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 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 have made a significant donation of Rs 1 Crore to establish the Women’s Entrepreneurship
The centre will be named as ‘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 that 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 future generations, says Raghu Sethuraman, Chairman of the 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 programs tailored specifically for women and 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.
Prof. Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani said, “We are committed to
providing 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,
which will act as a connecting bridge between the women innovators and PIEDS, our startup
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 about this and I hope that we create a great
impact on the Entrepreneurial Landscape.”
About Shobitam: Founded by fashionistas and creative sisters Aparna and Ambika in Seattle,
Shobitam is building a world-class ethnic fashion brand that is elegant, affordable, and
available globally. Powered by a passion for fashion, an interest in designing them, and a
drive to make them available to all, Shobitam’s mission is to help people look good, do good, and feel good. Working closely with weavers across India, Shobitam designs unique collections
and makes a difference in their lives with deep impact. They sell through their global online
platform to tens of thousands of customers across 40+ countries, offering beautiful selections
with quality, prices, and 5-star service! Customer Obsession is at the core of Shobitam’s
experience and you can see it reflected in their 6000+ 5 Star Customer Reviews.
About BITS, Pilani: BITS Pilani, established in 1964, is an institute of eminence and offers
undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs in Engineering, Sciences, Pharmacy, and
Management from its four campuses at Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad, and Dubai. It also offers Work
Integrated Learning Programmes for working professionals. It has more than 170,000 alumni
across the globe from its on-campus and WILP programs.
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