CEO – Woxsen University
The pace at which the institute is growing is remarkable and you recently received the ‘Excellence in Education’ award. What would you say are the contributing factors for this growth?
We are spearheading with our mission ‘To innovate & transform the conventional educational processes through application of knowledge, research and industry feedback to further scale up community benefit.’ These are precisely the contributing factors to our growth. We are humbled to have been recognized for our efforts on two recent occasions, by Hon’ble Minister, Shri K.T. Rama Rao who mentioned that Woxsen University is no less than leading universities in the West and then with the ‘Excellence in Education’ award by Hon’ble MP, Shri Suresh Prabhu.
How is management education changing in the new normal situation, which calls for greater agility, strategic planning and global collaboration?
I would highlight two major catalysts that are gathering impetus globally A) The Perpetual advancement in technology that will drive future careers and B) The need for applied and immersive learning. The increased adoption of technology by industries across domains have called for academic institutions to produce professionals who embody resilience and can embrace change in this in this VUCA world. Academic institutions therefore must push themselves to align their curriculum to the skills expected by the Industry and promote applied learning, to help students make meaningful contributions to the business and society at large.
Woxsen University has always been sensitive to the industry expectations from management students and hence has been on top of the minds of leading corporate for their talent needs. Students are aligned to the changing dynamics of business through immersive learning and global exposure.
Tell us about your transition from the corporate sector to higher education. What were the challenges, and advantages?
I’d like to think I had the most unique opportunity coming from a corporate sector and heading into the higher education domain, I could bring to table my 2 decades of experience and observations. Let me break it down in 3 concise points.
- Corporate needs are specific in terms of their talent needs, academic institutions must align themselves to industry realms and indeed play that role of shaping talents that fit the bill.
- Many institutions still follow archaic pedagogy and delivery of education where the peripherals was on focus and not the protagonist which is the student. Hence, my vision was very clear, which was to put the student right at the centre stage and everything that has to be across all stakeholders for the benefit of the students, particularly…
- To make students global professionals
- Up-to-date domain knowledge with min 40% of the curriculum focused on application based learning.
- Constant upgrading of curriculum and putting governance in place for strategic collaboration of industry and academics.
- Woxsen was established while on the cusp of the digital age. For us the challenge was to build a brand taking in stride the rapid digital transformation. Today for a fairly new university, Woxsen is reckoned as one of the few universities that is contemporary & progressive in its way of thinking and education.
Is there sufficient industry-academia collaboration, for ensuring training and industry exposure to students?
Academic Institutions must recognise that it is a huge responsibility entrusted upon us to help build careers of so many young minds. Institutions who have not upgraded their thinking towards industry-academia collaboration will definitely be left behind, and unfortunately so will their students.
The emphasis for Woxsen University has always been about introducing rich avenues towards Industry-academia collaboration for all the stake holders, be it students, faculty, or research scholars. From industry endorsed curriculum, curriculum modules delivered by industry experts, apprenticeships, live-projects and Industry interactions, we have ensured close proximity on all fronts. Woxsen’s Trade Tower, the incubation centre has been strategically designed to acquaint students to the best industry practices. The platform provides direct interaction with leaders of organizations from successful start-ups, Unicorns to the ones amongst the fortune 500s. In the recent engagement in our flagship event called ‘My First Billion’ series, we had invited Mr. Nandan Reddy, co-founder of Swiggy for a fire-side chat.
What are the key learnings from your professional journey that you would like to share with our young readers?
My journey of 2 decades has given me new perspectives that I’ve diligently imbibed in my way of life, both on the professional front and as an individual. My message to the young readers is to ‘DREAM‘…
D-Dare Yourself to Make it Big
R-Responsibility is a Virtue
E-Empathy will Keep Your Friends Close and Your Competition Closer
A-Appreciation will Take You Far
M-Manage Yourself so you can Lead a Team