“The real race for excellence is the one where you sprint against yourself, endeavour to outperform, raise the bar, time after time. Excellence is an ever moving target." — Mr. Aditya Vikram Birla, Founder
Mr. Aditya Birla believed that talent is critical to the success of any enterprise. The Aditya Birla Scholarships, instituted in 1999, are driven by his vision and ideals — that of building a nation by creating its next generation of leaders.
Since its institution 15 years ago, the Aditya Birla Scholarships Programme has given 316 scholars the opportunity to live their dreams. The programme selects exceptional students every year from the country’s premier engineering and management institutes such as the IITs, BITS (Pilani), IIMs, XLRI, as well as law campuses to provide them an opportunity to learn through networking with the country’s first truly global conglomerate.
A life changing experience
Winning the Scholarship is a life-changing for students. Aditya Birla Scholar Mr. Ravichandra Addanki said: “I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing when my name was announced… The reality sunk in only after several minutes.”
Winning a coveted scholarship not only makes students a role model for other youngsters within their family, friends, neighbourhood, and college. “My cousins look up to me as somebody they should emulate. It gives them the belief that one can dream big and achieve things and it pushes them to work harder,” said Aditya Birla Scholar Mr. Kartikeya Gupta.
ForMs. Shilpa Rangaswamy(batch of 2008), the scholarship has made people see her in a new light: “My seniors often introduce me to clients or superiors as an Aditya Birla Scholar. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Today, many of the Aditya Birla Scholars incubated through the programme are associated with marquee companies, leading consultancies and universities around the world. They continue to do the Group proud through their achievements in medicine, technology, and other fields.
Turning achievers into leaders
For Ms. Shanta Boddapati, winning the Aditya Birla Scholarship in 2001 was the first step to realising her dream: “The scholarship opened the doors for me to study in a top institution in India and pursue biomedical research. Meeting others with big dreams and interacting with leaders from various fields inspired me to pursue my own dream.”
She adds, “The scholarship has been valued at every stage through my application to graduate school and post graduate work as well. It has helped me convince my past and present mentors and other faculty about my commitment to biomedical research. Ultimately, it helped me secure a graduate fellowship by the Fulton School of Engineering under their Diversity Initiative. It also supported my PhD at Arizona State University.”
Mr. Shariq Rizvi, whose start-up was bought by Twitter, says: “Being an Aditya Birla scholar gave me lots of self-belief and the confidence to launch a start-up.”
Expanding the benefit
In 2011, the scholarship extended to XLRI (Jamshedpur), IIM (Kozhikode), IIM (Indore), IIT (Roorkee) and IIT (Guwahati). In the law stream – the WB National University of Juridical Sciences (Kolkata), NALSAR University of Law (Hyderabad), National Law School of India University (Bangalore), the Gujarat National Law University, and National Law University (Jodhpur) are also now in the scholarship fold.
Today, achievers such as Mr. Rizvi are keen to share their knowledge and expertise to mould the next generation of leaders. For them, there is the Aditya Birla Mentorship Program, which pairs scholars with accomplished ABS Alumni and senior Aditya Birla Group executives who guide new scholars on their professional development and career advancement.
In league with the best
Aditya Birla Group Chairman, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, shares his father’s vision of producing leaders who will make a difference to the world. And his dream is to make the Aditya Birla Scholarships program as aspirational as the Rhodes and Ford Foundation Scholarships.
Truly inspiring, encouraging, and rewarding, the Aditya Birla Scholarships continue to empower brilliant young minds and equip them with the resources to pursue careers of their choice and help make a difference to society.