an ambition to bring a difference in the lives of those who suffer in silence.  Alok currently is fulfilling his dream working in the social sector institution, Parivartan, in Siwan, Bihar.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Ashweetha Shetty, Fellow-2013

Ashweetha comes from a rural, economically underprivileged and an orthodox Hindu family in Tamil Nadu, where education for a girl child is still considered a far-fetched fantasy. Ashweetha, however, went on to do her BBA from C. S. I. Jayaraj Annapackiam College, MS University, in Madurai. She is currently fulfilling her dream of serving the people at the grassroot level by working at Sugavazhvu, a community-driven, technology-enabled social organisation which works at providing accessible primary healthcare for Rural Indian and aims for disease free villages across Tamil Nadu.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Kshiti Gala, Fellow-2013

Kshiti did her B.A. in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Kshiti was the YIF Torchbearer for the year 2014 at the Fellowship and is currently working in Bagli, Madhya Pradesh, as a Communications Officer at Samaj Pragati Sahyog, one of India's largest grass-roots initiatives for water and livelihood security.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Simranpreet Singh Oberoi, Fellow-2013

A Mechanical Engineer from MIT, Pune, he is an entrepreneur at heart with a vision to add value to education and create an environment for students to naturally discover their true passion. After a year at YIF, Simranpreet is currently working with a social enterprise, Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, in Patna among Musahars, a rat-catching community of Bihar, lowest of the low in the hierarchy of castes in India. He has been working since the last three years with the Musahars kids in Patna and aims to empower them through education.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Harsh Snehanshu, Fellow-2014

Harsh finished his B.Tech in Engineering & Physics from IIT Delhi. He discovered his passion for writing while interning at the University of Glasgow.  Harsh hitch hiked the length and breadth of India to get to know his country better, thus fulfilling a long childhood dream. At YIF he has been selected as an exchange student to Sciences Po, Paris. He recently published an anthology of short stories, ‘Mango Chutney’.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Abhishek Choudhary & Saransh Vaswani, Fellows-2013

Both Gandhi Fellows, both from Hansraj College, one a student of English Literature and the other of Computer Science, they have their destinies and passions entwined. They have always had the deep desire of finding solutions to social problems and bringing about social change. Abhishek and Saransh’s start-up Saajha won the Echoing Green Global Fellowship in New York this year, the most prestigious award in social entrepreneurship internationally. Saajha works with Pratham on equipping communities to become active participants in building governance and accountability in schools.  

YIF Fellows Success Story

Prabhat Kumar, Fellow-2014

Prabhat studied Electrical Engineering at Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College. Hailing from rural Bihar, Prabhat always had a deep passion to work for the rural poor of India. During his college years he had set up a start-up Jyoti, a night school for more than 150 underprivileged students. His more recent start-up MicroX Labs, primarily working towards rural healthcare, is developing a low cost, portable and easy-to-use product to get a complete blood count. Earlier this year, Prabhat won the India Africa Business Venture Competition for his pioneering healthcare innovation and has been invited to Ghana, Davos and to the SkillWorld Forum at Oxford this year.  Prabhat is currently working on his own start-up, MicroX Labs, incubated by IISC, Bangalore, handling operations and helping raise funds for it.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Antony Arul Valan G., Fellow-2012

An Agriculture Engineer from the Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, Kumulur, Antony always wanted to revolutionise Indian agricultural research and education as a professor who makes a difference. At the same time, he also nourished a deep passion for reading and writing, and discovered his calling towards literature after a year at YIF. He is currently working as an Assistant Editor at Orient BlackSwan Publishers, Chennai and is working on writing a book.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Samder Singh, Fellow-2012

Samder studied Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering at Global Institute of Technology, Rajasthan.  Samder was always interested in writing and entrepreneurship, and dabbled in a few ventures while at college. Post YIF, he worked at India Inclusive Innovation Fund and ETI Dynamics as its Head of Impact Investment. Samder has recently been selected as a Reliance Dhirubhai Fellow to pursue an M.B.A from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Pavneet Kaur, Fellow-2014

