Interview by Kritika Gupta
Dr. Anand Poddar is presently serving as the Chairman of the Poddar Group of Institutions. He has a total experience of 20 years in Teaching, Research, Administration and Senior Management. His education qualification includes D. Litt by University of South America, B.Pharma, MBA and PGDMM.
He has been honoured and awarded with - Shiksha Bharati Puruskar from AIAF N. Delhi, ‘ASSOCHAM India National education excellence awards, Outstanding Secretary Award to name a few. He is an active member of CII and FORTI, an executive member of Rajasthan Society for Rational Use of Drugs, a Life Member of All India Vaish Federation and ISKCON and many others. Dr. Poddar has also published various books on Advanced Biotechnology, Entrepreneurship, Industrial Economics & Management. With this, he has published material and booklet on Pharma sales & Marketing and Hospitality.
Choosing education industry was the best decision of my life
I can proudly say and confess that switching over from the corporate world to be the head of the institution was the best turning point in my life. This helped to have a broader perspective of serving the youth and society by showcasing the Industry relevant curriculum backed by Innovation.
When I joined the institute, it was an era lacking innovative programs which could give a portfolio of relevant skill sets and business competencies to the candidates required at the work place. It was really challenging and joyful opportunity to become a part of the noble profession that has a significant impact on the youth as well as on the society. It was a golden period when Poddar Group of Institutions was formed with the aim to foster learning and achieve excellent standards of quality education keeping pace with rapidly changing technology.
The best part of this sector is that it keeps you young. Every year a fresh brain enters your institution and teaches you many things, right from behavioral aspects to technological aspects. Every day, I experience new opportunities, new challenges working with your dedicated team members to bring new horizons, new and dynamic Industry relevant curriculum, practical oriented trainings, innovative and best practices, Market research in order to incorporate them in the form of pedagogical tools.
Leadership philosophy and style as the Chairman of Poddar Group
I reckon my leadership style has been that of a Servant leader. I am highly concerned about my employees, staff and students. My style is to nourish and train them in such a way where they can showcase their potential in every way possible. This practice helps in creating an ambience for the stakeholders to quest for excellence. I assess the potential of each employee and assign them tasks accordingly in order to obtain a meaningful and substantial result.
I want the morale of my employees to be high, they should be stress free and their professional or personal problems should be understood and addressed properly in order to achieve better results from them. If I specifically talk about the education sector, the teacher has to be away from any negativity in order to maintain a pleasant relationship with the students and have a positive atmosphere within the organisation.
Handling challenges as the Chairman of Poddar Group
Challenges are a part of life. They will come and go as and when they desire. That is what makes life interesting. Personally, I believe in the philosophy of “Live and let live”. I keep myself updated with the best practices and various technological up-gradation taking place in the education sector.
We reinvent our educational models, putting our heads together to brainstorm practical solutions arising out of the various issues/ challenges we come across. I think if you work within a regulatory framework, adopt ethical practices and keep faith in yourself, your employees and the almighty, the challenges will come and go smoothly.
Standard of curriculum at Poddar Institution
The philosophy of Poddar group is to study the market, the industry and the students regularly. The training and placement cell of the institute are always in touch with the corporate leaders and managers for the relevant skill set required. Keeping this in mind, the same quality is delivered to the stakeholders in the form of value added modules, advanced workshops, live and field exercises and through collaborative efforts. With this, we assure to hold mutual academic exchange programs with renowned Universities and organizations of the world.
Changes noticed in the Education Industry over the past few years
The education sector has dynamically evolved from where we started as an institution. Now, an academia-industry integration is required with the best practices and innovative pedagogy. Presently, there is a vast use of Information Technology in classrooms with the massive use of search engines and dissemination of all types of knowledge on the Internet.
The technology changes are rapid and if you are not keeping pace with the technological changes, then you will become obsolete. Now, the students have to be tech savvy, ready with hands on experience in using the latest gadgets, software and latest tools, applications such as advanced excel. With this, they must have good communication skills, negotiation skills, leadership skills, multilingual, well versed with the latest tools, applications.
Methods opted to establish healthy bond with the students
Being the chairman of the group, unfortunately, I have very little time on my watch. But still, whenever, we conduct any program like a conference, a seminar, an expert lecture or any cultural event, I try to be a part of the said program and interact with the students.
Every year, an induction program for students is conducted where I interact with the students and share with them the vision of the institute. I am available for an interaction over different fest, events, academic platforms besides on social media or mails.
Goals for Poddar Group in the next few years
As the motto of our group says “Education with a purpose”. The goal of my institute is to provide an International exposure to the students. To prepare a proper backed by developing research oriented aptitude, solution oriented approach and entrepreneurial way of thinking to make them come out as most competent individuals capable to excel in today’s competitive world.
Suggestions to the current youth and the aspiring students
My suggestion to them is to have pre-defined goals and should genuinely work towards achieving it. They should not run behind money but follow the norms and ethics. They should always respect their country, parents, teachers and fellow mates.
With this, it is important for them to keep themselves updated with the market, technology and societal changes taking place. Also, they should constantly strive towards becoming a better citizen.