Meet the IIT Alumni who are behind the fourth-generation Covid-19 vaccine


Ravi Sharma

A distinguished Alumnus of IIT Roorkee, former Corporate leader and now full-time Philanthropist – Ravi Sharma plays an active role in global revitalization and unification of IIT alumni across countries, across IITs and across age groups. He is the President and Chief Volunteer of the IIT Alumni Council and also leads the Institute Outreach & Branding initiatives. The main deliverables of the Council are facilitating alumni networking, fortifying Brand IIT and Brand India, catalyzing alumni participation in nation building and accelerating technological developments in key areas of our economy including start-ups, manufacturing and digital transformation. The Council has six operating missions — Alumni Networking (PanIIT Alumni), Mentorship (PanIIT Institute), Social Venture funding (PanIIT Fund), CSR Platform (PanIIT Foundation), a Thinktank (PanIIT Forum) a Biomolecule Mega Incubator (PanIIT Incubator). The IIT Alumni Council is now actively engaged in solving the corona crisis and has formed the C19 Task Force which has the participation of over 20,000 alumni and includes Mumbai University and ICT Mumbai as institutional partners. C19 Task Force initiatives include the 10 million tests per month MegaLab, the 50K litres harvested blood per month MegaTx and Rs 21,000 crore MegaFund.

Pallavi Jain

Pallavi Jain is the Managing Director and founding shareholder of Krsnaa Diagnostics which is expected to be India’s first and fastest-grown covid unicorn. The company entered the pathology lab diagnostics space in 2015 and started the covid testing in midMay 2020. It quickly became one of the leaders in the covid 19 space by extending the services to regions like J&K, Tamilnadu, Assam, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and remote areas of Maharashtra. Unlike most corporate CXOs, Pallavi has a background in Home Science something she has used to her advantage to build a well-managed, highly accurate, mega capacity RTPCR testing infrastructure which is the largest in the private sector in India. Pallavi is a quintessential entrepreneur starting off in the gifts and retail sector around twenty years ago. She then moved in the events management space and finally helped found Krsnaa Diagnostics in 2010 as a diagnostic company.

Krsnaa started its journey with two centers in rural Maharashtra. These have grown to 2000+ centers making Krsnaa Diagnostics one of the biggest PPP organizations in India with a presence in 15 states. She is often invited to be a panelist, a speaker in various webinars and forums. She has been featured in various magazines and is rated amongst India’s 20 top most influential women. Krsnaa was awarded as Asia’s Best and Fastest Growing Healthcare & Wellness Brand by WCRC in 2014-15 and the Star of Asia Award for Health Excellence in 2016, India Excellence Award 2020 Best Diagnostics Service Company & Outstanding Achievement Award in Social Sector. She was recently conferred with the award of Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) by the National American University.

Christina Watson

Christina Watson’spassion and experience overarch multi-facets of holistic health. She founded Wellness Lifestyle, a multidimensional wellness company, with an eclectic international panel of holistic health and wellness experts. Through her three decades in hospitality and holistic health, she has facilitated wellness in various capacities that included Vana Retreat, Mandarin Oriental and Oberoi Vilas amongst others. She is credited for Vana’s pathbreaking and transformative integrated health offering. Her latest creation Equine Connect, a protocol centered on the therapeutic potential of human-horse connect is only available at Jaipur Riding and Polo Club, an exclusive partner of Wellness Lifestyle.

Widely considered as the high priestess of wellness and a global thought leader in the integrated holistic health space, she serves on the standing Membership committee of National Wellness Institute, USA, one of the oldest wellness organizations of repute. She has been an advocate of holistic health and wellness education in hospitality. She has been a visiting industry expert and on the board of studies for Master of Management in Hospitality stream of Marian College. She continues to contribute her time to social causes. She has been part of Peermade Development Society (PDS), one of the largest NGOs for nearly two decades. She has worked with Tibetan SOS vocational training center and is involved with Aashita Foundation in Jaipur, a care home for girls. She was on the advisory committee of Sahyadri Institute. A graduate in Physics, she has continued to pursue courses that are of interest to her, such as Wellness Assessment & Lifestyle and Food as medicine from RMIT and Wellness Coaching. She holds a CIDESCO, studying at Steiner School in London and has international diplomas in Cosmetology and Ayurveda. She serves as an Independent Director on the Board of the Digital India Fund India’s largest private sector fund of funds and a part of the MegaFund.

Mrinalini Gupta

Mrinalini Gupta is India’s leading Branding and MarTech professional and is rated among the most successful venture capitalists in the consumer proserve space. Her key strength lies in identifying and translating cultural and consumer insights into new businesses in emerging industries and new market segments. She has considerable hands-on functional expertise in brand building, competitive strategy, consumer research, product conceptualization, organization building and profit center management. She is credited with having created and managed some of India’s leading brands in the post internet world. She led the team which conceptualized all the IIT Alumni Council initiatives including HowdyModi and MegaLab. She is one of the few old world advertising industry veterans who made a successful transition to the digital and online world. She has held leading jobs in the corporate world and is widely recognized for her role as Chief Marketing Officer of Hindustan Times and Head of Broadband for Airtel. Since 2005, Mrinalini has held leadership roles in leading non-profit philanthropic organizations and helped set up and manage a school for girls in rural Haryana.

Since 2010, she has been actively involved in the fund management space. She is an active angel investor and a limited partner in several SEBI registered funds, including India largest private sector fund of funds. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Ashmolean Fund. The Ashmolean Fund is a seed stage co-investor in the conceptualization, creation, acquisition and revitalization of brands, trade names, copyrights and other forms of intellectual property for use in the real and virtual world. The 12-year fund is a successor entity to the ten-year India AA Fund which reached end of tenure in 2020.

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