Alumni achievers

Featured Alum

Soha Ali Khan
Bollywood actress & academic achiever
Class of 1996

Soha Ali Khan is a Bollywood actress best known for the movie, Rang De Basanti for which she won awards for the best supporting actress. Soha is also an academic achiever – she studied History at Balliol College, Oxford University and has a Masters in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Soha is the daughter of late cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and actress Sharmila Tagore. She is the sister of Bollywood actor, Saif Ali Khan.

Image by Gaurav Bhat


Prof John Windsor
General & Laparoscopic Surgeon
Class of 1974

Professor John Windsor is a surgeon who holds a personal chair in Surgery at the University of Auckland and is Consultant Surgeon in the HBP/Upper GI Unit at Auckland City Hospital. He founded the Pancreas Research Group (1992), Surgical Skills Centre (1993), HPB/UGI Unit (1994), Surgical Research Network (2007) which now encompasses ASML (Applied Surgery and Metabolism Laboratory) and SCORE (Surgical Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation).

John’s research has been published in over 250 peer-reviewed publication and has given almost 200 invited talks, including Visiting Professorships to Harvard, Oxford, Karolinska, Singapore, Capetown, Johannesburg and Delhi.

He is co-founder and director of the start-up SIMTICS Ltd that has developed the Integrated Cognitive Simulator for procedural and surgical skills training.

Selected awards:

  • Sir Louis Barnett Prize, RACS, 1987
  • Chiene Medal, School of Surgery, University of Edinburgh, 1992
  • Butland Distinguished Medical Sciences Award, 1997
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Auckland, 1998
  • Sir Gordon Bell Memorial Lecturer, RACS, 2008
  • Butland Award for Excellence in Research Supervision, UOA, 2009
  • Ramsey Healthcare Distinguished Visitor in Education, RACS, 2009
  • Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award (Innovation), UOA, 2009
  • Lucknow Orator, Indian Association of Surgical Gastroenterology, 2010
  • British Journal of Surgery Distinguished Lecturer, RACS, 2011
  • Michael and Janie Miller Visiting Professor, Johannesburg, 2012
  • Jepson Lecturer, Surgical Research Society of Australasia, 2012
  • Gluckman Medal for distinguished contribution to research, UOA, 2012
  • Trans-Tasman Lecturer, Australasian Gastroenterology Week, 2013

http://www.windsorsurgery.co.nz/bio/

Image courtesy healthpoint.co.nz

Lt Gen Fabian Zimpande Msimang
Chief (Brigadier General), South African Air Force
Class of 1980

Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande Msimang integrated into the South African National Defence Force in 1994 after the First Democratic Elections as a qualified helicopter pilot. During his career he has flown the Mi 8, Mi 25, Allouette III, Oryx helicopters and also did a factory conversion onto the A109E helicopter at Agusta/Westland in Italy.

Lt Gen Msimang was a member of the Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress. He has been in combat as an MK cadre in Angola in 1986 and been an operational pilot at maritime and inland helicopter squadrons.

Prior to his appointment, Lt Gen Msimang was appointed Chief Director Air Policy and Plans followed by promotion to the rank of Major General responsible for Air Force strategy, policies, capabilities and resource allocation.

He is the son of former African National Congress treasurer Mendi Msimang and stepson to former Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

Awards and Decorations:

  • Operational Medal for Southern Africa
  • South Africa Service Medal
  • Tshumelo Ikatelaho (General Service Medal)
  • Unitas Medal
  • Medalje vir Troue Diens (Medal for Loyal Service with 20 Year Clasp)
  • Good Service Medal Bronze (10 Years)
  • Medal of Merit Ribbon Santos Dumont (Brazil)
  • Commander Order of Military Merit (Brazil)
  • Pilots Wing Badge

Image via af.mil.za

Tatiana Villegas Zamora
Culture Specialist, UNESCO

Tatiana Villegas Zamora is a Colombian underwater archaeologist who has worked on the development of underwater cultural heritage protection in Latin America, Asia and the Arab Region over the last twenty years.

