The inaugural edition of the „Abhyaas iConnex‟ — a corporate-college conclave — was held at Hotel Avasa on Sunday. This conclave, powered by Abhyaas, pioneers in training and education, was an attempt to bring together the best of industry and academia, and facilitate an interaction, with a strong belief that it is in such healthy interactions where the solution to effective and sustainable education lies.
This edition of the „iConnex‟ panel discussion is one of the many of a series of initiatives that Abhyaas has in the pipeline. This event brought together the policy makers, top brass of the industry from various sectors and Training & Placement Officers (TPOs) of some of the best engineering colleges in the state.
The theme of the first panel discussion was: ‘Are we placing all our eggs in one basket?’ The panel enabled the TPOs get a fresh perspective on the opportunities that can be suggested to students, along with ways to pursue them outside the realms of the IT Sector.
Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Jayesh Ranjan (IAS), MD & VC of APIIC, spoke about the various types of industries that are setting shop in AP and the umpteen opportunities available to the students. He said, „batching and matching‟ is the key to ensure that skilled engineers reach the right sectors. Downplaying the IT industry, which merely contributes to 5.3% of the opportunities available, Ranjan said it is sectors like infrastructure, automobiles, retail, healthcare and informal employment opportunities that would create most of the job opportunities in the future. He also spoke about the facilities being extended by the Government of AP to entrepreneurs.
Chairing the panel discussion, Mr. Naresh Dubbudu, CEO of Abhyaas, made a short presentation on the opportunities outside the IT sector. Mr. Subbarangaiah, Director of Veda IIT, spoke about the VLSI field and the immense opportunities that students can avail in this sector. He spoke about how the demand in the electronic and communication industry is booming and it isn‟t too far when we will soon have a $300 billion import. Unless this crisis is not addressed, there will be serious troubles. Out of the two lakh students who graduate every year, only about a 50,000 are from electronics and communication. Most of these students, instead of sticking to their own domain, prefer to shift to the other sectors, perks being better pay and better working environment. The only way of improving employability of the remaining students who opt for this domain, is by creating specialized courses and fill in the gap between industry expectations and education standard.
Elaborating on the scene in the biotech industry, Ms. Anu Acharya, CEO of mapmygenome, said the one major challenge this sector has been facing is the massive difference between the numbers projected for this sector and reality. This being a relatively new field, there is a dearth of specialized courses, and the quality of education available is poor. She said, “The one of way solving this problem would be by having agencies to pay start-ups to hire freshers, and once the training period is over, they could be recruited depending on their performance.”
AM Rao ,Vice President at Satyam Ventures, talking about the challenges in hiring freshers said, “The infrastructure available at colleges in not great. To make sure that the students are employable, we need expertise, and specialized graduates. The merging of domain and product knowledge becomes inevitable.” He also spoke about the importance of developing the personality of the students. H concluded saying, “What are finishing schools without the developing schools?”
The second panel discussion was built around the theme: ‘With the markets changing, are the roles changing too?’It was aimed at charting a possible road-map for academia representatives to be equipped with tools not heard of ’till-now’ to deal the future which remains unknown.
Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Sanjay Jaju (IAS), Prl. Secretary of Department of IT & C, spoke about the various changes emerging in the IT sector and how it would change the way the employment system functions. He said, instead of focusing on securing jobs, graduates should be more focused on how technology could help the society. He said, “Institutes should create a mentality where students are not looking for jobs, but are aiming at creating jobs.”
This panel discussion was chaired by Ms. Padma Parupudi, Director of Abhyaas Finishing School, who made a short presentation on the changing role of TPOs. Beginning the discussion, Sai Sangineni, Founder CEO, Techvedika, batting for SMEs, said there are thousands of SMEs looking at hiring, but the biggest challenge they face is the higher pay package the students expect and lack of awareness about their existence.
Carrying forward the discussion, Rama Evani, Principal Director and Head IT services at DST Worldwide Services, spoke about the grooming of freshers and addressing the academic-personality gap, saying that when the companies pump in money for the training of the students for six months, they expect them to be productive from Day 1 after their training.
Mr Budaraju Sudhakar, Chief HR Officer and CQSH at Tata Projects Limited, made an important point. He said that the tenure of the CEOs is drastically falling, which could probably trigger a crisis in the IT industry. The TPOs must be trained to be updated and train their students in a manner that the industry standards are met.
The panel discussion concluded to begin an open house, where the TPOs and the speakers were engaged in discussions and proactive interactions.
As the speakers shared not just invaluable information and also tricks of the trade, TPOs participating said they had immensely benefited from the conclave, adding more such initiatives would do wonders to the system of education.
K Vijayalakshmi, TPO of KITS, Singapur, said this was an enriching experience. She said, “The selection of the panelists was apt and as a TPO, I now know about the industry expectations and now my students can be better equipped to job-ready.” Asked if she would attend any such event Abhyaas organizes in the future, she replied in the affirmative.
For more details, contact Rakesh Dubbudu – 9885419012, Harish Bhadrwaj -9000605120