Maharashtra Times Maifal (MATA Maifal)was a Litfest hosted by Maharashtra Times for 2 days on 21st and 22nd January 2016. Welingkar was an Academic Partner to the event and the host. The chief guests at the event were Ashok Panvalkar, Group Editor, MaTa; Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool and Prof Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai.
The world we live in is changing swiftly. In these changing times, old habits will prove ineffective and fail to have any impact on the growth of life. “The type of change which has been witnessed in the realm of business during the past two centuries since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution era in the West is of such a fundamental character that it has materially altered the entire fabric of man’s way of life,” explains Uday Salunkhe, Group Director of WeSchool.
Ashutosh is a techie who prefers to explore on a bicycle instead of a traditional transport like a car or bike. The cycle that cost him INR 35,000 helps sate his hunger for adventure. Ashutosh is only one of the many in this bandwagon seeking a high end bicycle.
Imported bikes sold by foreign companies like SCOTT, Merida and Trek cost anywhere between INR 25000 to INR 10 lakh. While there is no booming market for these high-end bikes, the company estimates 40% growth in Indian market.
Uday Salunkhe, Group Director of Welingkar Institute of Management, observes the rising disposable income in middle classes. “This has resulted in the need of high end bikes that can withstand Indian roads. Hence, companies like SCOTT are looking to build products specifically for Indian market.” Salunkhe adds.
SCOTT currently imports products from Cambodia. However, under their Make For India program, the company may be looking at setting up in India. “The company will be looking to tie-up with a partner for effective and beneficial setup to cater to the Indian market,” says Uday Salunkhe.
A better example would be Hero Bicycle owned Firefox that has tie-ups with various international brands. A similar move in India will create job opportunities in the sector, concludes Uday Salunkhe.
On 6th January 2014, Noble Laureate Dr. John Robin Warren was in the town for 102nd Indian Science Congress held at the University of Mumbai. He paid a visit to students at WeSchool (Welingkar) and shared his views for creating excellence in professional pursuits across domains and specializations. Dr. Warren’s decision to meet the young minds of WeSchool was influenced by its Group Director, Dr. Uday Salunkhe.
Welingkar Institute became a part of PM Modi’s ‘Make In India’ campaign by adopting suburban Matunga Railway Station in a bid to transform it in to ‘world class station with the most modern facilities.’ The other colleges to be a part of this initiative are Ruia and Podar.
“The colleges have come together to adopt the Matunga station for the benefit of thousands of commuting students, people thronging the surrounding business district and local residents of Matunga,” WeSchool Group Director Dr Uday Salunkhe said.
Uday Salunkhe further added that the objective of this project is to think out of box, understand pain-points and use unique ideas to collectively design a better user experience and space management.
“Transforming self-organisation and then society through collective wisdom and creating multiple customised solutions which are inclusive and humane is WeSchool’s connect with the nation’s vision of smart cities,” Uday Salunkhe said.
The idea behind this initiative is to prepare the citizens for future. “Educational institutes must focus on equipping young students with skills to contribute to the national agenda and global business,” Dr. Salunkhe explained.
Some of the best educational institutes are located in Matunga. The student population in the area alone is around 70,000. “Is there a possibility of turning this ecosystem into a student-centric university township that will nurture our global citizen leader?” asks Uday Salunkhe.
He further concludes that a larger role for a great good should be played by academic institutes. This is one the reasons WeSchool has taken the ownership to develop Matunga Station.
Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director of Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, shared his views on India’s green-energy sector and its development with The National Business.
‘To boost renewable energy in India, newer technologies, research and international cooperation will have to be roped in,’ Dr. Uday Salunkhe said. He also added that the country will have to put an emphasis on skilled labor, effective project management and environmental clearances to ensure success in newer technology.
The state government should encourage the growth in infrastructure. Hydro power in the north-east, solar in the west and wind in the south can be utilized for effective development in the inaccessible regions.
Uday Salunkhe also touched upon the challenges in green-sector industry. India is not self-sufficient as we still import solar panels. Cost is another factor,” he said. He also insists that the technology used in panels can be improvised for cost cutting. Moreover, added ambiguity in tariff policies is another issue he pointed out. “In order to curb these challenges, the presence of a central authority is important,” he suggested.
Uday Salunkhe goes on to predict that the costs involved in conventional power will soon rise. This will work as an added advantage for renewable energy. The wind and solar sectors have immense potential to generate substantial overseas investments for the future.