As a consultant for underwater cultural heritage protection and a tutor of the Nautical Archeological Society of the UK, Tatiana has organised and participated in capacity building and awareness raising projects for the protection of the underwater cultural heritage in developing countries such as Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, Portugal and Croatia amongst others.

She is currently appointed in the UNESCO Cairo office. Her areas of focus are protection of underwater cultural heritage and development of museums. She has also collaborated with the UN system in Cuba in inter-agency projects dealing with gender equality to put an end to violence against women. Tatiana is particularly interested in creating synergies between developing countries in the field of underwater cultural heritage protection through exchange programmes at academic and practical levels.

Virginia (Dianne) Judge
Former Councillor, Mayor, NSW Parliament State MP, Minister for Fair Trading, Minister for Arts & Minister for Citizenship

Rajeeve Mehra
Former Additional Solicitor General of India & Senior Advocate
Class of 1982

Dr Annegaaike Leopold
Ecotoxicologist
Class of 1982

Dr Annegaaike Leopold has spent 25 years working in ecotoxicology – study of the effects of chemicals on the environment – and contract laboratory research, with a specific focus on birds and the development of scientifically sound, ethically defensible and resource friendly test methods.

She is passionate about contributing to global environmental protection through communicating and connecting with people.

Passionate about global environmental protection, Annegaaike applies her background in regulatory toxicology to contribute to common understanding amongst scientists, policy makers and the public in the process of enhancing environmental quality.

Currently she is the General Manager at Calidris Environment bv.

Ashish Soni
Fashion Designer
Class of 1989

Ashish Soni launched his brand in India in 1991 with a high quality line of tailored bespoke men’s clothing. The Indian born designer has carved out a niche with a sharply refined and deceptively simple sense of aesthetic. He was the first Indian designer to be invited to present a runway show at the Olympus Fashion Week, New York. With design as his primary forte, Ashish launched his label internationally through Selfridges and regularly exhibits through London Fashion Week and Tranoi in Paris. The label is currently stocked at prestigious stores like Beams in Japan, Penelope in Italy, Tsum in Russia and Villa Moda in Kuwait.

www.ashishnsoni.in

Neil Nongkynrih
Founder, Music Director & Conductor, Shillong Chamber Choir
Class of 1989

Neil Nongkynrih is the founder, mentor and conductor of Shillong Chamber Choir (SCC) who won the reality show India’s Got Talent in 2010. He has been bestowed with two prestigious civilian and state honours–Padma Shri and U Tirot Singh Award.

Under the banner of SCC, Neil has performed for US President Barack Obama, and his wife, Michelle Obama at the Rashtrapati Bhavan during their state visit to India in 2010; toured all over the world; and won 3 gold awards in the 6th World Choir Games for Musica Sacra, Gospel and Popular Music.

Neil’s first public performance in the UK was in the presence of British Royalty. One of his many successful pupils is Phillip Selway, member of the popular British band, Radiohead.

SCC has been featured as a study chapter in the English Syllabus of the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) for the year 2013.

Selected awards:

  • Winners of India’s Got Talent, 2010
  • Forbes Person of the Year, 2010‐11
  • Indian Chamber of Commerce Musician of the Year, 2010-11
  • CNN IBN Special Achievement Award for Indian of the Year, 2010-11
  • BIG TV Awards Talent of the Year, 2011
  • U Tirot Sing Award, 2011
  • Peoples Magazine Heroes of the Month, 2012
  • The Governor of Maryland, USA award for outstanding achievement, 2012
  • Indo-American Community award for exceptional talent and contribution to the Community, 2012
  • 5th Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice for Promoting National Integration Through Music, 2012
  • Eastern Panorama’s Achievers Award for Music, 2013

www.shillongchamberchoir.com

Maya Mirchandani
Former Senior Editor (Foreign Affairs) & Senior Anchor at NDTV
Class of 1990

Maya Mirchandani is among the first generation of broadcast news journalists in India. She now teaches media studies and broadcast news at India’s premier liberal arts institution, Ashoka University. Her focus is on principles and practice of conflict journalism in an environment where free speech, debate and dissent are challenged, condemned or silenced.

