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Growing the IIT Alumni Centre Bengaluru: November 30, 2016

Dear Fellow Member of IITACB:

I am writing to you to seek more active participation from all of you in the proposed IIT Alumni Centre Building that we expect to start construction on the plot that we have acquired in Bommasandra Industrial Area near Electronics City, Bengaluru. We have spent the past 2-3 years building around our vision of “Bringing the intellectual prowess of the IITs to industry and society in our tryst for excellence”. To that end we have managed to achieve the following:

(a) Start a monthly programme that has been running without interruption for the past 24 months. This is called the Third Saturday Monthly Meet (TSMM) and we host this at the Koramangala Club. We have had excellent speakers who have interacted very well with the audience. Please do join us as we have exciting conversations with accomplished alumni from the IITs. The Governing Council believes that the TSMM can be an efficient vehicle that will allow all of us to interact and benefit from one another. Currently, the registrations for any given TSMM meeting is between 30-70; we think there is no reason why this cannot exceed a hundred every time. Please do let us know your thoughts on what can be done to make the TSMM more attractive to you.

(b) Organized short term courses on Cyber Security and on Urban Development by bringing Faculty of IIT Delhi and IIT-Roorkee to Bengaluru.

(c) Have received the support in writing from the Directors of seven IITs. They have endorsed the idea of the IIT Alumni Centre Bengaluru (IITACB) and would like to engage more with us.

(d) Have received a formal endorsement for IITACB from the IIT Council (in their meeting minutes) and the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD).

(e) Have received requests from MHRD to support their UAY Scheme.

(f) Have sought and received allotment of 2,464 sq. metres of land from KIADB at Electronics City, Bengaluru. This plot has now been acquired by IITACB and we expect to start construction of an iconic building designed by Chandavarkar & Thakkar.

The next steps for us are to be able to deliver on the promises we have made to ourselves and to all IIT alumni in general. We have outlined a few areas that we should focus on with specific outcomes and this is shown in the table below:

Who benefits
a. IITs
b. Alumni
c. Corporates

Ways we provide benefits
a. Serve as an Extension Centre for the IITs
b. Bring IIT expertise to Industry
c. Organize short-term courses on Cutting edge technologies
d. Assist Governments in bringing Industry / IIT together, e.g., UAY
e. Networking for alumni
f. Host an Annual Showcase Event
g. Make the IITACB building a showpiece of IIT tech Prowess
h. Get Alumni and IIT Faculty to collaborate On issues like JEE, etc.

Going forward, we need carry out several activities, for example:

(a) Commit to doing at least 6-8 different short term courses for industry in Bengaluru conducted by Faculty of the different IITs. Some of us on the Governing Council have been actively talking to Faculty of the various IITs and courses on Wireless Communications and others are in the pipeline. Do let us know what the organizations that you are involved with or work at would be looking so that we can organize for these courses.

(b) Be able to get at least 8-10 research or consulting contracts for IITs through our alumni network. Once again, the alumni network is our USP and it is up to us to make this happen.

(c) Incubate and mentor at least 12-15 start-ups in new technology areas;

(d) Organize 12-15 talks per year through our TSMM or larger platforms; etc.

May I request each one of you to send me your thoughts on these issues as well as other ideas so that we are able to collate this and build a plan that that delivers meaningful outcomes?

Why is this approach necessary? To build a Centre that we will all be proud of we need to raise at least Rs. 20 crores and this money has to be raised from corporates, from the IITs and from HNW Individuals, besides increasing our membership base. Moreover, when the Centre is fully operational we need a corpus to be able to generate the money for operating expenses. We can raise this money only if we are able to show to the corporate sector, to government, to all of us alumni and the IITs that IITACB is definitely a place to make investments.

Finally, I would also like to request time commitments from each one of you to take bottom line on these activities. Besides the table shown above we also need someone to take ownership of communicating to the world at large – including through the media and other avenues that the IITs also have; to take ownership for financial issues including quarterly disclosures that will highlight our belief in transparency; engaging in the constructing of the building; creating a business plan to make the Centre financially secure; and other allied areas. Please let me know which of these areas you would be committing to take ownership of. I believe that to make this happen we would need not only your mindshare but also your time.

I strongly believe that IITACB is today in a unique position with a tremendous amount of goodwill from multiple stakeholders. It is up to us to make this a unique institution that not only we but also the entire IIT community will be proud of.

Please send your responses to me with a copy to Ashok Kamath (ashokrkamath@gmail.com), whom I am requesting to collate all responses. We will achieve our goals with active involvement of all of you and request you enthusiastic participation.

With best wishes,

Ashok Misra
President IITACB

November 30, 2016