Celebrating the achievements of UK alumni in India

When outstanding individuals receive a world-class education in the UK, the effects can last a lifetime. The Alumni Awards pay tribute to the impact that alumni of UK higher education institutions have had in their chosen field, and how this was sparked by their studies in the UK.

There are three award categories: Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial and Social Impact.

  • The Professional Achievement Award recognises alumni whose work has created change in their chosen profession.
  • The Entrepreneurial Award recognises alumni who have developed innovative solutions to problems within their industry.
  • The Social Impact Award recognises alumni whose work has positively changed their society or community.

If you are an alumnus of a UK university and you want the world to know how your work is making a difference, you can apply for next year’s awards from summer 2018. We look forward to hearing your story.

Winners for 2018

Among stiff competition from a variety of strong applicants, these candidates stood out. Find out what makes their story unique.

Professional Achievement Award

Dr. Saumya Saxena - University of Cambridge and University of Oxford

Dr. Saumya has assisted the Law Commission in India in the field on possible amendments to personal law codes and assessing the feasibility of a uniform civil code. She has also published extensively on the subject of personal law in newspapers and also has a number of academic publications. Her work with Justice Verma Committee which was set up to revise Rape Laws in India has had an impact on every woman in the country. Dr. Saumya has pursued an Honourable Ph.D., Faculty of History from University of Cambridge.

Entrepreneurial Award

Sushant Desai - University of Edinburgh

Mr. Desai completed his Master of Science in Management from University of Edinburgh and later went on to co-found Camphor Cinema in 2012 to provide an international platform for unique Indian stories and Sitting Duck Pictures (2015) that develops and produces global film content with worldwide sales and offers top value to investors. His first Production ‘Ramanujan’ was critically acclaimed and bagged a lot of awards including the Best Production Award at Norway's NTFF in 2015. Through Sitting Duck Pictures and Camphor Cinema, he aims at developing and producing other interesting films.

Social Impact Award

Ruchi Shah - University of the Arts London

Ruchi is very well known and often featured illustrator in India. Having published over 10 multilingual books so far, with prominent publishers like Pratham Books and Tulika Books. Her books- Creative Commons and StoryWeaver have been read more than 10,000 times by different children, and have been translated by the same children/parents into more than 17 global languages. She wants to continue bringing better contextual content and quality within the world of Children's Literature in India.

 Congratulations to the winners.

Meet this year's finalists 


Professional Achievement Award

Anushree Srivastava - University of Essex

Anushree has studied MSc Biotechnology. Being an Astrobiologist and her love of space exploration, she was an honourable part of Crew Biologist for The Mars Society’s ambitious and unprecedented Mars simulation program called Mars 160 Twin Desert-Arctic Analog Mission. She has represented India and the UK at the Mars 160 Twin Desert-Arctic Analogue Mission. She has been featured in various Media releases and was awarded Mars 160 Volunteer of the Year Award by the Mars Society in 2017.

Dr. Gopalkrishna Lakkireddy - University of Westminster

Dr. Gopalkrishna is an Associate Director in Biologics unit of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Manager, Zenotech Laboratories Ltd, and a Senior Research Scientist, Hospira Healthcare India Pvt. Ltd. His contribution in the niche area of glycosylation/ biosimilar analytics has helped in accelerating biosimilar development in India- contribution to Indian pharmacopeia, various regulatory filings, and industry talks. Dr. Gopalkrisna is a Ph.D. holder in Immunomodulatory polysaccharides from Basidiomycete fungi.

Taruka Srivastav - Sheffield Hallam University

Taruka Srivastav is a former Asian Games player. Ms. Taruka has won prestigious awards like 'International Student of the year' and the 'Most Inspirational Female student' award. Moreover, Ms. Taruka is a published writer for UNICEF. After returning to India, she is now the Venue Press Officer, FIFA LOC. She has completed her Masters in Sports Management from Sheffield Hallam University.

Entrepreneurial Award

Bhavin Dabhi - University of Manchester

Bhavin is a Founder of Universal Designovation Lab LLP (UDLAB). He holds a B.E in Mechanical and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Design from the University of Manchester. Mr. Dabhi has designed more than 15 products which lead him to win awards Nationally and Internationally. With his firm UDLAB, he is working towards innovative and strategic product development to make life easier and happier. Moreover, his firm UDLAB also made it to India's Best Industrial Design Studio in 2017 and in top 100 SMEs of India in 2016.

Gowrishanker Sivabala - University of Bristol

Mr.Gowrishanker Sivabla pursued his MSc degree in Aerospace from the University of Bristol and is now a Co-Founder, COO, and Director; Deccan Airsports Pvt Ltd which is South India's first air sports company, Gower Sivla Enterprise and Spacenxt Aviation and Aerospace Research. With his passion and hard work, Mr. Sivabala also made the Give Smiles Charitable Trust (NGO) happen. His work within the NGO has touched more than 10,000 needful individuals.

Ritnika Nayan Shrivastva - University of Westminster 

Ritnika has major contributions to the Music Industry. She is the Owner of, Music Gets Me High (MGMH). She is an author of a well-renowned book, Indie 101 which is an ultimate guide to the independent music industry in India.  Ms. Ritnika was also named Young Guns of India - Feb 2009 by India Today Aspire Magazine and holds other awards towards her contribution. Her work was and would always be to take the Music Industry forward passionately.

Social Impact Award

Bharath Balasubramaniam - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Bharath Balasubramaniam is now severing as the President of Sankara Eye Care Foundation – India, one of the biggest community eye care providers in the country.  He has been recognised as an Eye Health leader in 2014 by IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness). He has performed up to 79,271 free eye surgeries in 2008-09 to 1, 41,366 free eye surgeries annually in 2016-17 (78 % increases). Mr. Balasubramaniam has completed his M.Sc. Public Health in Eye Care.

Jehan Manekshaw - Birbeck, University of London

Jehan is the Founder and Executive Director of Theatre Professionals and The Drama School Mumbai. Mr. Jehan is the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for the advancement of the practice of Theatre in India. He has achieved his MFA in Theatre Direction and aims to change the theatre landscape in India.

Meesha Tandon- University of Leeds

Ms. Meesha Tandon has led the European Commission funded project on Integrated Urban Water Management funded by European Commission. Ms. Tandon has immensely worked for urban poor and children in several cities of India across a gamut of issues like water resource management, climate change, environment, social equity etc.  She is also the key author for the IUWM toolkit for Indian cities and written several other articles which have been published. Ms Meesha aims to set up her own organisation which will work towards sustainable development goals and providing services to urban poor.

See also