Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Mr. Shirish Madhukar Sahasrabudhe is currently working as the Director of Symbiosis institute of Foreign and Indian Languages, Pune. He has done M.A. (English) from University of Pune, Diploma in Business Management from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Symbiosis International (Deemed University) (SIU) of Pune. He has a massive work experience of 4 decades. He has previously worked as the Corporate Advisor & General Manager of Sakal Papers Ltd. for 13 years.
Mr. Sahasrabudhe is the author of 4 independent books published in Marathi, 4 translations from Marathi into English and 6 Published books translated from English to Marathi. He is the member of Rotary Club of Pune Tilak Road, Pune. He has also worked from 2007 to 2010 as the Dean of the Humanities Faculty of Symbiosis International (Deemed University) (SIU).
The best part of working in the education sector
The opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of youngsters and the ability to cause (even a small) difference make the field of education most attractive.
My leadership style is to improve others’ performance without discouraging them
The essence of being a good leader is to first be a good team member.
Giving scope to the other team members to perform semi-independently is essential
Equally necessary is to train them and improve their performance without being discouraging. I always like to adopt a participative style of leadership.
Encouraging the idea of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the world is one family)
‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the world is one family) is the motto of the entire Symbiosis family. The crux lies in being liberal and tolerant towards fellow human beings and not to divide them into narrow parochial compartments. We have been encouraging students from different countries to make colourful musical presentations on their cultures. We do the same in the case of different states in India. The final message is: Being human is a must for every human being.
Our aim is to make our students high performers in industries
We expect that the students of Symbiosis Institute of Foreign and Indian Languages (SIFIL) and English Language Teaching Institute of Symbiosis (ELTIS) should become high performers in the industry, business and service sectors. We, therefore, conduct a number of co-curricular activities outside classrooms. They enable them to practise communication skills in foreign languages (FL). Our FL courses are aligned closely with CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) since CEFR takes into account employers’ requirements.
Keeping ourselves updated and relevant to the fast-evolving environment is a challenge
Keeping in touch with the latest market trends with respect to the contemporary business environment can sometimes pose a challenge. Competition from the unorganised sector (aka less qualified tuition masters!) is another game spoiler.
Providing career guidance to the students is my favourite hobby
Students coming to SIFIL and ELTIS are very focused. They generally have clear career goals. Since career guidance is my favoured hobby, it is easy to connect with them at that level. I also make it a point to address every new batch and in many cases, I conduct a feedback session at the end of the batch. I am accessible to all the students by prior appointment in normal conditions and without an appointment in emergencies.
We are making sure that the students attend Foreign Language courses regularly
No major difficulty. Occasionally, the ‘other’ compulsions of our students challenge their ability to attend FL classes regularly. This issue needs to be tackled by balancing rules with empathy.
Learning a foreign language offers more opportunities and chances of employment
In a globalised world, learning a foreign language, in addition to an excellent command of English has become as essential as breathing. Candidates with these two qualifications, it is known, are always preferred by industry. Pune alone has over 300 German companies and they prefer German speaking candidates to others. The same is applicable to other FL, though in smaller numbers.
I would like to brush up my knowledge of the German language
I would like to brush up my faded knowledge of German. I learnt it for 3 years but lost much of it due to non-practice.
Goals for the Institute for the next few years
ELTIS and SIFIL are one organic entity. My dream is to see both being the top-notch academic institutes in English and foreign languages. They should be the topmost preferred destination of students as well as teachers and practitioners. Through significant skilling of human resources, ELTIS and SIFIL should become the top choices of industry and business as skilled human resource providers. They should thus ease the gap between job-seekers and job opportunities.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
It is in the DNA of Indians to be multi-lingual. If we build confidence in ourselves and our abilities, sky is the limit for career enhancement
Domain knowledge comes first for success in careers, but communication skills definitely come a close second. Let us talk to the world in a variety of tongues and facilitate our own material growth and mental development.