SKS CEO and Founder, Vikram Akula, recognized by Time Magazine as one of today's 100 most influential people 

November 16, 2006
Vikram Akula Receives Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Start Up Award 2006

Mumbai, INDIA - Vikram Akula, Founder and CEO of SKS Microfinance, was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Start-Up Award 2006 at a gala event attended by India�s top businesspeople and leaders. Vikram was honored for founding what has become one of the fastest-growing and most recognized microfinance institutions in the world.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Enterprises and chairman of the jury, commended the finalists, �most of them are grassroots entrepreneurs who have built the �new Bharat� leveraging existing opportunities in India, by offering innovative products and solutions. They have created a niche in the marketplace and scripted their own success stories.�

Before presenting the award to Vikram, jury-member Rama Bijapurkar isolated alertness, persistence and passion as integral qualities for a successful start-up entrepreneur. Since 1998, Vikram has led SKS Microfinance in becoming one of the largest microfinance organizations in India, with a cumulative disbursement of 500 crores ($110 Million) and a portfolio outstanding of 175 crores ($40 Million). SKS has provided financial services to nearly 400,000 members in 11 states in India.

Upon receiving the award and thanking the jury members for a �bold� selection, Vikram remarked, �this award is an affirmation of microfinance as a means of alleviating poverty. In terms of a vision for the future, as a movement, we want to eradicate poverty not only in India but also across the world.�

About the Ernst & Young Awards:
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards symbolise entrepreneurial excellence in 125 cities in 40 countries. This year's finalists epitomise all that the Awards stand for: courage, creativity, passion, endurance and vision. They have played a significant role in transforming how India is perceived in the global order and can be truly considered as "Architects of a New World". Other Finalists were Anil Agarwal (Vedanta Resources), Anil Singhvi (Gujarat Ambuja Cement), Girish Agarwal (Dainik Bhaskar Group), Jignesh Shah (Financial Technologies Ltd.), Karsanbhai K Patel (Nirma Limited), Kishore Biyani (Pantaloon Retail India Limited), LD Mittal (International Tractors Ltd), Mahendra Mohan Gupta (Jagran Prakashan), Manoj Upadhyay (Acme Tele Power), Mukund Choudhary (Spentex Industries Ltd), Qimat Rai Gupta (Havells India Limited), S. Ramadorai (Tata Consultancy Services), Ravi Uppal (ABB Group), Shivinder Mohan Singh (Fortis Healthcare) and Tulsi Tanti (Suzlon Energy Limited). Tanti was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award India 2006.

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