Monday, December 7, 2009

BITS Pilani Final Year Student Harsha Mandava attends Princeton Business Today International Conference

Proud to be BITSian Harsha Vardhan Mandava takes inspiration from Bill Drayton quote "Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry."

BITS - Pilani – Business Today is run entirely by undergraduates at Princeton University as an independent, non-profit foundation. The International Conference held in New York City each year takes approximately one out of every ten students who apply worldwide.

Founded in 1968 by Steve Forbes, Michael Mims, and Jonathan Perel during their undergraduate years at Princeton University, Business Today which started as a magazine featuring student-written articles, executive-written articles, and executive interviews presently includes Online Journal, Conference, and Seminar Series programs, all with the aim of bridging the gap between students and executives.

Keeping in mind the collapse of the housing bubble followed by the credit crisis, for the year 2009, the 35th International Conference of Business Today had the theme “Weathering the Storm: The Challenges and Opportunities of A Global Slowdown” with focus on The Business Cycle, The Competitive Landscape and The Evolving Political Environment. The highlights of the conference included Case Study Project, Executive Seminar Sessions, Executive Panel Discussion, Entrepreneur’s address and Business Plan Competition.

Some of the prominent speakers at this year’s conference were the Ford Motor Company Chairman Bill Ford, noted American economist and stock broker Peter Schiff, Princeton professor Alan Blinder and President of Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis James Bullard.

Mandava Harsha Vardhan, final year B.E. (Hons) Computer Science student from Birla Institute of Technology and Science – BITS Pilani was one of the chosen 150 students worldwide to participate in the same this year held during November 21 – 24, 2009.

The conference held at Grand Hyatt in Times Square was an all-expenses (airfare, hotel, and food) paid trip for the selected students.

The conference gave him an opportunity not only to learn from over 70 leading CEO’s and executives who shared their personal anecdotes and insights on the business cycle gained from their years of experience but also meet 150 most talented peers from around the world and work with them to complete a Harvard Business School Case Study dealing with Management of Warren Buffet Company Berkshire Hathaway.

It is indeed a matter of pride that Harsha Vardhan also happens to be the recipient of grant of US$10,000 as a part of the Social Entrepreneurship Contest 2009 of Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program for his proposal to start a community development project in a group of 9 island villages (known as the lanka villages) located in the delta of River Krishna in Guntur district Andhra Pradesh slated for implementation through "Parivartan Foundation for socio-economic change", an NGO registered by Harsha and his team. For more details about Parivartan click or Email

This experience of having attended the Business Today International Conference in the opinion of Harsha will go a long way in achieving his dream of Social Entrepreneurship
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