Udaan…Putting Wind beneath Their Wings

Feb 24, 2012 | Posted by admin in Campus Corner   No Comments »

Project Udaan, a joint initiative of NSDC- Government of India and corporate body CII, is a novel initiative to help Kashmiri youth join the mainstream of corporate India.

Welingkar played the perfect host to the group of management students from Jammu and Kashmir, the state of longstanding political and social avalanches. While tourism, handicrafts, handloom and horticulture have been the main business activities of the once flourishing mountain state the constant resurgence have played havoc with its socio-economic scenario making growth and development nearly impossible. With little or no interaction with the outside world, the young Kashmiri youth are losing out on best job opportunities in corporate India.  Project Udaan, a joint initiative of NSDC- Government of India and corporate body CII, is unique partnership to bring about a change in the employment and skills space in J&K through an action oriented agenda. The group of bright students who arrived in Mumbai a few days ago, were given a warm welcome at  Welingkar and participated in an interactive session  with its senior faculty and fellow students .For most of them ,it was the very first foray outside their home state while a few had travelled and also worked in smaller Indian cities.

“Mumbai is so overpowering, overwhelming and it is quite an experience for us to get this exposure of staying on our own in a service apartment, travel to the CII Godrej Centre of Excellence and listen to knowledge and advice by the corporate leaders .And coming to Welingkar is really so wonderful, as we do have Universities and management institutes back home in Kashmir but this is a totally different space “shared the enthusiastic young group. As the session unfolded the WeSchool  faculty enlightened them about various challenges and opportunities that a young manager will face at the beginning of his career.Prof Chatterjee ,Dean –Marketing hit the nail right on its  head in his short address to the students when he said ;” Today’s young manager has to manage complexities and change .So you can not restrict yourself to a particular domain or a stream of knowledge like finance,marketing,operations,systems but must be able to cross the barriers and work across functions. It’s good to focus on your chosen specialization but don’t forget other specializations, learn to assimilate knowledge from them as well.And look for business opportunities and diversify”. His every word was lapped up by the group of 30 odd students from the Islamic University of Science And Technology, who listened in rapt attention. It was heartening to note the presence of six young women in this group of future corporate leaders.

“It’s a big challenge for them to be on this journey and an opportunity in a life time. Our MBA program is approved by AICTE and with proper academic inputs that are in keeping with the changing global trends we have been able to train our students well. Campus recruitments are improving and we have a lot of banks picking up our students for pan India placements. J &K bank has been a regular recruiter but we are glad that HDFC has come along and so has the Yes bank. The Cement and Pharma industry in the valley offers equally good job opportunities .Some of these students will off course return to their family managed businesses, in fact they are already thinking ahead, planning to take the small local businesses to the global level” shared Prof Sehar Iqbal, professor of Managerial Economics who also looks after the CSR effort of the institute.

Project Udaan aims to catalyze  the young Kashmiri students’  connect with the industry along with  polishing  their skills thus making them more employable.  It also envisages  to provide them  appropriate  exposure to the  business environment together with educating them on available  career-opportunities in  various sectors. It gives special thrust  on entrepreneurship, training and development. The training delivery is a combination of classroom  sessions, guest lectures, industry visits and  projects.  The first three weeks of the programme will have six days of classes supported by industry visits, guest lectures, etc. The last three weeks of the programme will be on-site training at a company. The visit to WeSchool was the first step taken on this path and rightfully so; the interactions with  students and wisdom shared by its  faculty will definitely go a long way in boosting the confidence and morale of the young Kashmiri students.

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