Young Indian entrepreneur gets PM’s Business Scholarship

Venkat Raman

Auckland, July 30, 2017

Dr Ojas Mahapatra, Chief Executive of the Dunedin based Photonic Innovations Ltd is among the recipients of the Prime Minister’s Business Scholarship this year.

He was a finalist in the Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year category of the Seventh Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards 2014.

“This is a huge step forward in terms of validation by the Government of our efforts and a big win for a Dunedin based business to feature among an exclusive group of senior executives,” he told Indian Newslink today.

About Dr Ojas Mahapatra

Featuring him under our ‘People in Business’ column of Indian Newslink, July 1, 2014 issue we had described Dr Mahapatra as “a scientist with aspirations to make it big in the corporate world, while continuing to invent products and systems that would bring social and commercial benefits.”

“Safety is the keyword that brings him and his company into focus. At 29 (in that year), he is one of the youngest Chief Executives leading a small but well-knot team. Photonic Innovations is also a young gas detection Company and both bring freshness into business with a penchant for innovation, growth and higher levels of productivity and profitability,” we had said.

Minister’s announcement

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges announced the names of the recipients of the Prime Ministers business scholarships on July 26, 2017.
The successful applicants will be provided a unique opportunity to expand their international connections and expertise, and help grow and develop New Zealand businesses on the world stage.

“The scholarships have been awarded to 14 of New Zealand’s best up and coming executives who will now be given the opportunity to attend courses at the world’s top business schools to learn about international best practice in management and leadership,” Mr Bridges said.

He said that the knowledge, connections and experience that the executives will gain from attending these courses will enable them to expand their companies and access to international markets.

“The flow-on effects for New Zealand businesses and the economy as a whole will be extremely positive,” he said.

Improving competitiveness

The scholarships were established in 2010 to help improve the international competitiveness of New Zealand companies by developing the management and leadership skills executives. S

Since then, 73 executives have received scholarships from a wide range of sectors, including IT, engineering, and manufacturing.

Unique way of support

“This is a unique way of supporting New Zealand’s businesses to develop valuable international networks, which are incredibly important to our economy. Ultimately, these greater connections made by our top executives will grow the economy and make our businesses more internationally competitive,” Mr Bridges said.

The Winners

The recipients of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Scholarships are:

Arthur Shih, Datacom Systems Limited; Blair Hamill, Zespri International Limited; Leah Davey, DSM Nutritional Products New Zealand Limited; Louis Booth, Fonterra Limited;

Mark Toner, Vector Limited; Michael Whitehead, Wherescape Software Limited;

Neil McGregor, Human Synergistics New Zealand Limited; Dr Ojas Mahapatra, Photonic Innovations Limited; Peter Floris, The New Zealand Merino Company Limited; Rachel Taulelei, Kono General Partner Limited; Robert Stowell, Synlait Milk Limited; Roger Gray, Air New Zealand Limited; Stuart Tucker, BECA Limited; Benjamin Moceiwai, ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited;

The recipients will be presented with their awards at a ceremony in Wellington next week.

More information on the 2017 Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships and full biographies of the recipients are available here http://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/our-work/scholarships/prime-ministers-business-scholarships.
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