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Hero Group Payback To Punjab; Help SMEs With Innovation To Scale Up

The diversified Hero Group, with roots in Punjab, has decided to open a school of innovation and entrepreneurship in Ludhiana to meet the growing innovation needs of industrial enterprises in the state.

Announcing a partnership recently with UK’s Birmingham City University (BCU) to open the Munjal-BCU School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MBSI), Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprises Ltd, and Chairman, Lala Bahadur Chand Munjal Foundation, told media persons on the sidelines of the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit at ISB Mohali that fulfilling a global trend, first engineering pass-outs, and later intermediate pass students, will be provided “well balanced set of attributes to produce good business leaders of the future.”

Hero Group Payback To Punjab; Help SMEs With Innovation To Scale Up, Lifeinchd

Photo By : Life In Chandigarh

Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Munjal said “Punjab is home to around 50,000 SMEs spread across the clusters of Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Mohali, Patiala, Mandi Gobindgarh, etc. Many such SMEs are reasonably successful and managed by third and fourth generation entrepreneurs. Yet, for a variety of reasons, a significant number of these SMEs have failed to scale up, characterized typically by low levels of innovation and technology absorption.

“One possible reason for this inability to scale is the lack of a platform to come together, discuss and develop opportunities to scale up, perform R&D, practice innovation and re-visit business models necessary in a rapidly changing world,” he observed.

Linking this scenario to the lack of creditable educational institutions driving the spirit of innovation and enterprise, Munjal said, “Higher education in Punjab finds itself at the crossroads with many students seeking to study and then immigrating to other countries in search of better opportunities. Students appear reluctant to pursue higher education in Punjab because of the perception that the quality of training and education on offer isn’t quite up to the standards expected of an industrialised state.”

He explained that “This is where the proposed MBSI in Ludhiana could emerge as a game-changer. The school aims to re-design the higher education offering in a manner that it leads to more meaningful student outcomes.”

The proposed MBSI aims to trigger industrial revival in the state by: –

·   Driving innovation in the state’s industrial clusters and promoting entrepreneurship.

·   Tapping into the state’s reservoirs of manpower

·   Developing the considerable potential in the knowledge-intensive businesses

Munjal stressed that in the new economy that is emerging around the world and in India, innovative solutions will provide competitive advantages to businesses and markets, while also offering answers to developmental challenges. There is, therefore, a growing global opportunity to create, scale and transform business organisations through innovation and technological up-gradation, he added.

MBSI plans to take a STEAM-oriented (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) approach to higher education,  an interdisciplinary way of thinking aimed at finding the most innovative solutions to today’s challenges being pioneered by Birmingham City University, in place of the traditional STEM-oriented (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) approach.

The idea is to use the strengths of each of these streams to power innovation and productivity. BCU is also setting up a STEAM house, designed as a centre for innovation, research, and creative production where technology, art, and design are used to nurture innovation and creativity. 

The proposed MBSI aims to establish a common, independent platform that facilitates innovation and builds an entrepreneurship ecosystem in the state.

A high-level BCU delegation, led by Prof. Philip Plowden, Vice Chancellor, and comprising among others Prof. Julian Beer, Deputy Vice Chancellor, and Prof. Alison Honour, Pro Vice Chancellor, visiting Punjab to finalise the details of the proposed school of innovation and entrepreneurship, was also present during the media interaction.

Later, on being asked for a timeline for starting the school of innovation, Munjal told that the process had been started, the site for MBCI in Ludhiana had been identified and now teams from both sides are working in tandem to work out the details.

Hero Group Payback To Punjab; Help SMEs With Innovation To Scale Up, Lifeinchd

SK Rai, Managing Director, Hero Cycles, who has been with the group for nearly four decades, added that initially, in the first two years, about 200 engineering pass-outs will be provided 9 months training by MBSI, half of which will be provided in Ludhiana and the rest in BCU. Later the courses will be thrown open to class 10+2 pass students.  by APR Media House is an enjoyable digital reading startup, which keeps you abreast of the latest meaningful happenings of interest to large sections of folks in Chandigarh tricity, and expats from the region. It has been promoted by a public spirited senior journalist and media consultant with a view to encourage good quality and healthy journalism, a dire need of the times.

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