Maya has often had to travel to hostile territories to bring award winning reportage to the public. She survived a suicide bomb blast in Sri Lanka during the presidential elections rally of Chandrika Kumaratunga in 1999 and was held at gun point while in Sierra Leone.

In addition to teaching, Maya is also involved in research on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism at the Delhi based think tank, Observer Research Foundation. Her research looks for ways to build counter narratives to prevent radicalisation and extremist violence through dialogue and community intervention.

Awards:

Ramnath Goenka Award twice for excellence in journalism – awarded twice Exchange for Media award for best International News Reporting Red Ink Award for reporting on human rights

Siddharth Mathur
Director & Head of Food, Impresario; Founder & Director, Secret Ingredient; and Founder & Director, Khoya Mithai
Class of 1994

Siddharth Mathur trained at some of the best spots on Europe and New York’s thriving culinary scene from the only perspective that matters in a good restaurant – the guest’s. Rather than being behind the scenes or in the kitchen, he learnt the nuances of hospitality from a ringside seat which armed him with a fresh and honest take on F&B. He quit as the Vice President of Citiank, London, and moved back to India to follow his passion and is today Director and Head of Food at the group that has brought luxury dining experiences (through Social, Smoke House Deli, Salt Water Café and more) to people across India.

Armed him with a world vision and an indigenous approach to hospitality, he founded Khoya Mithai with the aim of revamping the Indian sweet market by giving mithai its long due makeover. Their sweets retain the essence of traditional Indian desserts with the added touch of elegance and grace.

Sameer Kachru
Patent holder for video jukebox & Former Cricketer for Singapore
Class of 1996

Sameer Kachru holds the global patent for i cube video jukebox, the world's first and only licensed video Jukebox. The device can play up to 10,000 videos and is installed at cafes and retails outlets in Delhi. The digitalised audio system together with the video element not only provides entertainment value but is also an effective advertising medium.

Sameer has also played international cricket for Singapore.

He is the recipient of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Award given to only one student across the UK per year. Sameer also received a gold medal for Masters in Marketing at the University Of Bradford.

Soha Ali Khan
Bollywood actress & academic achiever
Class of 1996

Soha Ali Khan is a Bollywood actress best known for the movie, Rang De Basanti for which she won awards for the best supporting actress. Soha is also an academic achiever – she studied History at Balliol College, Oxford University and has a Masters in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Soha is the daughter of late cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and actress Sharmila Tagore. She is the sister of Bollywood actor, Saif Ali Khan.

Image by Gaurav Bhat

Aatish Taseer
Writer & journalist
Class of 1997

Aatish Taseer is a British-born writer-journalist who has worked as a reporter for Time Magazine and written for the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph, the Financial Times, Prospect, TAR Magazine and Esquire. He is the author of Stranger to History: a Son's Journey through Islamic Lands, and a highly acclaimed translation Manto: Selected Stories. His first novel, The Temple-Goers was shortlisted for the 2010 Costa First Novel Award. His work has been translated into over ten languages.

Aatish is the son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer.

Image via huffingtonpost.in

Robert Golanski
Deputy Spokesperson of the President of the European Parliament
Class of 1998

Malini Aggarwal
Digital influencer & Founder, MissMalini.com
Class of 1998

Named as India’s most famous blogger by Huffington Post and Forbes, Malini Aggarwal has been featured in various international titles including BBC World (UK), Reuters, CNN (USA), DW (Germany), TV5(France) and The Globe & Mail (Canada). She is also a regular feature in local publications such as Vogue India, Elle India, Grazia India, Hello! India, India Today and NDTV Profit. Malini was No 1 on IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising 2017; on the business leaders to watch in Fortune India’s 40 Under 40 list; and was one of GQ’s 50 Most Influential Young Indians in 2017.

