IITAV Banner
IITAV Newsletter
 August 2014                                                                                         Issue No. 10
Message from the IITAV President

Dear IITAV members, friends of IITAV and families,

Welcome to this edition of our Newsletter. It gives a flavour of the events we have held since February this year, both social and professional. Our major joint events such as those with Engineers Australia in April, our recent event with Swinburne University in July, several informal events and a delightful Holi Hungama are some examples covered here.

We continue to receive encouraging feedback and a large number of constructive suggestions which will help to grow the profile of IITs, IITians and IITAV. Thank you indeed to our non-members and members for taking the time to attend our events, supporting us and providing the rich feedback. Indeed, one of my key learnings from Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen’s talk in July is the need for us to strategically “unthink” to foster innovative developments for growth.

Our new Management Committee commenced work in May after the AGM. We have already held well attended events in June and July. The next networking event is on 19th August, please do attend despite your busy schedules. Our Diwali event this year is planned for 19th October.

Our membership and the broader mailing list for our communications are growing. We request IIT alumni who are not yet members to join us in the journey. The benefits of membership are growing through our professional, social, networking and other activities. As an example, our strengthening cooperation with Engineers Australia has helped attendees to earn Continuous Professional Development points by attending some of our events. Membership also offers subsidised admission to many of our events.

On behalf of the Management Committee, I take this opportunity to thank Dr Sridhar Karuppasami and his team for their sterling effort in putting together this Newsletter in the new format and trust you will find it informative and enjoyable.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or my Committee colleagues with your feedback and information you might need regarding membership of IITAV.

With thanks and best wishes,


Dr. Raj Rajakumar
Mob: 0432 474 385


IITAV's AGM 2014 was held on 24th May 2014, at Swinburne University. Over 20 members attended the meeting.

President Raj Rajakumar welcomed the attendees and presented the 2013-2014 Committee's report. Treasurer Surinder Lamba presented the finance report of the organization. Secretary Rahul Tyagi provided a membership update.

All Committee positions for 2015 were approved.  New Committee members are

  • Raj Rajakumar (President)
  • Ravi Singh (Vice President)
  • Dilip Desai (Secretary)
  • Rachana Kaudinya (Treasurer)
  • Nikhil Kumar (Committee Member)
  • Abaran Deep (Committee Member)
  • Kapil Talwar (Committee Member)
  • Rakesh Saraf (Committee Member)
  • Sridhar Karuppasami (Committee Member)

More information on the Committee members can be found here.

Following the nomination of the new Committee, Vice President Ravi Singh facilitated a discussion on membership growth and enhancing the IIT Profile among the participants.

We take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all Committee members, past and present, for their hard work and enthusiasm towards IITAV. Further information on the AGM can be found from here.

Opportunity to Success - A joint event held by IITAV and Engineers Australia-Victoria

On 10th April 2014, IITAV and Engineers Australia-Victoria (EA), jointly held a fascinating panel discussion on “Opportunity to Success” at Engineers Australia in North Melbourne. The discussion focussed on three elements: Opportunity Identification, Value Proposition and Execution Strategy. Based on the feedback of attendees, the event was widely regarded as highly successful in that it attracted a large audience that was engrossed in every turn of the conversation.

Ms. Manika Jain, India’s Consul-General in Melbourne and Mr. John McIntosh, immediate past President of EA, Victoria, attended the event and spoke on the occasion. Ms Glenda Graham, Victoria Division General Manager of EA and several members of EA also attended.

The discussion was facilitated by Jordan Green, Case Manager at Commercialisation Australia and Chairman, Australian Association of Angel Investors Ltd. Three IIT alumni and members of IITAV, DD Saxena (the promoter-founder of Riverina Oils and Bio-Energy Pty Ltd), Rakesh Agarwal (Managing Director of the Saurin Group of Companies) and Steve Bungay (Director, Envision Pty Ltd.) contributed as Panel Members. Read more

Strategic Unthinking Through Innovation - Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen - 30 July 2014

IITAV organised this feature event with Swinburne University. The intriguing title of the talk attracted much attention and the interactive session run by Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen lived up to its promise.

Noordin’s career is devoted to innovation management - in academia, in business and in advice to governments keen to create and maintain the conditions for high value-adding innovation. He is the author of ‘Innovation in real life: a hands-on guide to genuine innovation’. He earned his Doctorate and Masters degrees at Cambridge University, and presently is Director of Business Engagement at Swinburne University of Technology. Read more

Informal Networking Event, June 2014

Nothing like a fun evening in Melbourne’s CBD. As an informal catch-up, some of our IITAV members got together on Wednesday, 18th June at The Elephant and Wheelbarrow in Melbourne.

Thanks to Nikhil for organising the venue. It was the best of our informal networking city venues so far. Picking a Wednesday was a good idea, the place was not crowded and a quiet area allowed the participants to relax and have a chat. Along with our members, we were delighted that Peter Cai of Eureka report and Manjith Lekhi attended and shared their views.

