Interview by Kritika Gupta
Sri. V. Vidya Sagar is currently the Chairman at VVIT Guntur. He has a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Bangalore University. Having more than 25 years of experience in the field of Education, he has worked as a Project Head for prestigious computerization projects under the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh.
Working with missionary zeal, Sri. Vasireddy started VIVA, The School by VVIT, which is the first International School in the state of AP. Apart from this, he is a proud owner of Social Computer Services, a Software Technology Park of India (STPI). He is also the managing partner of Social Agro Industries, a social worker and a member of the round table, Honorary Chairman of Sri Tyagaraja Cultural Association.
Sri. V. Vidya Sagar’s take on the Education industry in AP
We have been in the education field for the past 25 years. I always feel much contended to have ventured into this field. I began my journey when computer education was in its nascent stage. Our government, industry, and academia then were of a strong belief that computers are going to be pivotal in economic growth. But this cannot happen without a strong foundation in computer education.
There were hardly any courses offered by the state-run colleges and universities in AP then. There was a great need for computer education. We visualized it in a different manner. Along with training fresh graduates in computer science and engineering, we were also interested to take it to the school level. For this, we partnered with the government of AP in extending computer education in government schools. This work gave me a great sense of fulfilment.
His Approach - Exposure, Learning, and Practice
We have different programs to establish a seamless interaction between students and the industry. We are doing it at three levels- exposure, learning, and practice. We invite experts from the industry to our college who interacts with our students and faculty members to give an idea about what the industry expects. This helps the students to get an opportunity to learn from real-time engineering professionals. We send our students to do internships in companies, where the students practice the concepts they have learned from the classrooms. In other words, this facilitates their transition from the classroom to the workplace. Besides this, we also have taken up various other initiations that ensure an ideal student-industry interaction.
15 states of the art laboratories established by Siemens at VVIT gives the students an opportunity to acquire a high degree of knowledge and skills various industry expect.
The Technology Entrepreneurship Program by Indian School of Business, Hyderabad is one such platform where the students get an opportunity to interact directly with the industry leaders and prospective investors. This is a unique program where the students develop their prototypes for the problems given by the industry.
Cadeploy a leader in 2D and 3D detailing industry has set up a lab in our college where experts train students on how to work on the industry oriented technologies.
VVIT also do consultation work. Students give solutions to the industry requirements by working in the state of the art laboratories available in the college.
'Time is the only aspect in our life that cannot be Refilled'
Time management, as we all know is central to the success of any activity. I believe that time is the only aspect of our life that cannot be refilled. With wholehearted support from the family, I luckily do not need separate time slots for professional and personal lives.
Wherever I am, my time and efforts are dedicated to what I do. So, I have lot more time at hand than most. Most of the work at our institutions is handled by very able teams. I meet them for important discussions and they brief me about developments. I reserve sufficient toe for taking care of the stakeholder’s satisfaction which takes my highest priority.
His take on Education System in India
There is a lot of difference between the system followed in many developed countries and ours. Our education system is more of administration and policing than effective quality academic delivery. In advanced countries, students join a professional course if only they are passionate about the discipline they choose. In India, students generally join a branch of engineering because everyone else is joining. Professionals take up faculty positions in developed nations because they are passionate about teaching and research and for doing this they forego lucrative positions in industry. The present scenario in India is that graduates generally take up faculty position if only they do not secure jobs in industry.
There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is that times are changing and changing for the better. Quality engineering graduates are starting to take up faculty positions because of the stagnation in industry salaries and substantial improvement in teaching pay scales.
Sri. V. Vows on "Quality" as the primary benchmark
Primarily, we believe nothing less than numero uno status is acceptable and quality is the mantra. As laid down in our vision statement we focused primarily on producing engineers who can dove tail to the industry requirements. Quality has been our mantra. We see that it is delivered. I have no doubt in telling you that nothing but ‘a committed adherence to quality’ has placed us where we are now. We have roped quality people into teaching and management. In every aspect we set Quality as the primary benchmark to be achieved. It paid us dividends.
His philosophy of leadership - Follows 3 Principles
I believe in responsible leadership. I base my style of leadership on three principles. “Lead by example” is the first principle which shaped the leadership styles of many pioneers. As a firm believer in this principle, I have tried my best not to set a bad example with my activities. The second principle I believed in is investing “mind, heart, and soul in the task you take up”. Rarely had I to spend time analyzing the future outcomes of the tasks. Neither had I repented on the work we have taken up so far. The third principle which probably shaped my style of leadership is “Respect and Trust”. Everybody is not a master in everything. I trusted experts, professionals and committed individuals. They took up the responsibility to lead different constituents of the organization. It is mutual respect and trust which enabled us to develop a highly pragmatic leadership style.
Placement opportunities at VVIT
Training, training and more training is the formula. Training to fill the gaps between the curriculum and industry needs from day one of freshman year is the way to go about. Placement statistics of any college is evaluated by its quantity. But VVIT focuses on the quality of the Final Placement Offer a student receives. A mismatch between the offer and the skill set of the students often disturbs the entire process of placements. So, VVIT took up the onus of fulfilling the goals of every stakeholder through placements.
Read about VVIT Guntur Placement
To ensure quality in the placements we banked on training. Quality training has been the fulcrum of our success. Offers rolled out by companies like amazon, TCS, Mu-Sigma, Maq Software, Hero Motor Corp, Bosch, Samsung R & D, Salesforce, DBS Bank Singapore etc attests our claim. The highest annual salary and the average annual salary of the placed students are the other two indicators that corroborates our claim that placements at VVIT are quality driven. The highest salary earned by a VVITian so far is 9.5 LPA. This placement season 25 of our students bagged offers worth Rs 7.5 Lacs and above. 200 students from our college have bagged offers this year with an annual salary package of 3.5 LPA. We are second to nobody in this realm.
What makes VVIT stand out?
The prime differentiating marker that separates VVIT, for that matter any upcoming college is “Quality”. The quality of the teaching-learning processes followed, the quality in the facilities provided, the quality of the placements earned by the students, the quality of the research work done by the faculty and students and the quality of the discipline followed will certainly attract quality students from all corners of the state. I think the “Quality” we assure, the “Commitment” we show in achieving it and the “Trust” we have earned over the past one decade distinguishes us from the rest.
His Future Goals and Plans for VVIT
The goals we have set for ourselves are very simple and straightforward. We wanted to emerge as a college providing “Quality Engineering Education”. We have been successful in our pursuits. The accreditations bestowed on us by the Apex bodies like NAAC and NBA stand testimony to our commitment. We have now become an autonomous college. We see it as an opportunity to upgrade our pursuit for quality. So, upgrading our quality will remain a recurring goal. Another important target we wish to fulfill is to take up research in emerging fields like IOT, Industrial IOT, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Image Processing, Data Security, Renewable Energy and more.
Suggestions to the Students
I invite all the students who have a strong desire to fulfill their dreams to think about VVIT. The quality teaching-learning at VVIT can help them shape their dreams and the facilities at VVIT will help them in testing their dreams.
“Miles to go before I sleep” is our motto and students can also achieve their goals however high with this motto.