Shobitam, a D2C ethnic wear global brand that focuses on making Indian handlooms both cost-effective and elegant globally is collaborating with the BITS, Pilani organization to set up a first-of-its-kind “Centre for Women Entrepreneurship” with an aim to strengthen startup ventures from women across the BITS campuses. Alumni of BITS Pilani, Raghu Sethuraman and his spouse Aparna Thyagarajan, co-founder of Shobitam has made a significant donation of Rs 1 Crore to establish the Women's Entrepreneurship Centre.
The centre will be named ‘Shobitam Centre for Women Entrepreneurship’ (SCWE), after the Seattle-based global fashion brand run by Aparna Thyagarajan. Shobitam is dedicated to making Indian ethnic wear affordable, elegant and available globally. This is the first of its kind initiative in India which strongly aims to close the gender gap in business, one woman leader at a time. The funds will also be used to award the Lalitha and Hema scholarships each year for talented women leaders from the centre.
“I am indebted to BITS Pilani, an institution which has played a key role in shaping me personally and professionally. And it gives me great pleasure to be part of this unique initiative to create SCWE in collaboration with BITS. Entrepreneurship is a mindset where the centre will create an enabling environment for women’s entrepreneurship to succeed with gender equality, build the institutional capacity and develop the tools with support services for women entrepreneurs. SCWE will be a legacy builder, one that will have a lasting impact on the future generations,” said Raghu Sethuraman, Chairman of Board, Shobitam, a BITS alumnus, class of 1992.
The centre shall create a strong foundation in BITS campuses for women to get inspired, supported, and mentored to become successful global entrepreneurs. The centre will also conduct events and programmes tailored specifically for women and to provide scholarships and seed funds for promising ventures, access to cutting edge industry experts and hands-on coaching impact from a diverse set of stakeholders.
Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani said, “We are committed to provide plenty of opportunities to all the students on the campus. We want women from all programs whether Engineering or Business or PhDs to build their ideas into viable start-ups. We are grateful to Raghu for setting up this Shobitam Centre for Women Entrepreneurship, that will act as connecting bridge between the women innovators and PIEDS, our startup incubator.”
Aparna Thyagarajan, Co-founder, Shobitam said, “I am elated to be associated with BITS Pilani. We have witnessed a steady rise of women entrepreneurship in the present times, hence this initiative will empower more women to make a difference in the business world. Shobitam Centre for Women Entrepreneurship will advise and mentor women as they dive into the aspects of Entrepreneurship. We are excited for this and I hope that we create a great impact on the Entrepreneurial Landscape.”