Malini is the author of the book To The Moon: How I Blogged My Way To Bollywood.

www.missmalini.com

Image via forbesindia.com

Anoushka Shankar
Sitar player and music composer
Class of 1998

Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is one of the leading figures in the Indian classical and progressive world music scenes. Her dynamic and spiritual musicality has garnered several prestigious accolades, including six Grammy Award nominations, recognition as the youngest – and first female – recipient of a British House of Commons Shield, credit as an Asian Hero by TIME Magazine, and a Songlines Best Artist Award. Most recently, she became one of the first five female composers to have been added to the UK A-level music syllabus.

Over the years Anoushka has maintained active, creative careers outside of music – she authored the book Bapi: The Love of My Life, a biographical portrait of her father, and has served as columnist for prestigious publications like New Delhi’s First City magazine and the Hindustan Times. She earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination from India’s National Film Awards for her role in Dance Like a Man. She was also the first Indian ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme, has done campaigns in support of animal rights for PETA and continues to lend her time and name to causes she believes in.

Anoushka is the daughter of the legendary sitar player, Late Pandit Ravi Shankar, and half sister of American singer and songwriter, Norah Jones.

www.anoushkashankar.com

Image via livemint.com

Varun Gandhi
Member of Parliament
Class of 1998

Indian politician Varun Gandhi is a member of Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India. Varun writes articles and policy papers for several national dailies and magazines in India. He has also published poems and non fiction works.

Varun is the grandson of former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, and the great-grandson of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Image via bhaskar.com

Jude Osei
External Relations Officer, World Health Organisation
Class of 1999

Devika Anand Puri
Writer, Choreographer & Director
Class of 1999

Devika Anand Puri trained as an actor, dancer and a singer for Broadway at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York. She returned to India in 2001 and since then has been working with less privileged children in the fields of health, education, theatre and dance. Through her efforts, she has kept many children off the streets by encouraging them to creatively express themselves through the medium of dance. Devika has also worked with children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, weak attention and language related problems.

She is a member of the Advisory Board for an international school and has judged many inter school dances and theatre competitions.

Devika has written and directed over 20 plays with social messages dealing with violence against women, alcoholism and family issues. Her theatre actors range from the age of 6 to 65. Her team, known as Mystic Rhythm, consists of children from economically and socially challenged backgrounds who have performed to garner funds for social causes. Mystic Rhythm has also performed at many educational and cultural events organised by Delhi Commonwealth Women’s Association, Women’s International Club, Rotary Club etc.

Shreya Sawhney
Promoter/Owner & Managing Director, Lakshmi Sugar Mills
Class of 2000

Vicky Talwar
Visual Fine Artist
Class of 2000

Vicky Talwar is a Canadian-born visual fine artist. With a lifelong passion for painting, she takes inspiration from her south-Asian heritage and the tranquility of aquatic life, which she conveys on canvas by blending ethnic textile designs, vibrant colours and textural surfaces.

Vicky has showcased her paintings at a juried exhibition in Toronto, New York, California and London. She holds a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art and Design, and a Bachelor of Education from York University.

Awards:

2019 — Art takes Manhattan Award Recipients, New York, U.S.A.

2016 — Art Takes Manhattan Award Recipients, New York, U.S.A

2003 — Youth Excellence Award, Toronto, Canada

2000 — Merit Excellence Award from The British School, New Delhi, India

www.vickytalwar.com

Dr Rhea Datta
Developmental Geneticist & Molecular Biologist
Class of 2001

Dr Rhea Datta completed her PhD at the age of 25 from Indiana University in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Biology at Hamilton College. As a developmental geneticist and molecular biologist, her research focuses on how proteins distinguish between specific DNA-binding sequences to regulate gene expression. She is a member of the Genetics Society of America, Society for Developmental Biology, and American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Rhea has published in Genes and Development, eLife, Current Biology, Developmental Biology, Evolution and Development and other peer-reviewed journals.

