Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Mr. Prakash Chhabra is currently working as the Executive Director in Sanskriti University. He started his career as a Probationary Officer in a Public Sector Bank and quit his banking career in 2005 when he was the Circle Head with a Private Sector Bank. An Honors graduate in Maths, he is a postgraduate in Economics followed by MBA (finance) and CFA from ICFAI, Hyderabad. He has CAIIB as well as DBM to his credit as far as his professional qualifications as a banker are concerned.
Mr. Chhabra has been with Sanskriti Group since 2012 as Executive Director. He states that while Banking was fundamentally about money, education is not like that. There can’t be “mark to market” in education and students’ progress cannot be tracked with a single measure. He is very passionate about what the students should know, how should they think and behave and what should they value. He is happy that he is doing something of social value.
Mr. Chhabra’s experience in the education industry
I am a corporate leader turned academician. I played a long inning as a banker and decided to share my practical knowledge, experience and expertise in the academic world. When I shifted to academics, I could hardly imagine that so much fun and work was in store for me in academics. The more I worked and got along with the young minds, innovative ideas and joyful spirits, I got rejuvenated. I am thoroughly enjoying my work in the education industry and I endorse that education industry is the best place to work.
Major challenges faced by Mr. Chhabra being a part of Sanskriti University
The greatest challenge we faced was to graduate our mindset and action from a mere “College” to a true “University”. The challenge here in university is not to obey or follow but to create, develop and establish an education system. The challenge here is not to meet the target but to cite the target for the one own self. The job is difficult indeed.
Mr. Chhabra on how his teaching ensures best practices of the industry
Sanskriti University believes in Excellence- thinking as well as in action. Sanskriti has explored the best education system, the best practices, garnered support from best academic and industrial collaborators from India and abroad, conceptualized the system and progress is monitored by a group of eminent visionary educators, invested in best infrastructure, the most knowledgeable and inspiring faculty team and ascertained the best academic environment for the students to excel.
Mr. Chhabra’s goals for his college in coming future
Within two years, we have been adjudged as the “Best Emerging Private University in India”.
In next five years, our goal is to establish us as “Best Private University in India’.
In next twenty-five years, our goal is to establish us as the “Best University in India”
We keep on revisiting our goal.
Mr. Chhabra on how he ensures the quality of education in his institution
Nurturing the inherent inclination of the students and shape it through a quality education is the unique focus area of the university. Sanskriti works from the basics. The university runs the program “Chase your dream” very passionately. The USPs are Industry oriented course curriculum, “Life skill program” (aims to develop skill sets), “Value education program” (to focus on attitude and inculcate right value system) from the first semester of the programme and insist on Project-based learning and application-based learning.
Sanskriti considers that university is a ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’ (holiest of holy places) and every member of the Sanskriti family discharges his/her responsibilities with utmost devotion and sincerity and accomplishes the assigned tasks with a great degree of finesse.
All these ensure Quality education.
Mr. Chhabra’s methods of building a positive culture or climate in students of his institutions
We have a core value system where we do not compromise. We promote “Unity among diversity”. Our students are from 19 states within India and 11 countries from abroad. Our academic collaborators are from different parts of the world. We inculcate a culture of respect for individual religion, languages, and beliefs. Our cultural festivals, food festival, costume competition etc, promote national and international understandings. Our Language Schools and Sports Academy also bring a lot of cultural cohesion.
Mr. Chhabra on establishing relationship with the students
We have changed from “Monitoring” to “Mentoring”. Mentoring is our passion.
Creation and Excellence can never be monitored; our mentor system facilitates to bring out the best in the students, the effective mentoring system has been able to establish a relationship with students and yielded results.
Mr. Chhabra’s philosophy of leadership
My leadership philosophy is to lead the team by Hand, Head and Heart (3H leadership)
My leadership style is
- Demonstrate your team members by Hand
- Encourage your team to use Head (Intellect)
- Inspire to take ultimate judgment by Heart.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students by Mr. Chhabra
I reiterate the following lines for the aspiring students:
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.”
- Dr. Seuss