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MOHAMMAD RIZAN HASSAN

Corporate Employee Winner

If there’s one thing that Mohammad Rizan Hassan believes in, it’s second chances. After all, he was given the opportunity to turn over a new leaf, away from his shady past, and this he did with gusto. While he may have left that life far behind, it is the lessons he learned in those dark years that allowed him to recognise the disparity faced by marginalised youths in Malaysia. The same disparities he has sought to address through his initiatives; 1 Belia, 1 Kemahiran (1B1K) and TEKAT Automotive Centre. His inspirational leadership and advocacy for at-risk and troubled youth has helped over 5,000 vulnerable Malaysian youths graduate with vocational skills and become useful members of the country’s workforce and society in general.

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SRIKANTH BOLLA

Business Owner/Founder Winner

Srikanth Bolla is proof that you can be blind, yet have a razor-sharp vision. Srikanth is the first ever international blind student to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, after being rejected by the Indian Institute of Technology. In 2010, he launched a computer research and training centre with a digital library for visually challenged students at Samanvai, an India-based non-profit organisation that provides support to children with multiple disabilities. He then went on to found Bollant Industries, an eco-friendly paper and biodegradable products manufacturing company that has helped provide employment opportunities to over 400 differently-abled individuals.

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ARUNACHALAM MURUGANANTHAM

Social Enterprise Owner/Founder Winner

Once the object of ridicule, Arunachalam Muruganantham, or the Menstrual Man, as he was called in the award-wining documentary by Amit Virmani, is today hailed as a hero by the women of India. He is the creator of a low-cost sanitary pad making machine – which makes pads for 1/3 of the cost of commercial pads – and has helped generate widespread awareness on traditionally unhygienic menstruation practices in India. Despite offers by big corporations to commercialise his invention, he has refused and instead continues to offer them to self-help groups run by women. In 2014, this remarkable man, once ostracised for his ‘experiments’, was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people.

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View his journey here.