Syntel founder Bharat Desai to fund new entrepreneurship centre at IIT Bombay
The new centre will have multiple programmes focussing on nanotechnology and biotechnology.
IIT Bombay is set to have a new entrepreneurship centre thanks to $1 million donation from Bharat Desai, the Kenya-born Indian-American founder of US-based IT major Syntel Corporation.
A 1975-batch alumnus, Desai is making the contribution with his wife and co-founder Neerja Sethi, under the aegis of The DS Foundation (Desai Sethi Family Foundation) with an aim to further foster entrepreneurship at the premier institute.
Talking to Entrepreneur magazine on January 1 at E-Summit 2014, IIT Bombay's annual event on the country's growing start-up ecosystem, Desai said that he was not that familiar with young tech entrepreneurs in India.
"I hope to understand the ecosystem better in the next six months. I am very happy that there is so much entrepreneurial activity though and we are hoping to step that up with this centre," he said.
Named the "Desai Sethi Centre for Entrepreneurship," the new centre will have multiple programmes focussing on nanotechnology and biotechnology, with students getting the right kind of support to take their ideas and turn them into proofs of concepts.
The centre will be managed by a board comprising of faculty, students, industry members and international experts in the study of entrepreneurship.
Reminiscing about his time at IIT Bombay, Desai said that the great thing about IIT was that it gave its students a broad framework to operate within. "Any idea that you wanted to implement; you had full liberty for it," he added. "Our class in fact was the one that had started Mood Indigo (the institute's annual fest) and look at what it has grown to."
"IIT encouraged us to step out of our comfort zone, take risks and learn as much as possible. Aand that's what entrepreneurship is all about," said Desai.
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