New Delhi: The British Council recently hosted the Education UK Awards 2017 to honour outstanding success in areas of Entrepreneurship, Professional Achievement, and Social Impact by 11 Indians who have graduated from UK higher education institutions. The winners were felicitated during a gala ceremony hosted in the presence of government dignitaries, industry leaders and education experts including the guest of honour was the prominent Supreme Court Lawyer, Karuna Nandy.
“We are committed to welcoming Indian students to study in the UK and over the last decade, over 250,000 Indians have studied in UK’s universities and colleges. The Education UK Alumni Awards 2017 celebrate the impact of the experience of studying and living in the UK. The awards recognise the outstanding achievements made by business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders who have demonstrated how their UK education has impacted their career,” Alan Gemmell OBE, Director, British Council India.
The Entrepreneurial Award was bagged by Sameer Pitalwalla who is a digital entrepreneur from the University of Westminster. As a co-founder of Culture Machine, a digital media company, Sameer is currently running some of Asia’s largest digital media brands and licensing its core technologies to advertisers, media companies and agencies world-over.
The Social Impact award was bestowed on Neha Upadhyay who is a social entrepreneur and innovative dietician who graduated from King’s College London and is trained in organic, macrobiotic living from Daylesford Organic Cookery School and Whole Food Harmony (UK).
The Professional Achievement Award was awarded to Hrishikesh Shende currently heading Football division at Adidas India and prior to that led the Sports Marketing division at Adidas India. His work has been instrumental in developing a strong pipeline of athletes and assets for activation.
The finalists will become a part of a new international UK Alumni Award Network, and winners will be invited to the UK to connect with government and industry leaders in a sector of their choice. In addition, the winners will also raise their international profile, expand their networks, and enhance their careers.
A recent research done by the British Council revealed that one in seven of the current world leaders are alumni of UK Universities. Further, the research indicated that 34 percent of Heads of States who have studied abroad are UK alumni. A recent QS global survey of 27,000 graduate employers showed that UK degrees are highly valued by employers worldwide. Graduates from Oxford and Cambridge were rated the most employable in the world, while London School of Economics, Imperial College London and the University of Manchester all made it to the top ten. Studies also show that UK-educated graduates achieve markedly higher average salaries in their home country.
The Education UK Alumni Awards were launched by the British Council in September 2014 in the presence of several dignitaries including the British High Commissioner– Sir Dominic Asquith. The ideology behind the awards lies in honouring outstanding success in Entrepreneurship, Professional Achievement and Social Impact by Indians who have undertaken their higher education in UK. Alumni from India, mainland China and the USA graduated within the last decade are eligible for these awards.
Other celebrated alumni of the UK include former US President Bill Clinton, co-founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman, Olympic gold medallist Annette Salmeen, Nobel Prize for Literature winner Wole Soyinka, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and business magnate Zhang Xin, designer Jimmy Choo and actress Parineeti Chopra.