National University of Singapore (NUS) MBA student Varun Mittal has won the Graduate Business Forum’s (GBF) 2012 Student Leadership Award, making him the first student from a Singaporean business school to clinch it. The award is given out by the United States-based non-profit foundation annually to student leaders who significantly impact the graduate business community or society.

The 24-year-old was recognised for creating an integrated application suite, called Project Maximus, which provides lifelong email accounts, unlimited photo and document storage capabilities, a knowledge and multimedia management system, collaborative learning tools and several other enterprise level productivity utilities for all NUS MBA students and alumni. The motivation for the project was borne out of Varun’s keen desire to establish a platform for the NUS MBA community to work, play, enjoy, share and stay connected through all their lives.

Earlier, NUS MBA students used to lose their official student email accounts upon graduation, which sometimes results in them losing the social networks built during their MBA tenure. NUS MBA students also felt the need to have collaborative working and other knowledge management utilities, which would really enrich the value of their MBA experience, explained Varun, who is an engineer by training and used to work at Singapore-based digital security solutions provider Gemalto before signing up for the NUS MBA.

He thus used his experience in the technology industry to come up with a sustainable, cost effective and scalable solution. Today, users can interact with each other through the student council web portal at, which is also a part of Project Maximus. It is powered by Google Apps, a technology solution used by leading global universities like Harvard, Stanford and Yale. It is a great honour to be conferred such a prestigious international award. I would like to thank the NUS Business School for supporting me throughout the initial stage of this project, said Varun. The Uttar Pradesh native is currently in the final term of his course.

The GBF was established in 1983 and is a global organisation dedicated to developing responsible leadership and global citizenship. It runs a number of activities to support the development of leadership skills for business school students, through newsletters, shared knowledge platforms and networking events including the annual Graduate Business Conference (GBC) (, which is hosted by one of the GBF member schools, drawn from the top 50 business schools and MBA programmes globally.

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