A Computer Engineer from Pune Institute of Computer Technology, Pavneet had long realized that her passion lay in working in the social sector. After leaving her corporate job at Amdocs she taught at Niwant at Pune, an organisation for the visually challenged, and  prior to joining YIF she worked as the head of Friends for Care, an NGO that mobilises youth to take up social work.  This passion also took her to work and live in a village in Rajasthan for over a month, working on a tribal project in Bhartiya Jain Sanghatana at Wagholi which helped her decide on a goal worth pursuing. Pavneet secured the  49th rank in the Indian Civil Services Examination this year and has joined the Indian Administrative Service.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Mohammad Irfan Dar, Fellow-2012

Irfan finished his B.Sc in Biochemistry from the University of Kashmir and his Masters in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia University. Irfan is deeply passionate about Kashmir, a region torn by conflict, and has regularly worked with orphans in the strife torn state with a theatre group that performs across India. Also equally passionate about film making, after graduating from YIF, Irfan set up Red Stone Films, an independent media start up, with another YIF Fellow, Aman Kaleem, Fellow 2013. They want to tell stories and make films to help children in Kashmir and other conflict zones grow up in a fearless and constructive environment.  Irfan has recently been awarded the Commonwealth Professional Fellowship, 2014, for film making in the UK.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Onaiza Drabu Varasath, Fellow-2014

Onaiza Drabu finished her Bachelors in Business Studies majoring in finance from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies. While working at McKinsey & Co. Onaiza also got selected as a Young Leader at the Indian School of Business but having her mind set on finding something she could potentially enjoy for a living she joined the Young India Fellowship in 2014.

Post-YIF Onaiza moved to Kashmir to execute a long list of projects that had been building for a while. She started an organisation that focuses on oral traditions, history and the heritage of Kashmir. Varasath aims to gather and structure information on Kashmir's rich & vibrant cultural, historical and oral heritage and make it accessible through innovation. Through this project Onaiza is hoping to generate and create content that would involve innovation and design to create informational material and document folklore for easy and universal access. This project also plans to take the unchartered path of solidifying a common narrative for the history of Kashmir and bring to light the regional history that gets lost in the national narrative in the case of Kashmir.

She is also involved in a venture by NIIT University's called The Asian Lenses Forum which aims to sensitise Asian youth to their heritage, culture and values. For the little other time, she writes and illustrates.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Srishti Sardana, Fellow-2012

After acquiring a basic insight into the field of psychological sciences while doing her Bachelor of Arts from Presidency College, Madras, Srishti was involved in a project with female sex workers. She helped devise ways to help them overcome occupational mental health hazards, as she pursued a master’s programme at Christ University, Bangalore.

After completing her master’s in Psychology, Srishti along with Dr. Sangeetha Madhu set up the Chennai Institute for Learning and Development (CHILD), a unique enterprise to provide out-of-the-box therapeutic mechanisms to the children and adolescents.

After a year at YIF, Srishti continued as a Research Associate and Consultant Psychologist at the Mental health policy and programme development, at Dulwich Center Australia. She then went on to work as a Mental Health Project Coordinator, Gender, Sexuality and Health at the Ford Foundation, Manas and Special Juvenile Police Unit, Delhi.

Srishti is currently continuing her research works in Columbia University in Clinical Psychology with specialisation in Psychopathology and Personality. She will also be a research intern with Project Intern at the prestigious Center for Health, Identity Behaviour and Prevention Studies; The impact of this study is estimated to prevent a hundred thousand youth who succumb to HIV/AIDS each year, the world over. A `YIF Spirit' awardee of her batch Srishti continues to fulfill her aspiration of bridging the void between neurosciences and forensic psychology.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Avni Ahuja, Fellow-2013

Avni Ahuja graduated in Biotechnology from Delhi University and majored in Marketing and Finance in her Master of Business Administration from Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University.

From a marvelously nomadic existence in her childhood, having changed eight schools in twelve years in various cities across India, Avni ended up pursuing her first love, Biology, covering fascinating areas such as genetics, immunology and recombinant DNA technology at Fergusson College, Pune.

