Independent Minds, Working Together

Puneet Bhagchandani '96 Wins 2012 Pride of India Award

Puneet Bhagchandani, a 1996 graduate of The College of Wooster, has become the youngest social entrepreneur to receive the Bharat Gaurav (Pride of India) award for his contributions to education and sciences in India. He was honored at a ceremony in New Delhi in May.

August 13, 2012 by John Hopkins
Puneet Bhagchandani

Puneet Bhagchandani

WOOSTER, Ohio, August 13, 2012 – Puneet Bhagchandani, a 1996 graduate of The College of Wooster, has become the youngest social entrepreneur to receive the Bharat Gaurav (Pride of India) award for his contributions to education and sciences in India. He was honored at a ceremony in New Delhi in May.  

Bhagchandani is CEO of the Keystone Group of Institutions, a residential college that he co-founded in 2010, which offers undergraduate degrees in engineering and post-graduate degrees in management at their campus in Rajasthan. Keystone Group’s vision is to educate “techno-entrepreneurs and young professionals of global excellence who will play a vital role in building our nation and business organizations.”  

The Bharat Gaurav award is presented annually to individuals who have contributed to India’s progress in a variety of fields. This is the second major award for Bhagchandani and the Keystone Group in recent months. Keystone was named best emerging institution for professional studies in Rajasthan and sixth overall in India. 

“I am very pleased and humbled to receive this award,” Bhagchandani said. “I took a risk and left the security of a well-paying job in the financial services sector, hoping to make a difference in Indian higher education. It is gratifying to get this affirmation that what we are doing at Keystone is having a positive impact. Wooster prepared me well and I was confident to venture into new areas.”  

Prior to starting the Keystone Group, Bhagchandani held senior management positions at American Express, including director of loyalty strategy and new product development in New York, and chief credit officer of American Express Bank in India. He graduated from The College of Wooster in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business economics and earned an M.B.A. from City University of New York-Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business in 2000.  

Bhagchandani also serves as co-chair of Wooster’s Indian alumni leadership group, which works to further strengthen the college’s position and reputation in India.  

The College of Wooster is America’s premier college for mentored undergraduate research. By working one-on-one with a faculty adviser to create an original research project, written work, performance or art exhibit, every Wooster student develops independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.