Dear Fellow IITian,
Over the Easter weekend, we had our highly successful and acclaimed Pan IIT Asia Pac event in Singapore. It was the largest event in the Pan IIT world outside of the US and India. We had over 600 registered participants with delegates from all over the world and with a wide ranging number of sponsors. The event brought us into close contact with the government of Singapore and Singapore Inc. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the steering committee and the leadership of Amrit Barman for flawless execution. As the current President of the Alumnus Association, I would like to thank all the members for their support and look forward to next couple of years with a stronger and rejuvenated alumnus family.
The important thing is to not have the event become a one off activity but to build on the momentum and brand awareness created for IITs and IITians. The newly reconstituted committee has the following broad agenda.
- The key pillar will continue to be the annual calendar of social and professional events. The social events of Diwali, Holi, Family Day, New Year’s Eve etc are the ones that keep the bonding strong with family participation. On the professional events, the plan is to have several, focused ones with targeted audience. To make them more frequent, we request all members to keep a lookout for successful and interesting personalities who are visiting Singapore or could be persuaded to do so and who would be willing to participate in a talk/interaction. The ideal combination would be of high quality speakers who are also IIT alumni but does not need be restricted to them.
- The event has also raised expectations on how and what can the alumni do to be relevant in Singapore society, contribute to nation building in India, increase interaction at university level and play a role in business incubation. On each of these fronts, there are ideas and actions underway.
A quick overview on some of these interactions with Singapore society are as below:-
- SINDA is very keen to engage with the alumnus in their projects and activities. The most important contribution we can make is to provide mentoring to Singapore Indian youth looking for guidance and self esteem. They are keen to address us if we can arrange at any of the function rooms in the Vande Mataram Alley (as Tanjong Rhu to Meyer Road is affectionately called by them).
- In collaboration with IIT chapters in the US and Tokyo, we are planning on launching Asia Initiatives (www.asiainitiatives.org) chapter in Singapore to help facilitate participation in various nation building activities in India. That is, in fact, the slogan for Pan IIT globally (www.paniitalumni.org). Piyush Agarwal is leading the effort.
- We have been driving an internship program for IITians for the past couple of years in collaboration with Singapore goverment. This year 14 students will do their summer internships. This can expand manifold. Also, encourage university to university dialogue between IITs and Singapore universities.
- Get involved with entrepreneurs (often alumni) in India in the incubation process and in the connectivity into Singapore.
Any modicum of success on these plans depends heavily on active participation and enthusiasm of the members. In turn, we have an ask of you as friends and people who do share similar passion.
- On behalf of all the current members, I strongly urge you to become a member (life member preferably) and/or renew your membership. And, to spread the word around to those who haven’t heard of us or are unaware of how to become a member. There are over 1,000 IITians in Singapore with more coming in every year and we aim to try and reach each one of them.
- The business model has also changed dramatically. Historically, we have sought to meet the budgets via sponsorships of specific events – social and professional. From the Pan IIT sponsorship raising experience, we have realized that it is better to have consistent, long term sponsors who benefit from visibility across a calendar of events. Attracting and retaining sponsors is a very challenging activity and we would like to solicit ideas and help from all quarters.
- We need more organizations to participate in our internship program. The association will be able to provide secretarial services to help advertise your roles in the campuses and direct the applications your way and to liaise with Contact Singapore. We are considering a nominal charge for the participation to cover the secretarial services. 20 organizations with 5-10 interns on an average can make a big impact.
- There are IITians who are successful entrepreneurs and many more constantly setting up in India. We are looking at providing such entities visibility and access to Singapore government entities besides the alumni and beyond. If you are aware of such opportunities, you can help directing them our way and if there is a potential Singapore angle, we can expect a favourable response from the government and Singapore Inc.
- The success of IIT Shakti gives us reason to believe that there is a kids angle too. The professional talks should be of as much value to them as to us. We need help and support in various activities to keep up communication and infrastructure. These are part time in nature and we would be willing to pay modestly for what should be fun activities. If your smart 13 year old is keen on making some pocket money helping us, let us know.
There are several interesting ideas and a lot of ambition that runs the risk of too little execution. If we can gather more of us into the community and increase the level of participation, I am sure we can deliver on many of them. I look forward to interacting with you a lot more going forward.
President, IIT Alumni Association, Singapore
I also invite you to visit the Pan IIT pages below to keep yourself updated on our activities and network with other members.
The IIT Alumni facebook page.
The IIT Alumni Women's Group Facebook Page - IIT Shakti.
The IIT Alumni Linkedin Group.