Post MBA, Avni worked at Deutsche Bank’s Investment Banking division in Mumbai. An avid believer of Mark Twain`s “Explore, Dream, Discover”, Avni joined the YIF in 2013 to discover more of life and is presently working as a Manager; Office of SVP, Banking and Insurance Vertical at Genpact.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Saurav Neel Patyal, Fellow-2012

Saurav currently serves as the Executive Assistant to the MD & CEO, Abbott India Limited. His role is to drive Special Projects for the CEO's Office at Abbott. Prior to Abbott, he spent two years as a Business Analyst with McKinsey's India consulting practice serving clients across sectors such as Power, Life Insurance, Oil & Gas, Telecom, Automotive and IT Services in the Marketing & Sales, Strategy, Organisation and Operations functions. He has also been a part of HSBC's Risk Management Division where he worked on predictive analytics for HSBC's sub-prime portfolios.

Saurav is passionate about the developmental sector and while at BITS, he co-founded a non-profit, The Parivartan Foundation, winning seed funding of $10,000 from the Goldman Sachs Social Entrepreneurship Fund in 2009. Today, Parivartan impacts 40000+ rural folk in Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand in the areas of education, digital divide alleviation and support for marginal farmers.

Saurav was selected to pursue the Masters in Management Programme at London Business School in 2011 as well as a Commonwealth Scholar in 2012, but chose to follow his heart and study Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Young India Fellowship, Ashoka University. He has a Dual Degree in Economics and Electrical & Electronics Engineering from BITS Pilani.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Mrudula N S, Fellow-2012

A graduate in mechanical engineering from IIT Madras, Mrudula’s heart lies in subjects like literature and developmental studies. Mrudula has always been deeply involved in social activities throughout her IIT Madras years and was even involved in setting up an ICT-enabled knowledge centre in a village near Chennai, stressing on how traditional or indigenous knowledge systems have a prominent role to play in holistic development. 

Mrudula topped the state in Class 10 CBSE Board exams and was awarded the prestigious WISE (Working Internships in Science and Engineering) Scholarship by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). She also received the Prof. V. Radhakrishnan Endowment Award for securing the highest grades in her class at IIT Madras. To her, a career was never about pay cheques, growth trajectories, and the glitz quotient but rather being valuable and making an impact. Having always wanted to be a “thought” leader, who can inspire and influence people at the helm of affairs to make a positive change, she joined the Young India Fellowship.

After a year at YIF Mrudula joined the Albright Stonebridge Group, a strategic advisory and commercial diplomacy firm headed by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright which advises clients on the policy environment and political risks in various sectors of the economy. as an Associate. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Management and Organisation Behaviour at the Ross school of Business, University of Michigan.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Ankita Shirodariya, Fellow-2012

A student of Economics at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai Ankita joined the YIF in 2011. While at college, she learnt three foreign languages French, Spanish and Japanese and worked her way through college as a translator for tourists and several business groups.

Ankita currently works at a leading pharmaceutical firm, Cipla Ltd where she aids business development in french speaking part of Africa. She looks forward to continue working in the healthcare industry aspiring to create greater impact while solving some crucial problems of our times.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Sharada Vadlamani, Fellow-2012

“My journey, I think, truly began when I was handed a copy of 'Collected Poems of Robert Frost' when I was 13 with the poem 'The Road Not Taken' earmarked for me. And no, it did not tell me to take the road "less travelled by". From the poem I understood that the most important moments of your life will not be when you choose to do things differently or if you do different things. Rather when you just make up your mind to do! And that is a belief I hold onto very dearly.”

Having come from an army background and having studied in several schools across the country Sharada grew up with a sense of adventure all along. She completed her Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Christ University, Bangalore specialising in marketing and while she was in college took a shot at entrepreneurship by setting up a B2B advertising and branding solutions firm, Adventis Media.

Even though she enjoyed studying management, by the final year she felt the urge to study more and get an insight into a wider variety of subjects and really test out the waters into other streams of study. That was when she discovered YIF and in her own words, “The experience really broadened my understanding of the world around me and rendered greater depth and flexibility to my ability to develop a perspective. The most important take away from the fellowship was realising my true calling in the field of sustainable farming, agri-business and farmer livelihood which I shifted to after the fellowship.”

