The British Council celebrated the UK Alumni from India

New Delhi, 03 April, 2017: The British Council recently hosted the Education UK Awards 2017 to honour outstanding success in areas of Entrepreneurship, Professional Achievement, and Social Impact by 11 Indians who have graduated from UK higher education institutions. The winners were felicitated during a gala ceremony hosted in the presence of government dignitaries, industry leaders and education experts including the guest of honour was the prominent Supreme Court Lawyer, Karuna Nandy.


We are committed to welcoming Indian students to study in the UK and over the last decade, over 250,000 Indians have studied in UK’s universities and colleges. The Education UK Alumni Awards 2017 celebrate the impact of the experience of studying and living in the UK. The awards recognise the outstanding achievements made by business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders who have demonstrated how their UK education has impacted their career,” Alan Gemmell OBE, Director, British Council India.

The Entrepreneurial Award was bagged by Sameer Pitalwalla who is a digital entrepreneur from the University of Westminster. As a co-founder of Culture Machine, a digital media company, Sameer is currently running some of Asia’s largest digital media brands and licensing its core technologies to advertisers, media companies and agencies world-over.

The Social Impact award was bestowed on Neha Upadhyay who is a social entrepreneur and innovative dietician who graduated from King’s College London and is trained in organic, macrobiotic living from Daylesford Organic Cookery School and Whole Food Harmony (UK).

The Professional Achievement Award was awarded to Hrishikesh Shende currently heading Football division at Adidas India and prior to that led the Sports Marketing division at Adidas India. His work has been instrumental in developing a strong pipeline of athletes and assets for activation.

The finalists will become a part of a new international UK Alumni Award Network, and winners will be invited to the UK to connect with government and industry leaders in a sector of their choice. In addition, the winners will also raise their international profile, expand their networks, and enhance their careers.

A recent research done by the British Council revealed that one in seven of the current world leaders are alumni of UK Universities. Further, the research indicated that 34 percent of Heads of States who have studied abroad are UK alumni.  A recent QS global survey of 27,000 graduate employers showed that UK degrees are highly valued by employers worldwide. Graduates from Oxford and Cambridge were rated the most employable in the world, while London School of Economics, Imperial College London and the University of Manchester all made it to the top ten. Studies also show that UK-educated graduates achieve markedly higher average salaries in their home country.


The Education UK Alumni Awards were launched by the British Council in September 2014 in the presence of several dignitaries including the British High Commissioner– Sir Dominic Asquith. The ideology behind the awards lies in honouring outstanding success in Entrepreneurship, Professional Achievement and Social Impact by Indians who have undertaken their higher education in UK. Alumni from India, mainland China and the USA graduated within the last decade are eligible for these awards.

Other celebrated alumni of the UK include former US President Bill Clinton, co-founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman, Olympic gold medallist Annette Salmeen, Nobel Prize for Literature winner Wole Soyinka, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and business magnate Zhang Xin, designer Jimmy Choo and actress Parineeti Chopra.

Education UK Alumni Award categories:

Professional Achievement Award

Recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, and who can demonstrate the highest level of integrity and character in their professional career.

Entrepreneurial Award

Successful applicants in this category will be active in initiating, or contributing to, innovative new business opportunities with strong growth prospects. This is the award for self-starters, go-getters and risk-takers.

Social Impact Award

The Social Impact Award acknowledges alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.

More information on the Education UK Alumni 2017 awards is here:


List of UK Higher Education Institutions with 2017 finalists for India:

University of Warwick
University of Westminster
Cambridge University
University of Liverpool
University of Exeter
University of Dundee
University of Reading
University of Kent
King’s College London



The British Council


The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.

We also manage prestigious scholarships and training awards, including the Jubilee scholarships, the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the Charles Wallace India Trust awards. Our English language centres in Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata provide a range of general and business English classes, specialised skills based programmes and young learner courses. We work with a wide range of Indian partners in cities all over India enabling British and Indian experts to meet and collaborate and to nurture mutually beneficial relationships.