AACSB Honors Babson Alumna Savitha Sridharan MBA’14 for Changing the World
Business school graduates are increasingly using their degrees to make a difference not only in the corporate world, but also across society.
Babson College alumna Savitha Sridharan MBA’14, alongside 29 other change makers, was recognized today as part of the 2016 AACSB International (AACSB) Influential Leaders Challenge. Launched in 2015 to honor notable alumni from AACSB-accredited business schools, the AACSB Influential Leaders initiative continues to recognize business school graduates for the positive impact they make on society, and the inspiring example they set for others.
Sridharan is the Founder and CEO of Orora Global—a for-profit social enterprise that provides access to renewable energy to communities in developing countries. Her business focuses on eradicating energy poverty by breaking down all barriers of access to providing reliable and affordable clean energy solutions to rural and semi-urban communities across the world.
Instead of creating an entirely new infrastructure, Orora distributes its products to rural markets through partnerships with NGOs, non-profits, and self-help groups, who either purchase or help to distribute the products. Since Orora is dedicated to creating more opportunities for women, Sridharan and her team have developed a training program through which they hire and train women from rural villages to sell Orora’s products and in exchange, make a commission.
In an approach to create a holistic development to the community, Orora is now working with rural homeless people to build low-cost sustainable off-grid homes.
“The 2016 Influential Leaders illustrates how the power of a business degree goes beyond—beyond industries, reaching lives in every part of the world—pioneering change, fostering global exchange, and improving the quality of life,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “I would like to thank Savitha Sridharan for exemplifying how business graduates can be a positive force in society, and congratulate Babson College for its role in helping to develop the knowledge, skills, and fortitude needed to address some of the toughest challenges we face today.”
At Babson, Sridharan was a Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab participant, where she worked with like-minded women entrepreneurs and advisers to move her idea of launching Orora from an academic effort to inception. She was also selected to be a part of the Clinton Global Initiative University in 2014, through which she had the opportunity to present her idea and Commitment to Action at the CGI U Exchange forum.
The 2016 AACSB Influential Leaders represent 15 industry sectors—from social enterprise to healthcare to technology—across 11 countries. While all of this year’s leaders differ in their fields and paths to success, many employ similar approaches to helping businesses thrive in ways that positively impact society. AACSB has identified five inspiring ways these graduates are driving positive social change in communities around the globe:
- Pushing the boundaries of business through innovation and technology: Business school graduates harness the power of innovation and technology to not only push the envelope in the corporate world, but also affect meaningful change.
- Advancing education and employment through entrepreneurship: Alumni often use their entrepreneurial talents to create education and employment opportunities for under-served communities in different parts of the world.
- Fostering diversity, inclusion, and equality: Knowing the importance of diversity for socio-economic development, business school alumni combat inequality and work towards creating an environment in which people of all backgrounds can flourish.
- Creating a more sustainable future: Business school graduates lead the charge in adopting sustainable business practices for the betterment and protection of our globe.
- Ensuring healthy lives: Public health is another top priority for business school alumni, using their expertise to find solutions to global health issues.
About AACSB International
As the world’s largest business education network connecting academe with business, AACSB provides business education intelligence, quality assurance, and professional development services to more than 1,500 member organizations across 91 countries and territories. Founded in 1916, AACSB Accreditation is the highest standard of quality in business education, with 775 business schools accredited worldwide. AACSB’s global headquarters is located in Tampa, Florida, USA; its Asia Pacific headquarters is located in Singapore; and its Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.aacsb.edu.