Convergence 3i – The Industry Institute Interface

Convergence 3i, the Industry Institution Interface organised by SDMIMD and CII, reflects the changing face of education

SDMIMD Mysore, in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), recently hosted Convergence 3i for the benefit of final year undergraduate students in the area. The Industry Institution Interface, held on 27th September 2013, was meant to help aspiring students understand the expectations and requirements of industry. At the same time, it also aimed to sensitise industry to the expectations students have of their future employers. The conference managed to achieve these goals effectively by bringing together renowned industry names, academic stalwarts and students on a platform where different ideas converged and led to a win-win situation for all. 

The list of eminent personalities at the conference included big names from industry and academia. Mr. S. Nagarajan (Chairman, CII Mysore), Prof. S. N. Prasad (Convenor, Industry Institute Partnership Panel, CII Mysore), Dr. N. R. Parasuraman (Director, SDMIMD), Mr. Ashok Rao (President & Whole Time Director, Automotive Axles Ltd.) and Chief Guest, Mr. L. Krishnan (Immediate Past Chairman, CII Karnataka & Managing Director, TaeguTec India Pvt. Ltd.) gave inspiring speeches to start the conference on a rousing note and were a hit with their audience.
Landing a much-deserved job at the end of their studies is the final goal for all students, but is the education they get preparing them for the first step in their professional lives? That’s one of the questions the conference wished to address. Dr. Parasuraman talked about different aspects of education that need to be looked into to ensure that it meets students’ aspirations. “Is the curriculum designed to be practical? Are education institutes changing with the changing habits of students?” he asked amidst huge applause from students in the audience.
There was a lot for students to take back from the talks during the day. For instance, Mr. Rao made some interesting observations in his speech. “Education is not preparation for life; it is life itself. Facebook and text book are equally important,” he quipped, striking a chord with the students. He then urged them to not be shy about going back to their textbooks to brush up the fundamentals. Mr. Krishnan talked about the changing environment in the field of education and business, and the need to adapt systems accordingly. “There is a need to constantly self-learn, unlearn and learn again. Some diversity in learning is very important for the holistic development of an individual,” he said. 
For students who wanted to know the way to go about the initial years in their professional careers, Mr. Krishnan had sound advice as he said, “In the first 10 years of your career, take in as many diverse learning experiences as possible. Be adventurous and learn.”
The participants were already feeling inspired by the experts when they were treated to a lively panel discussion involving Mr. K. S. Sundar (Sr. Lead Principal - Education & Research, Infosys Ltd.), Mr. S. V. Venkatesh (Managing Director & CEO, RiiT) and Mr. Vinayak Bhat (Sr. HR, Triton Valves Ltd.). ‘Industry Expectations From Budding Managers’ was the topic under discussion and it seemed appropriate that a student from SMDIMD played the role of the moderator.
The panellists discussed the changes in the student community, and their ambitions and expectations over the last couple of decades, setting the tone for an interactive session. Mr. Sundar also talked about the need for industry and institutes to work together to bridge the gap. Mr. Venkatesh made his listeners sit up with interest when he asked students to be like Panipuri stalls. “Keep picking up skills as and when needed. Don’t focus on CTC, focus on your task, focus on your overall career,” he explained. The panellists then accepted questions from the audience and answered them to their evident satisfaction.
The conference packed a punch, with a talk by Wg. Cdr. Manjunath (Head Training, Larsen & Toubro Ltd.) on ‘Training for Making You Job Ready’. Given its relevance for students, the talk was hugely anticipated and it didn’t disappoint on any count. While the talks and discussions for the day had students buzzing with excitement, their skills and aptitude were brought to the fore through a session of ‘Mind Games for Future Leaders’. The session which focused on the theme “Innovation in StartUp”, had Mr. V. Lokesh (CEO & Senior Advisor, Innomantra Consulting) at the helm, bringing them to their feet and was the perfect culmination to the events of the day. 
The conference offered an opportunity for students to interact with industry experts and turned out to be an eye-opener for them. The luminaries, on the other hand, left feeling refreshed and excited seeing the enthusiasm and dedication of students. It was a true convergence of ideas and experiences, where everyone went home richer for having been there.