After YIF Sharada worked at 99Labels for a year and eventually pursued her passion and is currently working at Anamcaara a young startup whose main vision is to work with farmers at the grass root level to produce high quality local and chemical-free produce on a scalable level, to educate them, to ensure that they get fair rates which they truly deserve for the produce and to create strong linkages between farmers and the market by eliminating the middle men. 

YIF Fellows Success Story

Shashank Shekhr Rai, Fellow-2012

“A graduate in Mathematics I had always been about logic, reasoning and establishing that two plus two is indeed four. But Young India Fellowship helped me see beyond and understand more than a few things that Mathematics cannot explain. It was at YIF that I first learned the meaning of the word “gestalt”, simply speaking, an organised whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts, and if there ever was a word to explain my experiences post YIF, it has to be the one.”
Post YIF Shashank worked in the space of School Education in Delhi and Haryana which took him from the slums of New Delhi to rural hinterlands and khap panchayats of Haryana to Babus of the state department. He handled technological enhancements in education, procedural overturn in governmental functioning, political realities of the developmental agenda, new routes to policy making, and fundraising through CSR.

“But importantly, what I have also done during this time post YIF is that I have read the biography of Abraham Lincoln and Narendra Modi and revisited the history of modern India through the eyes of more than one author. I have taken up courses in Obesity Economics, Social Psychology, and Morality. I have deep dived into Machiavelli and I have understood why democracy is the least worst form of governance. And there is more, much more. But now I know better than to give it a number. For I know what gestalt is. Someday I will be more than myself. And that will be down to YIF.”

Shashank is currently working as a consultant to Haryana State Govt., Education Department.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Saumya Gupta, Fellow-2012

A chemical engineer from IIT Bombay, Saumya joined the YIF in 2011. Though a deep believer of empirical science, by final year at IIT Bombay Saumya began to realise that unlike engineering problems most real world issues are subjective and cannot be modeled as a set of definite equations. She took a life changing decision in 2011 to forgo attractive MNC job offers to join the Young India Fellowship to study with 57 diverse classmates including economists, historians, artists, doctors and lawyers. The transformational year at YIF challenged her preconceived notions, helped her appreciate varied opinions and incepted in her deep empathy for the world around. The more she learnt, the more she recognised how much she didn’t know. YIF gave birth to an insatiable inquisitiveness in her.

This passion to create an impact drove her to take up her next job as a core member of the company wide transformation at Cipla (a.k.a Jaagruti) to manage 16 projects across commercial, manufacturing, supply chain and organisation restructuring. At YIF, she discovered that transformation is a not just a process but a mindset change - a learning that truly impacted the way she worked at Cipla. Jaagruti changed the way Cipla operates - creating 30 project champions, 25 processes and touching over 1500 employees.

In 2013, Saumya started working with the Chief strategy officer to set up a "swat" team for building Cipla's roadmap to 2020 and implementing international expansion plans for the company. Over the last one year Saumya has independently closed 3 acquisition deals, built 2 global alliances and managed two post merger integration across Africa and Asia Pacific. This experience of working in Africa has made her realise that healthcare is one of the biggest problems in emerging markets today with lagging health indicators, insufficient infrastructure and increasing disease burden! She imbibes Cipla's philosophy of "none shall be denied" access to affordable healthcare and YIF's mission of "changing lives" and aspire to transform lives of millions who don't have access to affordable quality healthcare.

She says, “YIF has enriched the way I live life! I am now a traveler, a dancer, a writer, a painter, a photographer - always excited to learning something and someone new!”

YIF Fellows Success Story

Deepak Bansal, Fellow-2012

Deepak a communication & computer engineer from LNMIT believes that, everything is possible if you just think big. An intense lover of nature and wildlife, Deepak always wanted to bring real-time implementation of one of what he feels is the best recycling practices in the world which he saw while working at WMNLab, National Taiwan University, Taipei where they collected and recycled each bit of paper, metal and plastic from every street and building very effectively, to India one day. Deepak always believed that sustainable technology and development is indispensable in any area for long-term growth and stability.

