WHARTON INDIA FELLOWS

THE 2018-2019 COHORT

Following a rigorous application process and careful review, we are pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of Wharton India Fellows. The Fellows are students from The College of Arts and Sciences, The Wharton School, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. They will have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship in India through a half-semester course followed by a 2-week immersion in an India startup or rapidly scaling company. They will also serve as ambassadors of their schools and the University of Pennsylvania during this study plus immersion experience. 

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Ransford Antwi

The School of Engineering and Applied Science, Class of 2020

Fellow at Astrome (Neha Satak, Founder & CEO)

Bangalore is a city brimming with opportunities and it is great to see the ecosystem growing organically. The founders we met were all driven individuals with interesting tales as well as great advice that I found particularly useful. I certainly appreciated the intimate interaction we had with them and the lessons we learnt.

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Cameron Cabo

The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology: The School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at ZestMoney (Lizzie Chapman, Co-founder & CEO; Priya Sharma, Co-founder & CFO/COO; Ashish Anantharaman, Co-founder & CTO)

There is so much to learn from the diversity of problems and solutions in India. It is so easy to think that tech in the US is more advanced and better funded, though in certain cases (for example, payments infrastructure), the very restrictions and challenges of other markets are what lead to greater innovations than what we see back home. I think that says a lot about the human spirit and its underlying desire to make the world a better place. This spirit is pervasive across Indian entrepreneurship, from last mile innovations to bridging divisions across classes. This program has put me in a far better position to build products and solve problems in a way that is both inclusive and empathetic. As illustrated by the successful teams behind HealthifyMe, ZestMoney, and countless other Bangalore-based startups, it takes far more than just strong tech and funding to build a product which can truly serve to improve lives; rather, these startups succeed through a well-crafted mix of fine-tuned cultural understanding, purpose, and drive.

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Ethan Chen

The Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at Quikpod (Ravi Gururaj ENG’89, W’89, Founder & CEO)

Our alumni network in India is incredible. From visiting Westbridge to Accel to SAIF to everything Ravi took me too, I had an incredulous amount of access. To hear the stories of the founders of the first funds in India and their struggles, to talking with the first investor in Flipkart, to the founder of Swiggy, and then even meeting the top Ministers in India…this has not happened in any of the other Wharton trips I’ve been on. This program is wholly unique because of the care our alumni and sponsor companies put into us and how much they care about us, generally.

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Valencia Fu

The College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020

Fellow at Hector Beverages (Neeraj Kakkar WG’10, Co-founder & CEO)

A key part of the #WhartonIndiaFellows immersion experience has been learning about the country’s history. When we learn about the thousands of years which shape beliefs, traditions, and practices in India, it’s easy to see how deeply-ingrained certain parts of life can be. This affects entrepreneurship because innovations must be compatible with existing practices.

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Brook Jiang

The Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business: The College of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at IndianMoney (C S Sudheer, Founder & CEO)

My time in India left me with a warm and wonderful feeling of having experienced something incredible. I felt empowered by the mission of my company, especially the way it presented authenticity as a vital part of its core messaging. Just looking at business structure, I can tell how much IndianMoney cares about its customer base and maintaining a long-lasting relationship. This is no normal call center. This is where customers will attain financial prosperity for the rest of their lives. India is a nation of thinkers and dreamers who desire to improve the standards of living for their family, friends, and community. I am sure that future businesses will continue developing an intimate connection with their consumer base and innovate upon products that change society for good.

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Lauren Kim

The Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at Planetworx (Anil Kumar NS, Co-founder; Ranganathan Srinivasan, Co-founder)

The internship itself taught me immensely culturally and professionally. Not only did I learn about a whole different industry of artificial intelligence, this exposure has whetted my appetite to learn more about AI and be more in tune with how artificial intelligence is changing the way everything in the world, even in my fields of interest and management and marketing which I did not think so much innovation could exist. My co-founders all had a technical background but brought different perspectives and skills to the table. They were all essential in my growth at my time at Planetworx as they exhibited what it meant to be collaborative, supportive, assertive, and curious.

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Michal Kolakowski

The Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at Capillary Technologies (Aneesh Reddy, Co-founder & CEO)

Wharton India Fellows was one of the most insightful and transformative experiences I had at Wharton. Throughout the trip I have gained both theoretical insight and practical skills into doing business in India. From learning about the Indian startup ecosystem, through in-depth analysis of the macroeconomic trends to full cultural immersion, it was one of the most exotic and engaging foreign experiences I had.

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Nash Mandizwidza

The Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at DataGlen (Deva P. Seetharam, Co-founder & CEO; Obulesu Nanganuru, Director of Business Development)

My time in India showed me a side of India that no one is talking about. The side of India with growth potential and a great political future that lies ahead. This is the reason why I call India a connected explosive powerhouse because all the pieces of the equation are starting to fall into place and it is just a matter of time until the dominoes start to fall and India will become a global hub for entrepreneurship.

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Athena Panton 

The Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at HealthifyMe (Tushar Vashisht ENG’07, Co-founder & CEO)

I am unbelievably blessed that I got to be a part of this cohort of people. The experience, though informative, would not have been a quarter as impactful without the 11 other amazing students I was with. My cohort encouraged me, challenged me, asked creative questions, and (most importantly) made me laugh for 15 astonishing days. I’m not exaggerating when I say this trip has given me lifelong connections.

Read more of Athena’s posts about her India Fellows experience

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Gabe Ren

The Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at SHUBH Loans (Monish Anand, Founder & CEO)

Going into this trip, I never would have imagined a scenario where I loved my time in India so much that I would have delayed my return flight to the states, had I not bought my ticket already. Flash forward a few weeks, and here I am—sitting alone in front of computer—missing both my fellow cohort members and daily eye-opening moments in Bangalore. This program has undoubtedly been a life-changing experience for the better. Trite expression, but I honestly could think of no better way to finish my semester.

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Sophia Yang

The Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at CropIn (Krishna Kumar, CEO & Founder; Rupesh Goel, Chief Product Officer)

The Wharton India Fellows Program was an unequaled experience that for me was both demanding and fulfilling. I pushed myself to deliver professional work at the next level and further shape my approach in interacting with people, and was able to surpass my objectives set from the very beginning. Overall I found this opportunity to be indisputably rewarding, and can appreciate even more than before how fortunate I was for this to have been available, and to have been selected for it.

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Will Yoo

The Wharton School, Class of 2020

Fellow at Dunzo (Kabeer Biswas, Co-founder & CEO; Prerna Thakur, Investor Relations)

The great thing about early stage founders in India is they seem very tight. This is similar in the U.S. but I think the stakes are higher in India. There are fewer young founders. Archit seemed to be a great mentor to the Meesho founder, who himself does frequent YC interviews during his busy schedule because he recognizes how important more Indian companies getting to experience technology entrepreneurship in the U.S. could be to the Indian ecosystem. What is truly exciting is that the Indian Internet story is really just beginning.

Applications are now open for the 2019-2020 Cohort. The deadline to apply is October 20, 2019, 11:59 pm Eastern. Go to the main Wharton India Fellows webpage via the button below to learn more. 

Questions

Email: Jill Anick, Senior Associate Director, Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship (janick@wharton.upenn.edu)

This new Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship initiative is made possible by: Sashi P. Reddi, GRW’94, SRI Capital