1975 - B.Tech - Electrical Engineering Technical Director @ Thermopads Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad
Ms. Uma Ghurka, Technical Director, Thermopads Pvt. Ltd. & Managing Director, Thermo Cables Ltd., Hyderabad (1975/BT/EE).
Ms. Uma Ghurka graduated with a B.Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1975, and boldly took the road less travelled, deciding to explore opportunities to develop and manufacture new products. She identified a business opportunity in the area of flexible heating systems. The first prototypes of the thermal heating pads were fabricated in a small workshop in Mumbai. Encouraged by the response from early customers, she set up her own manufacturing facility, Thermopads Pvt. Ltd., in Hyderabad in 1978.
Thermopads has grown from two employees in 1979 to over 1,100 in 2010-11; group turnover has grown from Rs. 1.2 lakhs to a targeted Rs. 350 crores. The company makes a wide range of products that find applications in industry, construction and defence. 95 percent of its turnover today comes from exports to over 40 countries around the world.
Ms. Ghurka’s pioneering achievements have been recognized by numerous awards from India and abroad. She was honored as one of the 50 Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the world in 1999 at an Event sponsored by IBM Corporation; on this occasion, Thermopads Pvt. Ltd. also received an award for the Best use of Technology by one of the 50 Leading Women Entrepreneurs. As early as 1984, Ms. Ghurka was named one of India’s Women Entrepreneurs of the Year. Ms. Ghurka also serves in advisory capacities in a variety of organizations. For the Year 2010, she was appointed as a member of the National Board of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the Government of India. She served as a Non-executive Director of State Bank of Hyderabad between 2003 and 2008, representing small-scale industries. She was the President of the Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs (COWE), an organization that actively promotes entrepreneurship among women, from 2008-2010.
Ms. Ghurka is actively engaged in social work through her companies. She is the Managing Trustee of the Shri Ram Charitable Trust, set up to focus on education, medical treatment and rural development. The achievements of the Trust range from providing funds to ongoing management support for a 100 – bed charitable hospital in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, to the creation of a charitable school in Ghattuppal, Andhra Pradesh, where over 700 students from nearby villages now receive subsidized education.
In recognition of Ms. Ghurka’s entrepreneurial excellence and devotion to social causes, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on her this award.