Deepak did research on 4G and other next-generation wireless technologies to improve performance and efficiency during his four-month stay in Taiwan and Hong Kong. He believes that nanoscience has the power to provide affordable and effective solutions to basic problems of energy, water, food and healthcare especially for developing countries like India.

After a year at YIF Deepak is pursuing his dream and is currently working at Toshiba headquarters, Tokyo.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Malini Bose, Fellow-2013

Malini is an economics graduate from St. Stephen's College, where she spent most of her time leading the college's policy society, editing a journal, directing plays and eating mince cutlets.

After graduating, Malini joined the Young India Fellowship because she wanted to study subjects like history and literature that choosing science in the eleventh grade had forced her to give up.  At the fellowship, she ended up loving each subject more than the previous one. She came second in class by a narrow 0.03 points, a tragedy she blames, like a true Calcuttan, on a pre-IR-exam-upset-stomach caused by bad Delhi prawns.

Malini has been working for the past year and a half at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a strategic advisory and commercial diplomacy firm headed by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright which advises clients on the policy environment and political risks in various sectors of the economy. She helps international clients across sectors assess and navigate the politico-economic environment and policy framework in the country, and has thus found where she'd wanted to be but hadn't known it - at the intersection of policy and business.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Deepender Singla, Fellow-2014

An electrical engineer from Thapar University, Patiala, Deepender Singla joined YIF in 2013. Curiosity is what defines him and this led him to become a programmer, explorer of the world through the internet, self-believer and technology enthusiast. Over the years he has worked on many projects like the Smart Prosthetic Arm and the Smart Library Management System. He has participated and won national competitions, such as the Intel Embedded Challenge, Yahoo and Accenture Innovation jockey and the Texas Analog Design Contest. This experience along with trying to execute crazy ideas and working on projects had nurtured an entrepreneurial streak in him. Post YIF Deepender Co-Founded a start up Niveshi – Invest like the expert, an Intelligent Micro-mutual Fund (Covestor), with another YIF Fellow Rachana Ramchand.

Deepender is currently working as a developer at Accredible.com an E-Learning start up based out of Silicon Valley.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Sabarathinam Selvaraj, Fellow-2014

An industrial engineer from PSG College of Technology where he was a recipient of the Central sector scholarship, Sabarathinam worked as an Assistant Manager with Tata Motors prior to joining the fellowship. The fellowship gave him a multi dimensional approach to understanding policy making and honed his understanding with a nuanced perspective of the various issues that the nation is grappling with. The fellowship also gave Sabarathinam an opportunity to work with the Observer Research Foundation, one of India’s premier think tanks. The team worked on developing an alternate benchmarking and the index methodology for a developing country context under ORF’s BRICS grouping vertical.

Leveraging these experiences that the fellowship gave him and his interests, Sabarathinam joined the Albright Stonebridge group post YIF, a strategic consulting firm chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine. K. Albright which advises clients on the policy environment and political risks in various sectors of the economy.  Coming from a family with political traditions and nursing political ambitions himself, Sabarathinam hopes to realize his dream of campaigning for your vote in the near future.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Varun Singhal, Fellow-2014

Coming from a business family Varun Singhal a commerce graduate from the University of Delhi, was exposed to a commercial environment right from childhood, when he would visit his father’s factory in the holidays. He saw not just the highs, but also the challenges and the lows of being in business. Far from daunting him, this created in him an appetite for calculated risks and careful planning. Soon, he started ventures of his own. Gamesgarage.in, a gaming e-commerce portal, was his first venture and its success has been a huge motivator for him. The first ever Incubation Centre for UG was launched in University of Delhi under his leadership. His second venture, SOCHBOOK, came soon after, and aims at providing notebooks to students at the cheapest rates possible through back cover advertising. He strongly believes in spending more time on execution than just thinking about innovative ideas. Earlier this year, he was a Guest Speaker at the World Business Dialogue in Cologne, Germany where he spoke passionately about Idea Generation.

