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Guest Lecture by Mr. Abhijit Pawar

Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB)had the pleasure of having Mr. Abhijit Pawar (MD, Sakal Media Group and Founder-Chairman, Delivering Change Foundation) to deliver a lecture on the 22nd of February, 2016 in the college campus. The session was attended by Dr. SB Mujumdar (Founder and Chancellor, Symbiosis International (Deemed University)) and Dr. Rajani Gupte (Vice—Chancellor, Symbiosis International (Deemed University)).

The session began with a welcome note delivered by Dr. Asmita Chitnis (Director, Symbiosis Institute of International Business) followed address by Dr. Rajani Gupte and Dr. SB Mujumdar.

Mr. Pawar started his lecture by talking about his story and how he has begun his journey. He said that along with ROI and ROE he had found ‘Return on Respect’ to be an important indicator to be considered in life. He spoke about the Delivering Change Foundation (DCF) and its aim to create positive change in the lives of communities through transformative socio-economic change in 3 – 5 years. He then gave a brief about the ‘Pune Bus Day’ initiative that had been undertaken in 2012. The results of this venture were astonishing as the use of public transportation for a single day had resulted in a huge difference in terms of petrol used, traffic on the roads and so on. He also spoke about the ‘Malaysian Model’ and PEMANDU (Performance Management and Delivery Unit) Model that he had found to be extremely efficient and good to be utilized in India.

Mr. Pawar talked about the various ventures started by DCF. This included ‘Tanishka: Women’s Dignity Forum.’ This forum was started to allow women to come to the forefront of the decision-making process and through them, improve the lives of the communities. Another venture is the Young Inspirators Network (YIN), where the youth of the country are given a platform to talk about important issues facing the country and take up charge to solve them.

The 'Water for All' Lab initiative was started to bring together people who have the power and capability to solve the water problem plaguing Maharashtra. The enormous success of the program was because it could bring together the ruling party and the opposition to have a constructive dialogue with each other. There was also mention of a partnership with Tel Aviv in terms of planning smart cities in India. He then spoke about his initiatives to bring about change. These included the establishment of SILC Skills University and SILC Centre Network Model. Through the lecture, Mr. Pawar emphasized on the need for everyone to 'be the change they wanted to see.'

After the lecture, the floor was opened to the audience for questions. These ranged from implementation of a successful self-selection policy, impact of student politics, the use of sensationalism in Indian media, the problems in India with respect to implementation of effective policies to combat problems and so on.

All in all, the session turned out to be informative one, with students being encouraged to be the initiators of change.

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