Pilani, March 13, 2023: BITS Pilani today announced the highest-ever individual gift, US$ 1.8 million (Rs 15 crore), received from its alumnus Rakesh Verma, Founder and Chairman of MapmyIndia, India’s original data mapmaker. The funds will be used to build a State-of-the-Art Convention Centre at the Pilani campus.
The Convention centre, named after Rakesh Verma, will include a 200-seater “MapmyIndia Conference Hall” for conducting programs and events, and a 100-room residential facility for a convenient stay. The Centre is expected to be operational by FY 2026.
Prof. Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor, of BITS Pilani, said “Rakesh has been a champion of BITS over many years. He has helped many BITSians in their careers and has been pivotal in strengthening the entrepreneurship initiatives at BITS. With the upcoming convention centre, the Pilani campus would add a crucial facility to offer an unmatched campus experience. BITS would be able to bring in the best of experts from the world, host international conferences and programs, and invite entrepreneurs to stay and build their startups from Pilani”.
Mr. Rakesh Verma, Founder, and Chairman, MapmyIndia (BITS Pilani, 1967-72) said, “BITS Pilani is not just my alma mater but a creator that built me and motivated me to achieve higher goals and strive towards lofty ideals. I would say BITS Pilani creates ‘Institution Builders’. I believe BITS Pilani has transformed not just my career arc but even my life.” He added, “I feel privileged and honoured that my contribution towards this endeavor has been accepted. BITS Pilani holds a promise to create world-class leaders, who have and will continue to make this world a better place. Poets can well visualize ‘sitaron se aagey jahaan aur bhi hain’ but the ways to reach there will be created by Technologists. Don’t be surprised if you find a BITSian hand in it somewhere when that happens. Tomorrow, as humanity goes Interstellar, who knows the influence of BITS Pilani may transcend beyond this globe”.
Mr. Rakesh Verma founded MapmyIndia in 1995 based on a strong conviction that all data has a location element, and a platform was required in India to empower the data with a location component. Soon after returning from the USA, he started working on his conviction to build India’s own digital map data platform. Mr. Verma’s ” Atmanirbhar ” business philosophy was linked to developing intellectual property through a continuous journey of technology innovation. This enabled MapmyIndia to compete with global tech giants and successfully list on the stock exchange. The issue was subscribed over 154 times, eventually paving the way for the company to become a Unicorn.