Mr. Ashok Kumar Mittal, Chancellor, Lovely Professional University, Punjab, is a law graduate from Guru Nanak Dev University. He has a brilliant academic record and was placed in merit throughout his academic career. Mr. Ashok Mittal, with his skills of meticulous planning and swift execution, has played a stellar role in steering Lovely Group, which provides direct employment to about 5,000 people and indirect employment to about 20,000 people. His, as well as the Group’s, professional journey and growth, have been brisk and interesting. He successfully ventured into Automobile business in the year 1991 with Bajaj dealership and added Maruti dealership in the year 1996. His dreams took wings and he diversified into the education sector by setting up of Lovely Institutes in 2001 which soon took shape of the first private university in the state of Punjab, in the year 2005. Mr. Ashok Mittal is a great visionary under whose dynamic leadership the university has reached unprecedented heights of being among the top universities in the country, within a short span of time. Now, Mr. Mittal has set his eyes on bringing LPU among the top 200 universities in the world by 2020. For his contribution to the society, Mr. Ashok Mittal has been awarded the ‘Punjab Gaurav Award’ by His Excellency Sh. Shivraj Patil, Hon’ble Governor Punjab in the year 2012 and Entrepreneur of the year in the year 2013 by Chief Minister of Punjab Sh. Parkash Singh Badal. He has also been awarded Shiksha Ratna award by the Education Minister, Punjab in the year 2013. He has received the National Dewang Mehta “Education Visionary Award” recently in Mumbai.
Ques 1: “With the success of sweets and auto dealerships business, you thought of giving back to the society and education happened to be one of the best ways for you”. Describe the journey of establishing one of the most prolific and dynamic university of the country, Lovely Professional University, and experiencing in managing it.
Ans. The decision to step into education rather than any other sector was based on the strong belief ‘to pay back more to the society than received’. I always had the vision to transform the way education is delivered in India. In the year 2001, we stepped towards realizing this dream by opening Lovely Institute of Management affiliated to some other University. After entering this sector, we realized that as an affiliated college there are numerous limitations to this thought of changing the way the education is delivered. Thus, we set to open our own university for imparting education the way it ought to be delivered. At the same time, we kept on adding more colleges to this humble affiliated Institute including those of engineering, Applied Medical Sciences, Architecture, Education, Law, Polytechnic and more. In the year 2005, we got the approval from Punjab Government to set up a private university of our own, which presently has many tales of successes to tell, share and be proud of. Within a small span of its existence, LPU now also has important 200+ international tie-ups with universities of the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Vietnam, Brazil, Poland, Ghana and much more. A few months back, Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar has presented ASSOCHAM’s ‘National Education Excellence Award 2017 for Best Private University’ to LPU. University has also won Best Education Brands’ 2017 award from the Economic Times (ET) in recognition of LPU as a symbol of excellence in educating and skilling India’s future. Many of the top publications related to higher education, industry, and allied sectors have also accorded coveted ranking and awards to LPU as usual. President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee has graced two convocations of the university. Similarly, six other Presidents, Prime Ministers and top religious leader of different countries had been at other separate LPU convocations, where they were also bestowed upon “Honoris Causa” doctorate degrees of the university amid thousands of graduating students.
Ques 2: LPU has 25 thousand students from 29 states and 50 countries. That’s a huge diversity within the LPU family. How do you build a positive culture and environment where all the students feel safe and have a sense of togetherness?
Ans. Although LPU students belong to different castes, creeds, cultures, religions and even nationalities, yet they always co-exist whether the field is academics, sports, cultural or any other activity/event. They join hands for the best results in any of the tasks assigned. In fact, from the day one at LPU, students imbibe the great diversity prevailing at the campus and start respecting one another’s existence in full vigor. During annual national and international events, particularly, ‘One India’ & One World’, the diversity at LPU campus is celebrated to the core, where students, say, of Kerala are seen propagating the culture of Punjab by performing on the rhythms of Bhangra, and Punjab students enjoy Garba of Gujarat. Similarly, international students of one country imbibe the values and spirit of other countries. In this all, LPU just creates the multi-ethnicity environ where students get automatically adjusted with each other and co-exist with a greater sense of belongingness and togetherness in a safe and secure existence. In fact, LPU can safely be called as one of the most diverse student campuses of the country, where students learn to further exist & grow in the global environment of MNCs and Industry.
Ques 3: LPU recently acquired deals with Google, SAP, and Oracle to offer free industry training to students. Give us an insight on this and other ways your university curriculum ensures best practices of the industry?
Ans. LPU has strong academia-industry connect and thus has collaborated with top companies to provide industry immersion to its students. LPU has partnerships with top industry including Google, Cisco, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and more for promoting intense industry versatility, rigor & recognition. LPU also offers various opportunities to the students to work directly with industry on live and entrepreneurial projects, which provide students great insights about latest trends in the corporate world. Students also gain on-site experiences through industry internships with corporate giants like Cognizant, Microsoft, Infosys, and ISRO to name a few. On these lines, the curriculum and pedagogy followed in LPU are at par with the best of the universities of the world. It is a unique advantage as most of the Indian universities do not update their curriculum at all; however, based on the feedbacks of the industry, academia, and students, the curriculum is updated every year at LPU. We can very confidently say that LPU has one of the most advanced and industry relevant curricula.
