Citing the motto of the blockbuster movie, 3 Idiots for the culture of placement driven by EXCELLENCE at his institute, Dr. Sachin Vernekar, Director of Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship Development, Pune, shares his insights with the Education Post’s Tanay Kumar.
You had done your schooling at Siddheshwara School, Solapur and you had done LL.B. as well. Please tell us about your academic journey.
I did my schooling at Solapur, then I did my graduation from Hirachand College, which is also in Solapur. So, I completed my B.Com. honors and then completed my MBA and then, after completing MBA, I studied LL.B. For contribution in the management branch of academics, I got a fellowship from the Indian Management Association. I also got a fellowship from the Indian Commerce Association my contribution to the academic field. I completed my PhD on chadar (sheet) industry from Solapur on which I suggested some innovations and changes to the people of this industry.
My father, Shripad Vernekar, was a goldsmith and he and my mother, Godavari Vernekar, really guided and supported me in my academic journey. My father was really devoted to his work and I will always remember this lesson he gave me: He used to keep saying that give your best to society. My brothers are in business, but I wanted to share what I have learned in my life. Since the past 37 years, I am in this profession and trying to give my best to the students.
Entrepreneurship Development is one of your areas of expertise and you keep upskiling students about this as well. How can Indian students take the lead in entrepreneurship in heavy and core industries as they require lots of initial capital?
In reality, India is now embracing entrepreneurship. In the last decade, lots of start-ups have emerged, even in heavy industries as well. Angel investors and venture capitalism are the reason behind it, as many industrialists have started supporting numerous start-ups. So, the answer to your question is, yes, students or industrialists used to seek a job in core industries some decades ago. But, fortunately with the number of investors growing in India, it has gradually given us excellent results.
Industrialists like Ratan Tata, Azim Premji have started investing in many new start-ups or those companies that are hardly a decade old. Plus, the Indian government has also started giving easy loans and promoting corporations to invest in core industries under Make in India, Startup India, Stand Up India, Invest India schemes. And with time, the number of entrepreneurs in these sectors is bound to increase as well.
Please tell about the encouragement programs that the IMED has started for the students to start their own ventures.
Institute of Management and ‘Entrepreneurship Development’, as the institute’s name precedes our focus, the institute has developed a unique activity–Community Work Through Entrepreneurship Development (CWTED). There are so many self-employed people in India, often they are in the local industry. So, these people can’t afford to join business schools, but institutes like us can go to them. Under the guidance of our faculty members, we have an entrepreneurship development cell, in which there are faculties and students who are willing to start their own ventures after their study.
The whole entrepreneurship development cell visits several entrepreneurs and we share our knowledge with them. They develop their entrepreneurial journey and our students come to learn about how hard work pays in any business, their local management, local supply chain, etc. After tasting success in their own city or domain, all businesses takeoff for the global stage.
In 1964, Dr. Patangrao Kadam had established Bharati Vidyapeeth, a deemed university. UGC has released a new draft regarding deemed universities. Please share your thoughts on this draft and your expectations of this law.
I really feel delighted to talk about our founder, Dr. Patangrao Kadam, as we often have heard some people saying that how one man can really make a difference. You name the city, and it’s highly probable that we might have our alumni in that city of the country.
Bharati Vidyapeeth runs 180 schools, ranging from pre-primary level to research level. One can just have a guess,the huge alumni network, as Bharati Vidyapeeth is over 60 years old.
Talking about this recent draft on deemed universities, this draft is really good, and it was needed as well. Plus, we have sent some suggestions to the ministry in this regard that the focus should be on multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary education. Plus, education should become outcome oriented. Outcome oriented education should be propelled. There is one provision in this draft that 50 percent of the students in that institute must be employed, self-employed, or have opted for higher education. So, the focus is clearly on outcome-based education.
How do you see the culture of placement and please explain how IMED has an excellent placement record?
I really believe that if students’ focus is knowledge of the subject or that particular stream, they will be so excellent that, ultimately, they will land a job for sure, just like the message of the movie – 3 Idiots. IMED Pune inspires students to generate and process ideas. Further, we spend lots of time with the students to groom their ambition very well.
A seven-tier feedback system, five counselling sessions and some other training are some of the things we provide to ensure students excel enough to be able to get any job they want. IMED Pune has a record of over 95 percent placements every year. Many students of the institute also opt for higher education. Some of them pursue research as well.
The innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Cell of the institute regularly conducts numerous activities to skill students, such as Corporate Entrepreneurship, Business Plan Workshops, etc. Please tell us about the future ambitions of the institute.
So goes an apparent fact: If there are 60 students in a class, hardly five of them will aspire to start their own venture, and that too after a few years of work experience. What IMED aims for is to succeed in educating at least 50 percent of students of any course to become entrepreneurs. Therefore, we are creating an atmosphere and pedagogy to educate students about entrepreneurship, possible hardships coming in their ventures, market situations, consumer mindset etc.
I have propounded 10 commandments of being an entrepreneur. One of them is family support. What kind of financial and motivational support does one get from family if one decides to start a venture? Another factor, I call it ‘commandment’, is the ‘processing of the idea’ as idea generation, concept development, product development, and launching the product in the market with its demand should be really efficient.
Suppose if someone has an idea, but the market doesn’t accept that product which may create profit, then that idea might not be appropriate in that particular market or at that particular time. So, we are aiming to evolve and develop our teaching method in those manners so that more than 50 percent of our students could become successful entrepreneurs.
Further, the institute has an active collaboration with Barclays to train the students in soft skills, along with a thorough infusion of subject-specific knowledge. And, if Amazon is coming on campus to recruit freshers, then executives from Amazon will train our students with the required skills in their final semester. We keep taking detailed feedback from the companies about where we need to improve during that particular year as the required skills are also changing every year.