IIM Bangalore announces Distinguished Alumni Awards for 2021

Bangalore: IIM Bangalore is delighted to announce the names of the recipients of the IIMB Distinguished Alumni Awards for 2021. The awardees are Revathy Ashok, PGP 1980, Co-founder, Strategy Garage; J Laxman Rao, PGP 1982, Chairman & Managing Director, Mold-Tek Technologies Ltd. and Mold-Tek Packaging Ltd., and Sameer Nair, PGP 1996, Co-founder, Gram Oorja.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards, instituted in 2007, are given to alumni in recognition of their achievements of exceptional merit and excellence in their chosen field of endeavour – be it industry, management, entrepreneurship, research, academia, or social service. The DAA awards will be given during the pre-convocation day celebrations being planned in the month of April 2021.
Each DAA awardee receives a citation and his/her name is engraved on the Wall of Fame at the institute.

Revathy Ashok, PGP 1980, Co-founder, Strategy Garage

Revathy Ashok has had a very successful leadership journey of over forty years. Starting as a Research Associate at IIMB in 1980, she rose all the way to being a Managing Director at Tishman Speyer in 2007. This success and her experience spanning a variety of industries – private equity, software and IT-enabled services, manufacturing and infrastructure – resulted in her being invited to join the Board of many listed and public limited companies such as AstraZeneca, Quess, Shell MRPL, Welspun, L&T Kobelco and L&T Construction Equipment.

She is currently the Co-founder of Strategy Garage (and earlier Iris Consulting) – a strategy and growth consulting firm for start-ups, mid and early-stage companies – helping them build value and scale. She is on the Board of Athena Infonomics, a Public Policy Research and Consulting firm that she has mentored since inception, and the only such public policy start-up from India that has grown significantly to have a global footprint.

At age 35, she became the only woman CFO in the country in 1993 and an Executive Director on the Board of AMP India (now TE Connectivity).

Recently Inc 42 named her as one of the leading women angel investors in the country. In 2011, Revathy was nominated by CII as one of the Top Women Achievers in Business in South India. In 2005, she was named as One of the 10 Most Powerful Women in the Indian Industry by Dataquest.

She holds a BSc from Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, and has done her Post Graduation from IIM Bangalore. She was a Gold Medallist of her batch.

J Laxman Rao, PGP 1982, Chairman & Managing Director, Mold-Tek Technologies Ltd. and Mold-Tek Packaging Ltd.

J Laxman Rao founded Mold-Tek Packaging Limited (MTPL), a leading Engineering Services provider, in 1986. Located in Hyderabad, Mold-Tek specializes in Civil, Structural and Mechanical Engineering services. Mold-Tek expanded rapidly by introducing (first time in India) plastic pails to replace tin containers for paints and lubricants. MTTL grew from five engineers to 500, when it de-merged as a separate entity, listed in BSE and NSE. MTTL is considered as one among the top three Civil Engineering service providers in India.

Laxman Rao was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award by CPMA and Elite Plus Business Service Group for contribution to the Indian packaging sector for the past three decades. He was the recipient of the ‘Udyog Rattan Award’ from Indian Economic Studies. He received a Trans World Gold Star award from Indian Institute of Economic Studies.

Sameer Nair, PGP 1996, Co-founder, Gram Oorja

After spending about a decade in the world of high finance, Sameer found the way to align his career with his heart. In 2008, he co-founded Gram Oorja with another IIMB alumnus. Gram Oorja is a renewable energy company focused on providing energy access solutions to rural India. In the last 12 years of its operations, Gram Oorja has impacted around 100,000 lives spread across 300 villages.


Sameer created an innovative ‘for profit’ model that encouraged ‘patient capital with heart’ to come in and build this sector. Like any other pioneering start-up, Sameer orchestrated strategy, finance, and government interactions to build out Gram Oorja for a long term and sustainable impact play. The Gram Oorja operating model enabled it to not guzzle money like normal start-ups. It has been operational cash flow positive (last capital raise in 2013) while delivering a 15x growth over this period. Sameer’s accomplishments in building Gram Oorja are unparalleled, measured from every perspective – social impact, economic viability, community ownership and execution at scale.

He has received the Observer Research Foundation award for the Solar Entrepreneur of the year in 2013. He has been a regular participant/speaker at several renewable industry conferences.

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