As always, the discussion was objective, constructive and broader than our immediate activities. Suggestions included:

  • Follow up on our previous events like iDEA to iNVESTMENT and Opportunity to Success with an event on obtaining investment, grant applications, execution of strategy etc.
  • Hold a big event with sponsorship to raise the profile and impact, building on what IITAV has done so far.
  • Champion social issues like sexual abuse, family violence in India etc – feedback on this was supportive, however IITAV needs to be in a differentiated space compared to other community organisations and NGOs, perhaps helping to show how technology may be applied to help tackle these important issues.
  • Hold more social events rather than professional events. It was noted that we have been trying to do this through several of our events and will aim to improve the mix.

We invite you to attend these informal events which are proving to be popular and appreciated as opportunities to get together and exchange experiences and consider future activities for IITAV.

Invitation: Informal Networking Event, August 2014

The Management Committee is pleased to invite you to our next informal networking event where we meet and catch up with fellow alumni. This informal networking session is on Tuesday, 19th August at 5:30 PM at The Elephant and Wheelbarrow, 94-96 Bourke Street, Melbourne (intersection of Bourke and Exhibition Streets).

We plan to be at the venue till about 7.00 pm but can stay as long as we need to chat informally. You may call Nikhil on 0417 103 795 or Raj Rajakumar on 0432 474 385 when you get to the venue to locate us.

RSVP by email to mail@iitav.org.au so that we know to look out for you there. We look forward to meeting you at The Elephant and Wheelbarrow.

Contact: Nikhil Kumar (Mob: 0417 103 795; nikhil_kumar@bigpond.com).


The festival of colours, Holi, was celebrated with gusto at the Spirit of India in Preston on 15th March 2014. The members were welcomed by beautifully dressed young ladies with five Holi colours and a rose water sprinkle.

The venue, nicely decorated with flowers, diyas, matkas and colours, was echoed with cheerful Holi songs, while slides depicting Holi decorated the projector screen. An atmosphere of delight and merriment prevailed - you just had to be there.

It was a pleasure to see the presence of a younger generation taking to the occasion with such exuberant enthusiasm.

Dr. Raj Rajakumar welcomed the guests, who were subsequently entertained by the considerable talent from within the IITAV family. The comperes, Rashmi Kapoor and Sangeeta Singh, recited poems about Holi, Radheshyam Gupta OAM contributed a lovely song.  Read more


We are happy to give our members a sneak-peek of our upcoming Diwli social event which we are planning to conduct on Sunday, 19th October 2014. One thing for sure, this year's event will hold more surprises. We kindly request you to note this date in your diaries and keep the evening free. Our Committee member Rakesh Saraf and team will keep us further posted and it is already shaping up as an exotic event.


We are delighted to congratulate :

 Marlene Kanga, IIT Bombay alumna, who has been appointed as a member of the Order of Australia for her outstanding contributions to Engineering. (Partial List of Honours)

Rakesh Aggarwal, IIT(BHU) Varanasi alumnus and IITAV Member, receives 2014 Manufacturer’s Monthly Endeavour Award for Environmental Solution of the Year.

The judges commended “Longwarry Food Park’s technology solutions that significantly reduced energy consumption and minimised the use of packaging material. The business has made a remarkable recovery after being affected by a fire.” 

More information on this award can be found here .

PAN-IIT 2014

PanIIT 2014 International conference was held recently in Toronto, Canada. This conference was hosted jointly by IIT Alumni Canada and USA under the theme, “Innovate, Integrate, Transform – Let’s Co-Create Our Future”.

The event was well attended by over 600 IITians, with representations from Government, academia and industry. His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada was the Conference guest of honour and Mr Prem Watsa delivered the keynote speech. More on this event can be found at their website .

Recognition of Indian Engineering Degree

The National Board of Accreditation, India has become a permanent signatory of the Washington Accord from June 2014. This allows all Engineering programs offered by Tier-1 institutions accredited by NBA would be recognised by other signatories of this accord, including Australia. ( More )

We welcome Ramprakash Yerramilli, Venki Prathivadi, Madhup Srivastava and Venugopal   into our family of IITAV Members and take this opportunity to thank all Members for their continued participation in IITAV activities. 

We take this opportunity to thank everyone for their contributions. Special thanks to our Committee Members, Kapil Talwar, Dilip Desai and Raj Rajakumar for their efforts in producing this newsletter.

To help us improve the newsletter, please send your feedback and contributions (news, views and memories) for the next issue to mail@iitav.org.au or Contact Sridhar (Mob: 0423 587 163, kprsridhar@yahoo.com). Previous editions of the newsletter are available here .

Members are also requested to update their profiles at our website.

Thank you.

Sridhar  Karuppasami
(On behalf of the IITAV Committee)

Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are the premier institutes of engineering education in India.
IITAV is the Alumni Association for IIT alumni in Victoria.