Prior to this, Rhea was a postdoctoral fellow at New York University and taught at NYU, Indiana University and Sarah Lawrence College. She strives to foster an inclusive learning environment and is committed to developing innovative ways to teach and mentor young scientists.

www.datta-lab.com

Image via hamilton.edu

Dr Israt Alam
Cancer Research Scientist
Class of 2001

Dr Israt Alam is a research scientist at Stanford University, California where she works on preclinical validation and clinical translation of non-invasive strategies to visualise immune responses in diseases and for monitoring response to cancer immunotherapies. After obtaining her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, she went on to pursue her first post-doctoral training in Molecular Imaging at Imperial College, London. Having worked in a hospital campus alongside chemists, biologists, physicists and medical doctors, Israt collaborates with imaging scientists from all over the world – her ultimate hope being to translate the technology being developed in the lab into a clinic where it may benefit cancer patients.

Israt is the recipient of Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Science and Technology travel fellowship. She has registered two patents under her name.

Savitri Singh
Vice President, DLF Group
Class of 2003

As Vice President, Savitri Singh heads the commercial developers business of DLF Group. She is a graduate of Wharton Business School.

Image via dlfemporio.com

Raghav Dang and Zorawar Shukla
Founders, Reggae Rajahs
Class of 2003

As founding members of Reggae Rajahs, Raghav Dang and Zorawar Shukla focus on promoting dub, roots reggae and dancehall music. Formed in 2009, the group has opened for Snoop Dogg and Major Lazer and shared the stage with a number of established international artists. They have toured across Europe, South America and South East Asia and host an international reggae festival every year called Goa Sunsplash.

Apart from big festival performances at Sula Fest, VH1 Supersonic and Taalbelia, Reggae Rajahs have been curating their own events all over the country. As part of the team that built 10,000 Lions Sound System (a hand built Jamaican style sound system), the Rajahs have been also been pushing roots reggae and dub throughout the country.

www.mixcloud.com/reggaerajahs

Kavin Bharti Mittal
Founder & CEO, Hike Messenger
Class of 2005

Kavin Bharti Mittal is an entrepreneur, app developer, and founder and CEO of the world's sixth-largest mobile messaging application, Hike Messenger. The cross platform messenger app seamlessly integrates with SMS feature so that users can easily chat with those who have not installed the app or do not have a smartphone.

Kavin graduated from Imperial College London, in 2009 with a Masters in Electrical and Electronics Engineering as well as Management. The areas of his focus are social media, gaming and e-commerce.

www.hike.in

Image via forbes.com

Anushka Singh
Whole Time Director, DLF Group
Class of 2005

Anushka Singh has a Degree in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated with a double concentration in real estate and management.

Anushka has been involved in residential developments of the group over the last decade. Under her leadership, the organisation has received several prestigious awards such as Hindustan Times Award for India’s most stylish Property, CNBC Awaaz Award for Best Residential Project in India, DNA Residential Project of the Year and Luxury Project of the Year Award, NDTV Property Award for Super Luxury Project of the Year etc.

Image via intalks.com

Sarabpal Bhatia
Aerospace Engineer, Airbus
Class of 2008

Sarabpal Bhatia is an R&T Coordinator for the E-Fan X project with a varied experience of leading transnational structural analysis teams for major wing developments. His areas of expertise are composite and metallic stress analysis, fatigue and damage tolerance, data analytics, overall aircraft design and business development.

Sarabpal is also co-founder of a socially-aimed consumer product development company, Orb Technologies, which is developing digital technology solutions to those who need it most.

Please note that the list is not exhaustive. If you would like to submit a name for possible inclusion, please write to us at alumni@british-school.org