Post YIF, he divides his time between honing his passion for the manufacturing industry and consulting with a start up.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Karthik Sivaram, Fellow-2014

A mechanical engineer from R.V. College of Engineering, Karthik has forsaken his engineering degree for the finer pastures of international affairs and policy. In college Karthik managed two automotive research projects – Hybrid Autorickshaw, where they successfully managed to use water as a supplementary fuel for autorickshaws, and Project Chimera- an ambitious joint venture with REVA Electric Car Company to indigenously develop a hybrid car. A keen debater he also won the Asian Championship in college.  As a fellow of the IDEX Fellowship in Social Enterprise, he worked with social enterprises on sometimes strange and wide-ranging set of projects – from designing educational board games to performing energy audits.

Through YIF, Karthik discovered that he could, in fact, be stimulated by formal education. He hopes to use his year at YIF to pivot towards a graduate degree in International Security. He is the recipient of the prestigious IIC Fellowship by the University of Chicago and is currently working with the National Skills Development Corporation to create 500,000 jobs in a year.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Dimple Bangalore, Fellow-2014

"It has almost been four months since we graduated from the fellowship, and every time I think about the fellowship I think that it was almost like a dream because it was almost a perfect life. There has been a considerable difference in the way I simply view life; the way I talk to my family members, friends and even myself has changed. I now think in ways I had never thought I could and I feel confident enough to dream bigger. I will always treasure the connections and learning that I have gained and will gain through the fellowship (the fellowship is indeed for life and not just one year.)”

Dimple is a graduate in business management with specialisation in Human Resource from Centre for Management Studies, Jain University, Bangalore. In her own words, “The fellowship got my life to a higher level than it previously was and expanded my horizons and I find happiness in working towards getting many other lives to a higher level." She is currently working at Ashoka University as a part of the outreach team and is now doing her part in spreading the word about this experience gained through liberal arts education to thousands of students in the country.

YIF Fellows Success Story

Rishi Iyengar, Fellow-2013

Rishi Iyenger a graduate in political science from Fergusson College, Pune always had a passion for writing. This passion combined with desire to have a positive impact on society led him to choose journalism as a career and has worked with two reputed newspapers — The Indian Express and Sakaal Times during his undergrad years. 

After a year at YIF, Rishi spent a year doing his Masters at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. While there, he spread his net wide just like the Fellowship taught him to, and learned data journalism and video journalism along with his core concentration of narrative reporting and writing. While at Columbia, he co-founded a single-subject website on the Indian elections called The 545 (thefivefortyfive.com), which was featured in places like The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and BuzzFeed. After graduating, Rishi did a summer internship on the editorial board of Newsday, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in Long Island.

Rishi is currently working at TIME Magazine in Hong Kong. He says, “Although this is a career path I had chosen before YIF, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to move out of my comfort zone and engage with professors and peers from across the globe in the way I did if I hadn’t become a Young India Fellow.”

YIF Fellows Success Story

Ayush Prasad, Fellow-2013

Ayush Prasad an engineer from Manipal Institute of Technology joined the YIF in 2012. After a year at the Young India Fellowship, Ayush worked with the biggest company in India- TATA Consultancy Servives and the largest Financial Services Organisation- The State Bank Group. 

He says, “Before joining the fellowship, I held strong views and was adamant till I had my way. I had faced opposition before; but there people opposed to my ideas did not have an alternative they believed in. But, at the fellowship, I worked in teams with Fellows who had equally strong but opposing views. Each fellow came with different perspectives that were shaped by experiences and education.”

He feels YIF has made him a better team player who is sensitive to others and taught him to accept other’s views and have a more rounded perspective on issues by analysing it through the lens of sociology, political dynamics, philosophical values, economics etc. He now tries to find a middle ground with people opposed to him than trying to doggedly pushing his own views. This he says has helped him deliver better results for his organisation.
Ayush is currently working as a Dy. Manager - Corporate Account Group at the State Bank of India Group.

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