Mind the Gap: When there is skill there is an opportunity

Bhubaneswar: A skills development workshop was organised here in the city to improve employability of students. The workshop known as “Mind The Gap” saw students coming from several institutions including KIIT, CV Raman College of Engineering and College of Engineering and Technology (CET) etc who participated in the workshop and received special training in understanding the industry practices from the industry leaders. The workshop was organised by MeritsInd, a leading Indian technology corporation.

Mr. Ashok Kalash, the CEO MeritsInd, in his welcome address, shared the journey of MeritsInd and why there was a need to create this space known as Mind the Gap. He shared how his team wanted to understand the root cause of unemployability and in the process have identified the gaps and prepared steps to fill those gaps. Lack of communication and understanding ranked higher in the identified gaps. Attitude and Organisational behaviour ranked second in the list. He emphasized how behaving in a corporate manner is most important aspect of corporate life, which ironically is rarely mentioned in the text books. This is left to the student to take care of themselves. This is where MeritsInd saw an opportunity and a responsibility to contribute.

Hitesh Patnaik who is an industry leader shared about the challenges and opportunities in the IT sector. He shared his disappointment on the scenario where many engineering degree holders who have been unemployed and under-employed. He argued that industry needs smart engineers but getting them in very few numbers. That is why MeritsInd planted the seeds to help these engineers to get jobs. He identified the gaps between academia and industry. Academia has been slow to adopt to the requirement of the industry. Market is looking at speed of execution. Speed and disruptive innovation are the two important skill sets he identified for success in corporate life.

He highlighted how disruptive innovations like Cloud, Web Analytics, Digital Analytics and Artificial Intelligence have changed the corporate work culture. Commenting on the fastness of technology, he said ‘if I am faster than you then I will generate more money than you’. He urged students to know that what is new today will be quickly old tomorrow and that’s why the need to innovate on a regular basis is urgent. Abhisekh Agarwal in his brief intervention introduced cloud and how cloud enhances data security.

Motivation Guru and Author, Mr. Barendra Kumar urged students to utilise the opportunities around them. He advised them not just to wish that things would happen to them. They needed to strive to achieve. He highlighted that the need of skilling and scaling. He said that there are enough opportunities for skilled people. The author of the bestselling book “Can is the Word of Power”, shared his insights into human mind and thinking. He urged students to follow 4Ps, they need to be practical, proactive and participative and positive in their academic life and be always open to learn and change their perceptions about the industry.

MSME Minister, Shri Prafulla Samal shared about the challenges and opportunity in the MSME sector and highlighted how his government is promoting entrepreneurship culture in the state. He congratulated MeritsInd for taking the initiative to connect to students in Odisha to train them in order to make them employable. He stressed that Bhubaneswar offers a great opportunity to investors and no more a backward city as it was 25 years ago especially in matter of professional and technical education. He shared happiness that institutes of national importance like IIT and IIM have come to Odisha and the state is an emerging national leader in startups.

Mr. Samal urged participants and industry leaders to promote MSMEs as they can create more jobs. He said that the focus can be to reach out to investors and show them the opportunities in Odisha’s MSME sectors. He shared how in MSMEs the government of Odisha is encouraging new technology. He also batted for inclusion in employability and entrepreneurship. He advised on the need to encourage people with disability to make the society and market more inclusive. He offered all support and help to create industry readiness as part of academic-industry engagement and suggested organisers to engage with students. He also advised that there is an urgent need to get continuous guidance from industry experts on how to fill the gap.

Leading names like Mr. Sangram Mohanty, Mr. Pradeep Mohanty and Ms. Sanjukta Rath also joined the students for the workshop. Ms. Anuja Puspashree, Head Training & Placement, offered vote of thanks. Renowned anchor Ms. Dikhya Tiwari moderated the sessions.

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