Roopa Unnikrishnan: Blazing Trails in Sports, Academia, and Innovation

Roopa Unnikrishnan: From Shooting Star to Strategic Visionary

Roopa Unnikrishnan, an Indian-born American sports shooter and innovation consultant based in New York City, is a testament to the power of perseverance, talent, and relentless ambition.

Her journey from the shooting ranges of India to the strategic boardrooms of America is a story that inspires and motivates. In 1998, she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, marking a significant milestone in Indian sports history.

Roopa Unnikrishnan: A Trailblazing Athlete

Unnikrishnan’s ascent in the world of sports shooting is marked by numerous accolades. In 1999, she was honored with the prestigious Arjuna Award, India’s highest sporting prize, recognizing her outstanding achievements on the global stage.

This award, presented by the President of India, celebrated her gold medal and record-setting performance in the XVI Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1998, where she excelled in the women’s prone sports rifle event.

Her prowess was further demonstrated by a silver medal at the World Shooting Grand Prix in Ft. Benning, Georgia, in the same year. Additionally, she holds several records at the South Asian level, underscoring her dominance in the sport.

Unnikrishnan’s commitment to sports goes beyond personal achievements. She has been a vocal advocate for increased support for athletes in India, addressing the resource constraints that often hinder their progress. Her advocacy has contributed to the development of better facilities and support systems for upcoming athletes, helping to shape a more robust sporting ecosystem in India.

Academic and Professional Excellence

Roopa Unnikrishnan’s academic journey is as impressive as her sporting career. She was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship from India in 1995, a prestigious recognition that enabled her to pursue higher education at the University of Oxford.

She completed her B.A. at Women’s Christian College in Chennai, followed by an M.A. at Ethiraj College, Chennai. She then earned an M.A. in Economic History at Balliol College, Oxford, and an M.B.A. from the Said School of

was awarded an Extraordinary Full Blue due to her exceptional contributions to the university’s shooting team. Not only did she clinch the Commonwealth medal, but she also played a pivotal role in leading the Oxford Women’s Shooting Team to victory in university leagues, showcasing her leadership skills and dedication to excellence.

After completing her education, Unnikrishnan embarked on a successful professional journey, blending her expertise in strategy and innovation with her passion for driving positive change.

She currently serves as the Head of Strategy at Harman International in New York City, where she leverages her diverse skill set to shape the company’s direction and foster growth. Her strategic acumen and visionary leadership have been instrumental in navigating complex challenges and capitalizing on emerging opportunities in the ever-evolving business landscape.

A Thought Leader and Author

In addition to her corporate responsibilities, Roopa Unnikrishnan is a prolific writer and thought leader, contributing insights and expertise to various publications. She has shared her perspectives on business and innovation in esteemed platforms such as The Economic Times and Knowledge@Wharton, providing valuable insights to a global audience.

In 2017, Unnikrishnan further solidified her reputation as an influential voice in the professional sphere with the publication of her book, “The Career Catapult: Shake-up the Status Quo and Boost Your Professional Trajectory.”

In this groundbreaking work, she offers practical advice and strategies for individuals seeking to elevate their careers and break through traditional barriers. Drawing from her own experiences and observations, she provides readers with actionable steps to unleash their full potential and achieve unprecedented success in their professional endeavors.

Personal Life and Citizenship

Beyond her professional achievements, Roopa Unnikrishnan’s personal life reflects her commitment to growth, diversity, and embracing new opportunities.

In 2013, she became a U.S. citizen, symbolizing her embrace of multiculturalism and her dedication to making a meaningful impact on a global scale. She is married to Sreenath Sreenivasan, the former Chief Digital Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and together they embody a partnership built on shared values of innovation, excellence, and making a difference in the world.

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