Ques 4: “Transforming Education, Transforming India,” LPU has become a name synonymous with Quality Education. What are the steps or methods that have helped you to live up to the name and your motto?
Ans. LPU was started with the motto to prepare students for the industry, unlike other traditional universities. Great importance was given to develop a human resource that was ready to be taken into the industry and also play their part in the development of the society and the country. This gave way to LPU’s tagline– “Transforming Education, Transforming India”. LPU is a multi-disciplined university which makes the experience of a student studying at LPU more rewarding than at an institution with restricted number of subjects. LPU offers more than 200 programs in 40+ disciplines including Engineering, Management, Pharmacy, Fashion, Architecture, Hotel Management and others. The professional courses in Engineering, Business Architecture, Pharmacy, Hotel Management, and Journalism at LPU are most popular. One of the biggest reasons for this popularity is the number of technocrats that the university has delivered to the top brands in these fields. Moreover, LPU also offers some distinct programs like Mechatronics, automobile, oil & petroleum engineering; bioinformatics, nanotechnology, and horticulture. In addition, LPU’s infrastructure is unparalleled to any of the universities in India. It is a mini township university with fantastic academic facilities including an eight-storied library and research block, hostel and accommodation facilities for over 20,000 students, a shopping mall, numerous eateries, plenty of workshop area, India’s first iMac Lab and various other facilities for a student to grow and accomplish his goal.
Ques 5: You have been awarded the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2013 by Chief Minister of Punjab Sh Parkash Singh Badal. What advice would you like to give to young and aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to be job creators and not job seekers?
Ans. LPU is continuously creating a vibrant ecosystem for the budding entrepreneurs and has also been instrumental in offering the student start-ups with access to the top-quality infrastructure and consultancy. Only a few months back Union Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley inaugurated LPU Startup School which is now fully functional and is creating a world class incubation facility for aspiring students. We at LPU advise students to test out their entrepreneurship ideas and grow those eventually into mature businesses. In this context, dedicated ‘Students’ Entrepreneurship Cell’ (E-Cell) works with the budding entrepreneurs to help them access the in-house market of LPU. Republic Motors- an e-Rickshaw manufacturing company; King Hills Travels; sabstore.in-a hyper local delivery store; Couponshub.co.in- an affiliate marketing company and more have all started from LPU campus by students. Students should come forward by thinking on positive lines like those great entrepreneurs of the world, who in the initial phases of their life had been a failure to attain glorious success afterward. LPU is always there to support students with market access, infrastructure and in some cases, even with the seed money. We want to encourage enterprising students by informing that
Ques 6: When heading an educational institute, it is very important to have a dynamic approach towards both student and faculty development. How do you achieve that?
Ans. There are a number of distinguished departments at the university which are to be steered well with perfect team spirit and disciplined environment at the campus. I honestly feel that I am lucky in this manner as I command a great team of dedicated and devoted persons who work hard for the fast development of the university. We also have a dynamic approach towards growth of individuals, whether students or staff members, by having exclusive divisions and departments like Professional Enhancement, Human Resource Development Center and more, which keep on organizing seminars, workshops, training programs, research endeavors for both students and staff members. Students and faculty members are encouraged to have active participation in these endeavors where top ranked global trainers and speakers from across the country and the world reaches LPU Campus to guide them for their development as per global standards.
Ques 7: Cognizant, hired over 550+ students in both 2014 and 2015, thereby setting a new record in North India. These numbers have been increasing since then. Tell us more about the placements at LPU and have you ensured a smooth placement drive in the university.
Ans. LPU has created history by having the highest placements in any of the North Indian universities, three times in a row. Cognizant alone has taken 1900 students in three years from LPU. Reputed companies like Amazon, Practo, and HUL appreciate the workforce that our university has created. 51 companies that recruit from IITs also recruit for the talent at LPU, which is a great achievement for a university. Presently, LPU students are working with prestigious global companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and much more at salary packages of more than INR One Crore. Corporate like Tech Mahindra, Amazon, and Capgemini alone have recruited Ques
Ques 8: LPU has registered tremendous evolution since 2005 when it took shape as the first private university in the state of Punjab. With achieving almost everything a top university should, what goals and future plans do you have in your mind for LPU over the next few years?
Ans. Through our slogan ‘Transforming India by Transforming Education,’ we seek to revive the golden-glory of the ancient Indian education system. By providing an academic ambiance, innovative pedagogy of global significance, we will continue preparing our students to succeed in a highly competitive professional environment. Now, having created a strong international presence, LPU is poised to become a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in academics and research and be listed among the top 200 universities in the world by the year 2025.Last Updated - 20 Sep 2017