Interview by Yash Panchal
Rev. Fr. Vineeth George CMF serves as the Vice Principal of St. Claret College, Bengaluru, where apart from his able educational leadership, he also lectures on diverse management topics ranging from Business Ethics to Strategic Management. A gold medalist post graduate, he is renowned for his expertise and experience in the domains of Corporate Communications and Business Management, owing to his uniquely rich blend of industry-academia experience spanning over 16 years. Prior to joining St Claret College, Fr Vineeth had worked with such reputed corporations as Dell, Deccan Chronicle, General Electric and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited. In recognition of his managerial excellence, he was inducted as a Graduate Member of the Indian Management Association. His scholarly research papers on HR and OB have been published in Scopus indexed national and international journals. He is a sought after paper setter and external examiner by several reputed public and private universities. In 2010, he was conferred with the Award of Excellence in International Business by Mountsville University, USA. He is also a proud recipient of the Rashtriya Gaurav Award – 2018 for his noteworthy services in the field of higher education.
Fr. Vineeth’s experience in the education industry
My tryst with the education sector started in the year 2006. Prior to that, I have had 4 years of industry experience in the BPO, IT, Publishing and Power sectors. I consider the education industry to be the best due to the fact that this industry supplies the manpower needed by all the other industries.
Fr. Vineeth’s philosophy of leadership
My philosophy of leadership is ‘leading by doing’. I believe that a good leader is one whom others follow out of conviction and not out of compulsion. I would describe my leadership style as credible. I believe that when a leader loses his credibility, he fails to inspire.
Changes noticed in the education sector by Fr. Vineeth
The biggest change I have seen in the education sector is its transition from being syllabus-centric to being industry-oriented. Since the prescribed syllabus of most universities is not industry-relevant, the colleges themselves have found a way out. Today, we see more and more colleges initiating the introduction of innovative and industry-relevant add-on courses to bridge the yawning gap between the academia and the industry.
Several private training institutes have also come up with the mandate of doing their mite in bridging this gap. It’s a win-win situation for all – the universities, the affiliated colleges, the private training institutes and the students. The initial inertia towards the add-on courses is slowly but surely vanishing among the student community, as more and more students are coming to the realisation that just a university degree can’t fetch them their dream job, until and unless they are job-ready, by way of the additional inputs and training provided in the add-on courses.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at St. Claret College
We, at St. Claret College, are proud of our enviable placement track record. Most of our students are first-generation graduates in their respective families, and therefore aspiring to be placed well, in order to shoulder the family’s responsibilities. To fulfill this aspiration of the students, we have a robust Placement and Career Guidance Cell that facilitates the training and placements of our students. The Cell conducts regular and intensive Professional Skills Development Program during the second and fourth semester for our students, which gives them a cutting edge over their counterparts in other colleges.
Our curriculum ensures best practices in the industry by having a constant interface with the industry. We frequently invite industry experts as resource persons, who give us an insight into the current trends and future projections of the industry. Based on such insights, we plan seminars, workshops, conferences and add-on courses to make our students in-sync with the best industrial practices and standards.
Fr. Vineeth on the path which is the most optimum for a student wanting to excel in any field of management
Excellence in management is simply commonsensical. Management is all pervasive. Every activity inherently involves management. One need not necessarily be a management graduate in order to acquire managerial skills. However, a management degree can surely provide the orientation required towards good management practices. Ultimately, it depends on the student as to how well s/he makes use of one’s own common sense and managerial skills to face situations and tackle issues.
Fr. Vineeth on how St. Claret College stands apart from other institutions
Established in the year 2005, ours is a relatively new college in Bengaluru. But our achievements and accomplishments within this short period of our existence are unparalleled. To cite an example, external agencies like Integrated Intelligent Research Foundation have commended the incredible growth story of St. Claret College by conferring upon us the ‘Best College’ award for the year 2017 from 750 nominations among 8 countries.
Qualities which helped to create a brand name for St. Claret College
Our commitment to our vision, mission, objectives and core values have helped us create brand St Claret. Though we are young as a college, our roots go centuries back into the robust Catholic intellectual tradition. The college is managed by the Claretian congregation, which is an international body that has under its aegis 2 universities and over 150 educational institutions spread over 66 countries across the globe. Further, the leadership team of the college has always been progressive and forward-looking.
Fr. Vineeth on how to prepare students to face challenges of modern organizations and global standards successfully
Our partnership with reputed professional bodies places our students in good stead to face the challenges of modern organizations and meet global standards. For instance, we have collaborations and linkages with Aptech, PRCI, SAP Labs, ISDC, Oracle Academy, NIPM, NPTEL, IEEE, Computer Society of India, etc. to name a few. Apart from these collaborations, we also have state-of-the-art infrastructure and amenities in place at St. Claret College to give our students world-class experience. From time to time, we also arrange Alumni Talks for the benefit of our current students, during which the alumni address the students about the challenges in the corporate world and the skill sets required to successfully meet those challenges and global standards.
Goals in mind for your institution for the next five years
In the next five years, we would like to attain the status of an autonomous college. We would also like to have more and more reputed companies coming to our campus to recruit our students. We also envision some kind of collaboration with foreign universities.
Suggestions to the current youth and the aspiring students
My message to the youth of today is that they must strive for excellence in their chosen field. Every individual has got a calling. The sooner we realize the call, the better it is. The college years are the years during which the call becomes clearer. It is utmost important that the current youth and the aspiring students realize their call and respond to it in the best possible manner.