10 IIT-ians Who Looked Beyond The Typical And Made It Really Big
IIT or The Indian Institute of Technology is among the most reputed institutions in India and one of the top engineering colleges in the world. One might think that IIT always produces engineers year after year. But the truth is, there is much more to IIT and IITians than engineering.
Be it politics, philanthropy, art, sports and even entertainment, IITians have looked beyond their prestigious engineering degree and they have reached where they wanted to reach.
Here’s a list of few IITians who followed their passions and contributed to the development of India.
1. Jairam Ramesh: An engineer by education but better known as an economist
The former Indian Minister of Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh graduated from IIT-Bombay in 1975 with a B.Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering. Mr. Ramesh has been a columnist for the Business Standard, Business Today, The Telegraph, Times of India and India Today. With over 30 years of experience in economic and development policy, Jairam officially joined the All India National Congress on a full-time basis in 1998. He is the founding member of the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad.
2. Raju Narayana Swamy: The IAS officer who needs no introduction
A graduate from IIT Madras, Raju Narayana Swami came first in the secondary state examination, plus two, pre-degree examination, GATE, and even topped the IAS entrance test. After declining the scholarship offer from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, he went on to become an IAS officer and has been fighting against corruption for the people of this country ever since. He didn’t even spare his father-in-law, who was a contractor, which led to his divorce.
3. N.R.Narayan Murthy: Father of Indian IT sector
An electrical engineer from the University of Mysore and then pursued M.tech from IIT Kanpur. Narayan Murthy founded Infosys, which is now one of India’s leading MNC, in the year 1981. A Padma Vibhushan awardee, Murthy has been described as the ‘Father of Indian IT sector’ by Time magazine due to his contribution to outsourcing in India and is also listed among the top 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time.
4. Arvind Kejriwal: The famous social activist and the present Chief Minister of Delhi
Regarded as one of the best social activists, Arvind Kejriwal has been a household name for the last two-three years. He is an IIT Kharagpur alumni with a B.Tech degree in mechanical engineering. Declared as the Indian of the year by NDTV and CNN-IBN, Kejriwal was the second choice for Prime Minister after Narendra Modi.
5. Arunabh Kumar: The Brain behind TVF (The Viral Fever)
An electrical engineer from IIT Kharagpur, Arunabh Kumar started The Viral Fever in 2010 when he uploaded a video on YouTube which fetched 18k likes in a day and went on to become the second most viewed video in entertainment category that week. Now with over 1 million subscribers on YouTube, his story is nothing less than a mixture of inspiration and determination to follow your passion.
6. Chetan Bhagat: The author, columnist, screenwriter, speaker, television personality and now a dancer. ?
After graduating from IIT-Delhi with a B.tech degree in Mechanical Engineering, he took up a management program offered at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. He published his first novel ‘Five Point Someone’ in 2004 and that took him to the peaks of fame and popularity in India. Not only that, he also writes columns in newspapers on various social and national issues. He also found a place in Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential Person’ in 2010.
7. Rahul Ram: Lead singer and bassist of Indian Ocean
It’s very unlikely that you will come across another IITian like Rahul Ram. With an M.Sc degree in Chemistry from IIT Kanpur and a Ph.D in Environmental Toxicology from Cornell, Rahul Ram went against the flow to follow his passion. Today, Rahul Ram is recognised nationwide as the bass guitarist and vocalist of Indian Ocean, the country’s first and arguably most original rock band. Being a social activist, he played an active role during Narmada Bachao Andolan (1990-1995).
8. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal: Founder of the billion dollar company Flipkart
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal graduated with a degree in Computer Science engineering from IIT-Delhi and worked at Amazon for some time before founding Flipkart in 2007. They started with selling books and expanded later offering a wide range of goods and even implemented the popular ‘Cash on Delivery’ facility which every shopping website in India offers lately. These two IIT graduates changed the e-commerce industry in India forever.
9. Manohar Parrikar: One of best Defence Ministers India has ever had
The current Defence Minister of India, Manohar Parrikar is a metallurgical engineering graduate from IIT Bombay in 1978. He became the first IIT graduate to be appointed as the Chief Minister of any Indian state when he served as the CM of Goa from 2000-2005. Manohar Parrikar was sworn-in for the all-important Defence Minister post in November 2014.
10. Nandan Nilekani: Former Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India
After graduating from IIT-Bombay with a B.tech degree in electrical engineering, Nandan Nilekani co-founded Infosys along with Narayana Murthy and worked in the company for 28 years. In 2009, he left Infosys and served as the Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India under the former Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Nandan Nilekani was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world both in 2006 and 2009 by the Time magazine.
There are many others who have passed out of IIT and are doing very well in their lives.
Like they say, follow your dreams and one day you will surely excel.